False starts are a business killer
You cannot afford to pick the wrong leaders. The sting of a bad boss lasts longer than you might think. Hospitality has a trickledown effect, and when it is absent from the boss, it drips down to your guests. It is very disruptive for the staff and can demotivate top performers when everything is in flux. It is imperative that you hire the right person and then train them for success.
Okay, so you have finished up the manager’s new hire paperwork and thinking your job is done. Think again, it’s time to get to the real stuff. Talk culture, vision, and goals with them. They need to know what your expectations are, again. Set the tone. You deserve to have a great team and it all starts with the culture your leads create.
No matter how much time and resources you can allocate to the training, you need to allow them to experience everyone’s role. Culture is teaching teamwork, respect for all positions, appreciation for the guest, and understanding the work is difficult. Shadowing job roles provides leaders with the empathy and awareness that they can’t gain from a manual or a meeting. This way, they create a culture around the entire team. The new manager will also get to see the real shit up close and personal. Often, a new set of eyes can see operational opportunities almost immediately after their arrival.
I would never want to stifle their urge to get better, but I do want to make sure their voice is heard so I always share advice to a new manager and it goes a little something like this. “When you see something that can be improved, which you most certainly will on the first day, write it down. You got hired for your skills and knowledge, which we are thrilled to have. The thing is, the people here are proud of what they have accomplished. If you walk around right away pointing out everything that is wrong, it is like calling their baby ugly. And inevitably, it sets a bad tone. I want you to ask a lot of questions and engage with the team these first few days. By no means, is this a passive aggressive way of asking you to stay silent. This will give you the perspective of a few shifts before we download on your first observations and thoughts.” They are always thankful for the advice. Secure managers follow the advice and insecure ones can’t wait to point out all the mistakes.
Everyone on a team needs to know this is who we are, this is where we are going, and this is how YOU fit in. That YOU also include your leaders! If they don’t have a clear vision of how they contribute to the end goal, they won’t be able to create that connection for their staff. Give them something to fight for, something to be proud of. Think of how many touchpoints a small ware has before a guest uses it and think of how many times a guest receives a subpar small ware. It should be shocking to us, and the fact that it is not tells us that some people on the team are missing the main message.
Consistency is king!
Whatever you think of McDonalds, that double cheeseburger is the same in every city, on any given day, at any time. Ask any Chef, that is a hard feat to accomplish. You’d think a single unit concept would be easier to pull off right? Well, it’s not. Leaders must develop restaurant eyes to instill the attention to detail to their staff. From the moment you get to work, tune into every critical touch point the guest can encounter. Constantly self-assess the restaurant. Where are you weak? Where are you strong?
Gaining restaurant eyes starts from the moment you leave your transportation and arrive at work. We need to be looking at what it looks like when a guest arrives. Put yourself in their shoes. Do you have a neon light out? What about garbage piled up near your entrance? Having restaurant eyes goes way beyond a manager walk through. It is always seeing everything that happens everywhere. Where should you be when and who needs your help now?
Keep in mind that you won’t always be able to remember everything for later. Part of a manager’s uniform is a way to keep notes. I’m old school and don’t like cell phones on the floor. I know I am in the ridiculously small group that hates the look of a manager on their phone on the floor, but I worked for too many lazy managers who were not working but playing fantasy football, personal social media, and anything else to get their precious, addictive habit back in their hand. Try a mini notepad or shrinking down a floor chart to 25% so you have all the daily information at your fingertips. Of course, I need to use my phone back in the office for reminders like employee reviews and employee birthdays.
“Be the leader you wish you had.” – Simon Sinek
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