We’ve all been in that restaurant where you can tell the employee morale is low. When that happens it causes a chain reaction to occur within the restaurant whether it be underwhelming service, or poor cleanliness. That will lead to the possibility that you will not want to return to that establishment.
It’s something that all restaurant managers want to avoid. Of course, there are infinite ways that you can work to keep your employee morale high. What it really comes down to is trying to improve their lives, make sure that they're enjoying coming to work, and if there is anything causing them to stress out about being at work, you figure out how to improve it.
Ultimately, high employee morale is crucial to your business’s success. Here are 5 things to consider to keep your employee morale high:
1. Allow your employees to contribute to making their own schedules.
People get very stressed out when they feel like their time isn't theirs and they don't get to choose when they need to be working. So, do your best to let them work the hours they want and work hard to give them time off when they want it.
We recently spoke to a general manager at a very successful restaurant about her strategy for employee retention. Her approach is that even if it's short notice, she’ll do everything she can to accommodate the request. Often, she'll work a double shift to give them the time off because her employee morale is very important to her.
It’s not always easy because you do need to staff your restaurant. If three people ask off for the same day and you can only allow one person off and still have enough hands on deck, then it's got to be first come first serve. But if it's within your realm of possibility, work hard to give them the time off when they want it.
2. Focus on teamwork
Give people a reason to want to come into work and let them have fun. Encourage them to make friends with their colleagues and their coworkers. 60% of people who reported having one to five work friends would turn down another job offer according to a global survey.
So, it's very clear that people will be happier at work if they're enjoying the people they're interacting with every day. People are awake about 12 to 16 hours every day. They're at work at least half of their waking hours. So you want to make sure that they're enjoying the people that they're with every day.
3. Recognize successes
This can be anything as simple as a pat on the back to a rewards system that recognizes achievements. By recognizing successes, you are giving people a reason to want to do a good job, to want to impress their manager. You’ll be surprised at what that’ll do to keep morale high and keep them working hard and being happy doing it.
And, it's fun recognizing people. You’ll feel good too!
4. Reward your employees
Whether it’s something like extra (surprise) time off, a free meal, discounted food, anything like that. Many restaurants give their employees a free meal every shift and 50% off when they’re not working. It makes people feel very valued and we all want that.
On another note, if you notice that one of your team members is having a bad day, one of your jobs as a general manager is to help them. Give them a free sandwich or milkshake, give them an extra 30-minute break to clear their head. They’ll love you for it.
5. Listen to your staff
Listen to your staff to figure out how you can improve your operations. Of course, you’re the one in charge of running the business, but you can listen to input and hopefully, you'll be able to improve their lives as well. They’re on the front lines every day, they have ideas. Listen to them!
Are you struggling with employee turnover? You're not alone! That's why we put together a FREE resource just for you, 6 Ways to Decrease Employee Turnover at Your Restaurant! Check it out!