We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: your employees are your restaurant’s single most valuable asset. As the face of your establishment and the hands on the ground getting work done, it’s important to invest not only in getting the best talent, but also retaining and helping them grow. Unfortunately, some managers make common mistakes that turn even the best employees into less-than-stellar workers. Read our tips below for 5 ways that you may be turning your good employees into bad employees.
Be late for meetings
Let’s say you’ve scheduled a meeting with one of your cooks or hosts, and something comes up just before you’re scheduled to start. All too often, managers think, “my staff is busy with other things,” and may not even bother to let the employee know that they’re running behind. There’s no better way to show your employees that you don’t respect their time than to be consistently late for your appointments with them.
When you’re late for appointments with employees, you’re sending a signal that time and punctuality are not valuable at your company. And for your staff, this may bleed into their interactions with colleagues - or even worse, with customers. Making an effort to be on time for every meeting, no matter how insignificant it may seem, will help
Be inconsistent with policies
Having policies in place is one of the things that helps your employees do their jobs well. When you’re clear about how you want employees to handle various situations, they’re not left wondering what steps to take or who to turn to for help.
There’s a reason that early in their existence, many restaurants finalize their handbook. Having a clearly articulated set of rules that every employee must follow ensures not only that your employees are clear about their duties and responsibilities, but also that your customers have a consistent (and hopefully pleasant) experience.
When you’re inconsistent with your policies, your employees will make their own rules, leaving your restaurant’s perception and your customer’s experience out to dry.
Play into politics
When it comes to your employees, one of the most important pieces of your restaurant is your culture. If you want to make certain employees feel alienated and undervalued, make sure you let them see you favoring other employees and offering favors or advancement opportunities that aren’t offered to others. They’ll certainly question their place in your organization, and ultimately their work will suffer.
Everyone wants to work in an environment where they’re respected, treated fairly, and given equal opportunities. When you play into politics and favoritism among your staff, you undermine all of these things. Make sure you’re treating everyone as fairly as possible and being as open as you can be about your culture and staffing practices, and everyone will be on the same page.
Be an absent manager
In any workplace, when the manager is away for long periods of time, it’s easy for things to begin to go south. Questions go unanswered, hard work goes unpraised, and employees begin to feel that they’re carrying the weight of the work themselves. Unfortunately, some employees will also take the slack that’s given and let their performance slip when they don’t have the watchful eye of a manager nearby.
So, maybe more important than anything else is the time you spend at your restaurant - with your employees or just around them. By being present, setting a good example, and giving regular feedback (positive and constructive), you’ll set the stage for employee growth and a positive culture.
As with any workplace, the culture you create for your employees is dependent on the habits you help them form, and the behaviors you reward. Following these tips will help make sure you’re not turning an employee with great potential into a sub-par member of your team.