Keeping Employees Happy at Work
Happy Employees Part 2
As we explored in Employees are Your First Customers - Happy Employees Part 1, we know that happy, engaged employees are good for your restaurant’s business. However, what makes people happy in their jobs is subjective, can be elusive and varies by employee.
Here are 4 basic things that you can do to increase employee satisfaction:
Supply Basic Tools for the Job – It’s simple: if your employees do not have the proper tools to do their jobs, they will not perform well. Management must provide these tools whether they are tangible or not, such as working POS computer terminals or proper employee training. It is frustrating for employees to have to work with broken equipment or poorly trained team members, which creates a negative environment.
Train, Empower and Hold Accountable – Employee empowerment generally means the process of allowing employees to have input and control over their work and work environment. Empowering employees begins with clear direction and thorough training. Once you have spent the time to properly train all of your staff, you can trust that they have the knowledge to make decisions on their own. However, empowerment is not a free pass for your employees; you must have clear and fair accountability for this to work. Empowered employees have proper knowledge, are left to do their jobs and are held accountable for their work – both good and bad. This makes: committed, loyal and conscientious employees.
Praise, Recognize and Reward – Managers who only try to catch their staff “doing it wrong” create a negative culture of fear and manipulation, which has a direct correlation to negative business results. Instead, managers should actively seek to catch people “doing something right” or “better than before”, then they should praise that behavior specifically and immediately. Employees who feel appreciated for their hard work will work harder; by creating an environment where employees feel valued, you create a safe place for work to thrive.
As discussed in our Blog: Are your Pre Service meetings a Waste of Time? the pre service meeting is also a great time to publicly praise, recognize and reward your team members’ achievements. Giving even a small token as a reward for a job well done goes a long way in motivating staff at all levels.
Clear Career Growth Opportunities – One key reason that employees leave jobs is the lack of a clear career path within their current organization. We have previously discussed the cost of employee turnover in terms of having to constantly recruit, hire and train new employees. However, there is also a cost in not having any “bench strength” in your “bullpen”. If you do not have employees who are trained and ready to move up into the next position, you cannot effectively grow your business. Make sure everyone, including your managers, knows the career paths available within your organization. If employees do not know their own career paths, they might intentionally stifle the growth and training of subordinates, which in turn impacts your business growth.
If owners and management do not have open, two-way communication with their staff, and employees feel that management doesn't care - you have a recipe for disaster. Employees must comfortably be able to make management aware of issues such as broken or lacking tools, or a need/desire for more or better training; management should address these concerns directly, letting staff know how and when items will be handled. In this environment, everyone knows what is wanted, needed, expected or promised – the team is “on the same page” and can work more effectively.
Don’t know where to begin? Ask yourself, do you have the proper written procedures and operational guidelines in place to be as successful as possible? 4Q Consulting can develop customized operational guidelines and training programs to meet your needs. Email us today for a free business consultation!
All original content copyright Noelle E. Ifshin, 2012-2013.