November 16, 2021

Staffing Issues Wreaking Havoc in Your Restaurant? Try These 7 Ways to Show Up For Your Team and Increase Retention

Staffing Issues Wreaking Havoc in Your Restaurant? Try These 7 Ways to Show Up For Your Team and Increase Retention

Experiencing turnover? You’re not alone. Restaurants across the country have been impacted by a fickle workforce that is demanding more than ever before. Fear of exposure to COVID-19 remains for some, but more often the reasons for constant turnover lie with management.

It’s easy to blame employees for being disloyal when they jump ship for a dollar per hour raise, but it doesn’t always come down to money. Take this opportunity to figure out how you can better show up for your team and retain them.

Get in Sync with Your Team

The pandemic forever changed the restaurant industry. If you haven’t already, it’s time to adapt. With the industry getting more competitive, a decent paycheck is not enough to motivate employees. They want more, and they’re calling out business owners to provide it.

Simply put, businesses have to show up better. Creating an environment that cultivates training, growth, and opportunity makes you a preferred employer. That requires taking a critical look at yourself. How do you show up for your team?

Tips are not enough to soften the blow of demanding, impatient customers who don’t care about your supply chain issues or your lack of staffing. And your front-line employees take the brunt of it.

More training and consistency across shifts or locations consistently rank at the top of staff requests. What are you doing to satisfy those?

Improve Team Communication

Getting on the same page is difficult when everyone is running around like crazy. But trust us, you need this.

First, start with your core values and mission. Communicate why you started your business and what it means to work there. How does your restaurant impact the greater community? Gen Z and millennials care about how their choices impact social issues.

In fact, a recent workplace culture report by LinkedIn illustrates that nine out of 10 millennials would consider a pay cut if the company’s mission and values were in alignment with theirs.

Your employees want to know what you stand for.  Tell them, and more importantly show them.

Take the Temperature

Want to know how your staff is feeling? What kind of morale issues are they experiencing? Ask them! Too few business owners do this. It’s really quite simple to administer online surveys to ask for feedback. Reward your employees by correcting issues they bring to your attention.

An easy way to lose staff is by asking for feedback and then not implementing solutions to their concerns. So if you’re going to ask, you better follow through.

Simplify Your Training

It’s a vicious cycle. Lack of training for management trickles down to staff which further trickles down to the customer experience. Investing in robust training for your managers will enable them to better communicate and train staff, which in turn will help the customers receive a better experience. That translates to improved sales and more profit for you.

But training doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, the simpler the better. Ensuring your managers receive consistent training across the multiple responsibility areas you’ve entrusted them with will help junior staff see them as a point of reference and knowledgeable about internal operations. That creates value and respect.

Go Online

Your staff wants apps. They want simple, visual training modules in an online format. Don’t waste your time and money on printing long manuals no one will read. Bring your training into this century. Your training program should be modern and accessible for a digital-driven generation.

Consider which apps or training courses use gamification as this is something younger staff will respond to since it’s familiar to them. Simple team competitions, staff leaderboards, and quizzes with rewards are great ways to make training a fun experience, which helps to increase knowledge retention.

Promote Growth

Providing your staff with regular, skills-based training shows them you are committed to helping them grow. That’s important for this generation. In fact, a recent report from Deloitte illustrated 55 percent of millennials said they would leave a restaurant if development via online training and mentorship wasn’t offered.

Try assigning each new staff member a peer mentor. This kind of structure helps to create a feedback-driven culture, something millennials, and Gen Z strongly desire.

Cultivate Opportunity

Have an all-star in your midst? Cultivate opportunities for your star employees by offering them desired shifts, additional training, bonuses, and assistant manager training tracks. Give them the opportunities they crave, and you just might get your next generation of managers out of it.

Creating a strong training program isn’t easy, but it is worthwhile. Every cent and minute you spend investing in your training opportunities will come back tenfold in your staff’s and your customers’ satisfaction.

What can you do today to move the needle on developing your own in-house training program?