Struggling To Engage With Your Team – Try These Tips

Struggling to Engage with Your Team - Try These Tips

Create an engaged team and watch them provide better customer service.

Working in a restaurant is a fast-paced environment that often leaves your employees exhausted and stressed out.

There is the chaotic, very quick lunchtime rush, substitutes on diners’ orders, and things to remember on an ongoing basis. Plus, in today’s environment, restaurant staff has to work tirelessly to keep clean and safe.

So, how do you encourage your workforce and keep them coming back day after day?

Are you struggling to engage with your team? If so, try these tips to create a confident, productive, happy team that enjoys their job.

Tip #1: Set Realistic Goals

Setting goals for your team is an important part of building camaraderie and buy-in to their job.

Goals help your team know what you expect and how to fulfill their duties effectively. They are a great motivator, especially if there are rewards at the end.

When setting goals, make sure they are S.M.A.R.T. They should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound.

You don’t want to give your team members a goal that is either too easy to achieve or completely unattainable. A realistic goal helps motivate and engage your restaurant team.

Tip #2: Get to Know Your Team

The restaurant business is often fluid when it comes to hiring and retaining employees. But you’ll find if you get to know your team and learn more about them, you’ll increase your retention while engaging them on another level.

Know what they want out of life. Be friendly and say hello using their name when you see them. Ask about their day or their family.

This goes a long way to making your employees feel valued. An employee who feels valued and cared for is more likely to be engaged.

Tip #3: Provide Them with Feedback

By providing your staff with ongoing feedback – think on a weekly basis – you will have more engaged employees.

A feedback-rich culture encourages your team to trust you, and it ultimately increases their productivity and engagement.

Your staff is also more likely to stick around if they’re hearing on a weekly basis how they’re doing. Provide not only positive feedback but constructive ideas to improve their workflow.

Train your managers so you can develop a company culture of open feedback. This shouldn’t be a time to pick on staff, but it should be a time to help your staff grow into the best they can be.

Your managers will have to keep feedback at the top of their mind if they’re going to deliver it on an ongoing basis.

By creating a culture of feedback, and to engage with your team, you’ll find that your employees are more content because they know exactly what they’re doing right, and where they can improve. (tweet this)

engage your team

An engaged team looks forward to coming to work each day.

Tip #4: Give Your Staff the Right Tools

You have expectations for your team, but if they don’t have the right tools, how can they excel at their jobs?

You want to make sure you have a strong onboarding and training program that provides everything your team needs. But don’t forget current team members. Provide ongoing training all year long to help engage your workforce.

Training makes your team more confident, and a confident team is an engaged one.

For example, teach them how to handle uncomfortable situations, teach them how to greet a table, and train them how to clear a table effectively.

Give your team a strong foundation, continue with ongoing training (especially in the customer service arena), and you’ll have a more engaged employee pool.

Tip #5: Recognize Your Team

Most everyone likes to be recognized for a job well done.

What’s more, when staff members are recognized on an ongoing basis, they are more motivated and engaged to work harder at your restaurant.

Sometimes a simple “good job” or ‘thank you” is enough. Sometimes you might want to do a little bit more.

To engage with your team, the key is to catch your team doing something right. Notice when they got food delivered to a table quicker than usual. Notice when they just dealt with a difficult customer. Notice how your kitchen staff worked together to get the  meals out in a timely fashion on a busy lunch hour.

Create a culture of recognition at your restaurant, and you’ll have team members who are not only more engaged but have positive attitudes that trickle down to your customers.

Tip #6: Pay Your Team Fairly

When employees don’t feel like they’re being paid appropriately for their work, they are less likely to be engaged.

If your staff is trained, engaged, and well-qualified, it’s a good idea to give them a bump in pay. Consider bonuses on a yearly basis or a monthly basis based on how well your sales are.

A fair compensation shows your team you value them and, in the end, encourages a more engaged, productive staff. (tweet this)

Tip #7: Encourage Their Feedback

It’s one thing to offer your team feedback and another to accept feedback from them.

For example, after a particularly harrowing shift, get your team together and ask them how things could have moved better.

This plays off your feedback-rich culture and opens the door to communication.

Plus, it’s often the people working on the frontlines who have the best ideas about how to fix a problem.

Listening to your team is vital to the success of your restaurant.  You can do this through meetings, surveys, or another format. The key is to give your employees a voice.

Make sure your team knows that management appreciates, welcomes, and encourages their feedback. You’ll soon find that you have more engaged employees who want to work for you.

To Conclude

If you’re struggling to engage with your team, you aren’t alone. By using the tips here, you’ll find that you’re well on your way to a better workplace.

Employee engagement provides your employees the motivation they need to be productive. It encourages them to provide better service to your customers. It means your team is happier at work.

Build a strong foundation at your restaurant with a highly engaged team and watch you restaurant grow.

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Images: Vanna Phon and Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on Unsplash

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