I don´t know anyone who doesn´t begin reviewing the past year right about now. Of course, it has to do with performance, year-end reports, financial statements, presenting to the board of director´s, partners, or others you look towards for advice.
This is also the perfect time of year to review your staff policies.
One of the most important and the most difficult areas to scrutinize is your employee turnover rate. Out of all the line item expenses, employee turn-over plays the most havoc with bottom line profits. The erosion effect it has on profitability, morale, and fellow staffers is beyond horrendous, but often we don´t realize that we as owners are the catalyst for the costly catastrophe.
When you analyze your employee costs take into account the amount spent on replacement hiring and advertising, training, and time spent dealing with the dilemma.
Although online advertising has alleviated the outrageous regular employment ad costs of print, the time spent reviewing applications now creates yet another problem.
Here are ten tips that may help build employee loyalty and alleviate constant staff turnover.
1). Fair Wages: Paying a wage that is in the same neighborhood as other employees in your neighborhood is the first rule of establishing employee stability. You can´t offer a prep cook $12.00 an hour if neighboring restaurants are paying $15.00. Male sure that you find out what other restaurants in your neighborhood are paying before you set your wage and salary guidelines. You may not have to meet their level, but you must come within range.
2). Build a Team: Make sure you focus on the final result of having an enjoyable and professional employee nucleus. The members of the team should work together well, and have similar goals in mind.
3). Hire for Position: Whether you use instinct, or corporate interview procedures when interviewing and hiring, make sure that you analyze where the hire is currently and where they will be in months down the road. If you do not see that employee´s growth potential, think twice about the hire.
4). Allow Creativity: Food is artwork. Whether you tend to be the most conservative or liberal operator, remember that you are in a creative industry which attracts creative people. Although you have the right to raise the bar and initiate standards and best practices, make sure you discuss those expectations in the interview. Don´t offer any surprises to new hires. After they show up for their second shift with a tongue ring don’t inform them it’s against your policy to wear that style jewelry. Set the rules of the game early.
5). Respect the Team. There are no menial jobs in the restaurant business. Profitable properties run on precision. Whether a Sommelier, a dishwasher, a pot scrubber, an Executive Chef, or a carrot chopper, each position is equally important in the entire realm of success. Treat everyone with equal respect and you will get that in return.
6). Coaches are Mentors in Uniform: Set examples for your staff based on your expectations. It´s difficult for a group of waiters to serve customers with enthusiasm when an owner stands in the dining room talking about "what a jerk" that last customer was. Jerks spend money too.
7). Reprimand with Style: If your staff wasn´t capable of making mistakes, they would never have a chance at becoming an owner. Think back when Bob made that major Faux Pas, did that bring back memories of when you were waiting tables, or working the rope? Don´t ever forget what it feels like to wear your staff´s shoes. It will help you when it comes time to have that "discussion" about last night´s service. Be gentle, but firm.
8). Listen to Their Problems: Is their a difference between restaurant ownership and psychology? Yes, there is a small difference: Psychologists don´t serve food during their sessions and, they can send the advanced nuts to a Psychiatrist for further diagnosis. Restaurant owners can´t do that with customers or staff. Yet, we have to learn to listen and to on occasion, help with the problems that face the people who work for us.
9). Terminate Privately: Nothing tears a team apart, or cuts deeper, than the poor actions of a coach, especially when it comes to public termination. The adage that there are two ways to lead: one is fear, the other respect, holds especially true in the restaurant industry. However, since we are in the days of the "flight of the restaurant staff" owners need to go that extra step in order to keep employees.
10). Personal Consideration: Don´t forget that they have lives also. Remember that your staff perceives you as the wealthy restaurant owner. They see the amount of covers, the cash, and the credit card receipts and automatically assume you are one wealthy guy. Unless they are seasoned professionals, they have little idea of the costs and expenses owners endure. Take time to get to know them, help them in small ways- it will mean a lot- it will keep them loyal- it will make them feel as though they are part of winning team.
If you have any secret tips for building a team please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.