Far too many restaurants treat their employees like commodities. Although it’s true that the economy is bad and there are more potential employees than jobs, it’s also true that good management can help you get much more from your employees. The same individual can produce vastly different results depending on your management skills and overall work environment.
The problem? People have to WANT to do well. To get the best results, you can’t just tell people what to do and hope for the best. You have to earn the respect of your employees and make them want to succeed. You need to give them a sense that they’re a part of something, and let them know that you care about them as much as you hope they’ll care about you.
So how do you do that? Here are some pointers to get you started:
- Relationships – Business is all about relationships. Do you know anything about your employees? Do you make them feel like you care about who they are as people? If not, what makes you think they care about you and your business?
- Respect – Although you don’t want to be a pushover, you should also behave in a way that shows you respect your employees. Be as considerate as possible of their needs. Ask their opinions when you’re prepared to accept feedback or input. Don’t talk down to your employees.
- Praise – Never let a job well-done go unnoticed. People need paychecks, but they also love praise. Nobody wants to feel like a failure at their job, and remember that your positive comments could very well be the only positive thing someone hears all day.
- Give people some responsibility – When possible, let your employees make small judgment calls. When people feel empowered, they perform better. Granted, you can’t give people the “power” to comp free desserts or appetizers to every table, but giving people the ability to make small concessions within reasonable limits can go a long way toward improving morale and customer satisfaction.
Any other ideas for motivating employees? Feel free to share in the comments!