3 ways to keep your employees engaged enough to stay
By Paul Goetz, chief revenue officer,Upserve
The restaurant business turnover rate remains one of the highest among major industries, rising to 72 percent in 2015, according to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Further, a study conducted at the Center for Hospitality Research found that staff turnover can cost up to $5,000 per employee.
The bottom line? Restaurant employee turnover can no longer be ignored. By nature, the industry is susceptible to a high rate of replacement due to student employees and temporary employees as well as seasonal ebbs and flows. While you can't stop people from leaving, you can make the most of your staff's time at your restaurant by including them in day-to-day processes.
Here are three steps you can take to provide your employees with the best working environment possible as well as self-improvement:
1.Present data to foster growth and advancement. A PwC study found that 60 percent of its survey respondents would like to receive feedback from their bosses on either a daily or weekly basis — among Millennials and Generation Z, that number jumped to 72 percent. However, only 30 percent of respondents said they were receiving any feedback at all.
Both busboys and business executives want their bosses to recognize their strengths and help improve their weaknesses. Leadership development firm Zenger Folkman found that 69 percent of employees said they would put more effort into their work if they received acknowledgment of a job well done.
A Gallup poll also reported that managers who received positive feedback returned an 8.9 percent profitability. This caused a trickle-down effect, as those who worked under a manager and received recognition showed a 12.5 percent boost in productivity.
2. Help your employees understand their impact on your restaurant's finances.
Employees who understand financial information provides a twofold benefit. First, they learn how their daily actions contribute to the restaurant's bigger picture. Second, they can develop their professional tongue, which helps if they choose to advance their careers in the industry.
By including your employees in financial discussions, you give them the information they need to take responsibility for their actions and work to improve savings. It will also allow both you and your staff to learn which servers need help and where they need it most — as well as how to grow. Most of all, it will create an environment of trust within your restaurant, which will aid in building camaraderie among the ranks.
3. Consider a service that provides tracking and productivity. Having a restaurant point-of-sale platform that backs up what you already know (as well as show you things you might have missed) is always a good thing. POS software can now provide data that breaks down sales, tips, order completion, and turnover rates. You will then learn what and who is driving your business — and how to protect yourself if you suspect any fraudulent activity.
A detailed POS can also provide shift reviews, allowing you to go over labor activity by team, section, shift time, and even individual server. From here, you can gauge completion of tasks and prepare for more efficiency the next time around.
Taking it the cloud?
The best restaurant POS to consider is one that's cloud-based. The show must go on, and a hiccup on a traditional PC system can stall progress for an entire dinner rush. Further, a cloud-based system can be operated from a tablet, allowing your staff more mobility and, in turn, more productivity.
All of the data a POS can provide can then be brought up in a weekly staff meeting. And again, the higher amount of feedback, the better the work rate.
All in all, the application of these steps will result in your team's longevity. Keeping employees in the loop by involving them in the restaurant's inner workings and giving them feedback makes them feel like they're part of the team. Happy workers make for happy customers: Customers appreciate seeing a friendly face delivering their weekly lunch specials, and customer retention has a direct effect on restaurant profits. A familiar environment full of satisfied employees can contribute greatly to that.
Cover photo: iStock