Being consistent is important in business, one could argue, it is even more critical in the restaurant industry. From the food to the service customers come back because you’re consistent. As a business owner you know this, however something you may not focus on as much is being consistent with your employees. Happy and loyal employees make a happy business. They will work harder for you the happier they are, but like all people they require structure and consistency.
In the restaurants that I have worked in there has anyways been some kind of inconsistences either in the rules or the practices. If you have expectations for how a task should be performed, then make sure that is the only way it is performed. This also means that once rules are set in place they should be enforced. You should have steps of service and policies and procedures to guide your employees and provide a standard for them to abide by. It can be very confusing for employees when the rules are contradicted or something is not being done the way it is taught to them.
A point of frustration for all restaurant employees is scheduling. Working in the restaurant industry can be crazy it is definitely not your typical 9-5 job. However, giving your employees as much notice as to what shifts they are working is always preferred. It’s the same kind of frustration a manager feels when they are waiting to make a schedule because they don’t have the availability of their employees. This goes both ways, set guidelines for your employees to follow to make scheduling easier on yourself. Make deadlines for request offs, availability changes, and shift swaps.
Holding your employees and yourself accountable is the best way to strive for success and build a happy work environment for your employees. Be the employer that leads by example. No one respects an employer with a “do as I say but not as I do” mentality. If your employees are happy that will reflect in their work. They will do what they are supposed to do because they know they will be held accountable. Make it easy for your employees by listing out the rules and the consequences for breaking them. Be thorough in explaining how their actions can affect the business.
Now that you’ve held yourself and your employees accountable you need to follow through. You may not think there is a difference here but there is. Follow through is what comes in the months after accountability. It can be hard to hold these standards after time has passed and employees become complacent. If you have consequences in place, then follow through on them. If your employee’s know they can get away with showing up to work 15 minutes late then they will be late. But if they know that showing up late could result in suspension, they will be more likely to come in on time.
While having consequences for poor performance may feel harsh or negative, the gains of having a consistent workplace will outweigh them. Don’t forget to thank and appreciate your employees when they consistently follow your policies or go above and beyond!