In a restaurant, every employee has a vital role to play in creating a great dining experience for patrons. If your team isn’t working together effectively, or individual members aren’t pulling their weight, the whole establishment suffers. Poor team performance is also likely to impact individual employees, resulting in dissatisfaction, lower performance, tensions or animosities, and higher turnover.
Conversely, when working on a high performing team, people feel supported, better enjoy their work, and are likely to be more efficient, engaged and productive. All of this is great for business. So how do you turn your staff – who typically have different skills, abilities and perspectives – into a high performing team?
Here are five things you can do:
- Define clear performance expectations for each role: Every staff member should have a clear job description that outlines their roles and responsibilities in the restaurant. They should also understand the roles and responsibilities of other staff members. By having a clear understanding of their role, as well as everyone else’s, each staff member will understand their interdependence.
- Train and cross train staff: To build a high performing team, it’s important to provide everyone with training in their particular role. Training should be used to address skill gaps and should also broaden or deepen existing skills or develop new ones. And remember, training takes many forms. It can include formal classroom training as well as job shadowing, mentoring, reading, observation, webcasts, podcasts, etc. Different training media help you accommodate your staff’s learning style and availability. When you’re building a high performance team, it’s also important to cross-train team members. Cross-training allows an individual to “walk in someone else’s shoes” and gives them a broader understanding of the workplace and team. It’s a great tool for building team relationships and strengths.
- Give staff ongoing feedback and coaching: Every employee needs to hear, on a regular basis, what they are doing well, where they can improve and if there’s anything they should stop doing. By giving all your employees ongoing feedback and coaching, you help improve their individual performance, as well as the team’s.
- Gather feedback on performance from team mates and patrons: In a restaurant, with its busy work environment and varied shifts, it’s almost impossible for a manager or supervisor to have a deep knowledge of each of their employees’ performance. By gathering 360-degree feedback from those who work most closely with each employee, you can get a better perspective and understanding of their performance. You can also better understand how the employee is functioning on the team, and how they are perceived by the team. In addition, you can use feedback from restaurant patrons – either on the performance of an individual, or the experience created by the team. This invaluable information can help you and the employee maximize their performance as well as the team’s and address any problems.
- Recognize and reward high performance: If you want to encourage strong team behaviour and performance, recognize and reward it. Get everyone on board with this initiative, encouraging praise, “thank yous” and recognition for individual work well done, in support of the larger team. If you recognize and reward individual good performance publicly (in front of the team) rather than privately, your acknowledgements and rewards can serve to motivate the entire team to perform. And when the whole team is performing well, it’s important to recognize and reward the team as a whole, not just the high performing individuals.
These five techniques are basic employee performance management best practices that foster employee high performance. In a restaurant, where you need everyone working together as a high performing team to deliver a great dining experience, they can help to improve both individual and team performance.
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