How to Build Employee Loyalty?
Turnover in your restaurant is to be expected at some level, as most of the positions are part-time and offer entry level wages; but too much can really hurt your business. You and your managers invest a lot of time and energy into training new employees, all of that effort is expensive and constant turnover is just wasting money. If you want your restaurant to save money and run like a well-oiled machine, here are some suggestions to build employee loyalty.
Creating a culture of employee loyalty
Do your employees know what to expect each time they clock in? Are the rules, expectations, and goals constantly changing? Do they know who to take concerns and questions to? Do they know how well they are measuring up to the standards?
Many hospitality professionals express frustration with the constant changes in management’s expectations. Setting up a consistent system and holding your entire team up to that standard can help improve morale and efficiency.
- Email contact
Respond to Employee Emails
When your team reaches out to you with questions, concerns or personal updates via email, it’s important to give them some kind of a response. Managers and owners can alienate themselves from their staff, completely by accident. Make sure you respond to your emails with some type of positive emotion, if not explicitly inappropriate. Example:
“My husband was in an accident and is being rushed to the hospital. I can’t make my shift…”
- “ok. Call Sue or someone and see if they’ll trade shifts with you.” = Wrong
- “No problem. Have a Good Day” = Wrong
- “I’m so sorry to hear that! Don’t worry about a thing here, we’ll let your teammates know and we’ll start sending our prayers/positive energy your way. Let me know if there’s anything else we can do for you…” = Right
This was an extreme example, but even ignoring or poor responses to the little stuff can cause friction between you and your staff.
Regular Management Feedback
Are you meeting with your team members at least quarterly? The more important the position, the more frequently you should be talking with them and giving them feedback. These meetings don’t need to be formal performance reviews, they can be a few minutes caught here and there with individual members. The important thing is that the meetings be one on one, especially if you’re giving corrections.
It’s human nature to only spot the bad and let the good go unnoticed, this is one of the leading causes of divorce in the home, and can lead to fault finding backbiting and gossip in the workplace. It might feel awkward at first, but it’s never too late or too early to let your team know when they’ve done a great job. Where feedback and corrections should be private meetings, praise is best shared publicly. Calling someone out for their success in front of their teammates will encourage everyone to work harder to earn a little praise.
These are just a few suggestions to get or keep your company culture moving in a more loyal direction. The behaviors may not feel natural at first, but they can make a big difference in the company, that can even be felt by the customers, and will be reflected in your financial reports.