Dec 17, 2018

4 ways to keep employees engaged during the holiday season

The holiday season presents numerous challenges for managing labor, one of which is scheduling. This is the time of year when employees tend to request off work, whether it be for travel or family obligations. And while 69 percent of employers claim to have a system in place for workers to trade shifts, 41 percent are still using paper-based systems, and another 32 percent use a phone directory to call each other. Others are using text and social media to adjust work schedules. The problem with all of these systems is that employers have no control over them, which can result in double bookings and no-shows. This can lead to operational inefficiencies if left unresolved. 

Another key challenge is attrition. The restaurant employee turnover rate is 73 percent, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. This means restaurants are having to hire new employees frequently, which can be problematic if training systems aren’t efficient or effective. The quicker an employer can train its employees, the quicker its employees will be able to contribute to the goals of the business. 

How to  boost employee engagement to deliver a higher-quality customer experience 

Among employees who consider themselves to be “highly engaged,” 79 percent have been shown to deliver above-average customer service. This is why it’s so essential that restaurants take the necessary steps to boost employee engagement, especially during the busy holiday season. Here is a list of best practices for restaurateurs:

  1. Empower your employees to provide real-time digital feedback. As a restauranteur, you need to be checking in with employees regularly to get a gauge of what’s happening on the ground. Through targeted surveys and polls, restaurants can provide managers with real-time, actionable insights to help drive a value-creating performance management culture. This employee-centric environment can lead to better employee engagement, which delivers better results.
  2. Reward employees for a job well done. Everyone appreciates being recognized for a job well done. But to improve engagement, you have to connect rewards to measurable outcomes. Integrated digital workplace platforms track metrics related to performance and customer satisfaction, allowing you to recognize the contributions of standout employees in real time.
  3. Enable employees to manage their own schedule. In the restaurant industry, it’s not uncommon for managers to have to update employee schedules on a daily basis. Between cancellations, open and traded shifts, among other changes, there are always minor modifications that need to be made to the weekly schedule. But, this process doesn’t need to be burdensome for managers. By empowering employees to manage their own schedules through a digital workplace platform, employers can promote collaboration across the entire restaurant, all while enabling managers to spend more time on the floor to drive sales and deliver a better guest experience.
  4. Provide ongoing training opportunitiesRestaurant employees value continual learning because it provides opportunities for personal and professional growth, yet many restaurants offer little to no structured training after the onboarding period. In addition to periodic in-person training sessions, consider offering a  digital resource library comprised of written materials and video. These materials will improve employees’ ability to serve your customers, all while preparing them for further career advancement.

Steve Kramer / Fast Casual News

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