Just a matter of a manager or owner showing up to work with a negative attitude can have a dramatic impact on the entire workforce.
Having a positive culture at the workplace is an important model to adhere to when operating a business. Regardless of whether your establishment is centered in the most prominent area in town or your social media game has drum up hundreds of “likes” before you have even announced the grand opening, if you are not creating a positive environment for your employees, your business will suffer because of it.
According to Forbes.com, having a positive company culture improves teamwork, increases productivity, ensures job satisfaction and reduces stress in employees. Just a matter of a manager or owner showing up to work with a negative attitude can have a dramatic impact on the entire workforce. This is especially important in the restaurant industry where you have customers constantly coming in and out of your workplace every day, evaluating the service and how they are cared for by your employees.
Whether you are a new restaurateur, manager or your business culture could use some sprucing up, here are some helpful tools you can apply to your daily routine to build a positive workplace.
Open and Honest Communication
This always appears to be the top tier of importance in communicating with just about anyone. Simply put: if you are honest with your employees and interact with them daily, you will gain their respect. Let them know that you value them and take their feedback into consideration. One way you can do this is to promote opportunities for coffee breaks and team outings outside of the office. This gives your staff a chance to nurture connections beyond the confines of the restaurant. If your regular hours of operation are in the evenings, arrange a get-together for a game of beach volleyball or axe throwing at a nearby location. Or if your restaurant is closed on Mondays, plan a night of bowling or a barbecue inviting everyone to prepare a dish. If you do not already, you can start hosting holiday parties or an end of the summer gathering to thank your employees for their hard work during the busiest times of the year. Get-togethers that include all your employees can provide an opportunity for everyone to see each other outside of their uniforms and get to know each other in a casual setting. But please, no work talk!
Equal Opportunity Employment
This is done often in corporate offices and firms where owners/managers would create challenges for their employees to boost their motivation and work efforts. Many companies may offer bonuses or rewards if employees surpass their sales goals or receive a high-rate of positive customer reviews. A little healthy competition in the workplace is good for employees as it sets goals that they can work towards. This tactic could be demonstrated in the restaurant industry as well. For example, if you are trying to get more customers to try a new menu item, orchestrating a friendly game between your wait staff could elevate orders tremendously, especially when offering an incentive. Auctioning an additional 15 minutes to the winner’s lunch break or an extra shift for those itching for more hours are great incentives to get your employees working harder than ever. This will not only make your staff feel appreciated and recognized when they do a good job, this also gives all employees an equal opportunity to progress in the company while receiving perks and rewards.
Hire Positive Attitudes
This should go without saying. If a potential hire comes in for an interview and does not seem excited or eager to get hired in any way, then that’s probably the same way that they will act on the job. We understand that if you are having trouble filling a position, it is tough to not want to hire immediately the first one that shows interest, but negative employees can quickly give bad vibes for the entire workplace. Look for a friendly smile and an upbeat personality when adding to your team. Make sure that they understand the importance of the position and where you see your company going in the future. Even if the position entails greeting customers at the door when they come in to your restaurant, or sweeping the floors regularly throughout the day, explain to them the importance of the duties and why it is imperative for your business. No matter how minor the task may seem, they will take the responsibility seriously if you do. This person could influence the vibe of your entire staff so choose wisely.
Your employees are a direct reflection of how your business is being operated. As the ones who are directly interacting with your customers all day, it is important to keep them motivated and eager to help your business grow. By consistently communicating with your staff, making them feel appreciated and valued, and maintaining positive attitudes in the work environment you will become an employer that people want to work for and your restaurant will be at the top of people’s radar.
About the Author: Courtney Ciandella has been the sole Marketing liason for Bielat Santore & Company since 2013. She is also the conductor behind the Who’s Who in the Restaurant Industry and Restaurant Tip of the Month series.