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Creating a Culture to Reduce Employee Turnover
Every restaurant owner knows the difficulty of keeping good employees over the long term. Hiring a strong staff can be difficult and keeping good employees around can be short-lived. Sometimes employees leave your restaurant simply because they found a better-paying job, or a different industry they would rather be in. Other times, your employees leave because they don’t like the culture that has been created, intentionally or not.
The culture in a restaurant makes a big difference when it comes to employee satisfaction. Do your employees recommend their friends to new job postings in your restaurant? Do you regularly hire someone new only to have them quit a short while later? These are two easy-to-recognize situations that should be a red flag that your restaurant may need an upgrade in the culture department.
Having a high turnover rate among your employees is not only annoying, but it is also quite costly and time-consuming. The average cost of job marketing, conducting interviews, and then job training can be over $3,000 per new employee. If you need to hire 10 people in the next year, that could cost up to $30,000 in labor and job postings.
So, what’s the answer to reducing employee turnover? Create a better workplace culture where people actually want to work.
What does a healthy culture look like in a restaurant?
A healthy culture in a restaurant is one where employees actually enjoy coming to work. They feel valued and validated by management when performing their job at a high level. Feeling undervalued is one of the main reasons that good employees seek employment elsewhere.
Having fun at work and interacting with other staff members is also a big factor for employee satisfaction in a restaurant. This is important to address during the hiring process. Are you hiring likable people that will be a good fit for the restaurant? You want your staff to enjoy each other’s company. This leads to a great workplace culture where staff will go the extra mile to help each other out when things get hectic.
The 3rd piece of the culture equation is to lead by example. Companies who score highly on the “culture test” often have employees that deeply admire their leadership for not only their work ethic but also their willingness to listen and help find solutions.
Tips to reduce employee turnover in your restaurant
Competitive pay. Payroll for restaurants and pizzerias is one of the main expenses of running the business. It can be hard to justify higher wages for your staff. But when considering the extra expenses of continually hiring and training new staff, higher wages can actually equal out over time.
Giving out raises over time is a good way to show your employees you value their work and keep them happy and motivated. The increase doesn’t need to be much but it gives employees something to work towards. Schedule performance reviews with your staff to go over expectations and give raises accordingly. Again, these raises don’t need to be excessive to gain a lot of favor back from your staff.
Offer an employee of the month award. Show your staff you appreciate their hard work by offering an employee of the month award. There are numerous prizes you can offer to the employee as a bonus. Offering free oil changes, movie tickets, gift certificates for coffee, front row parking spot at the restaurant, etc. These are cheap incentives to show your appreciation for hard work.
Listen to your staff. Employees often have feedback that can greatly improve work moral and company culture. Employees are hugely appreciative of managers that actually listen to them and try to implement change based on their feedback. Try offering feedback forms on a quarterly basis that staff can submit anonymously and show you are listening.
Good scheduling. Are employees complaining about a lack of hours or too many hours? Shift scheduling is one of the main reasons that people quit and change jobs. Ask your staff how they are doing with the amount of shifts they are getting. You don’t need to make promises, but when people feel heard they feel valued. Need help with employee scheduling? Adora POS can help with that.
Be more selective with new hires. As the restaurant manager, you may need to do a better job of choosing who you hire in the first place. One bad apple on the staff can definitely stir up enough conflict to drive you crazy. Call their references and previous bosses and ask good questions before hiring.
Conduct exit interviews
No matter how hard you work to keep your employees around, there is always going to be turnover. Whenever possible, try to conduct exit interviews to learn why they are leaving, and what you could have done better as a boss. This can be valuable insight into what you can change going forward.
Thank your staff
Make sure you thank your staff on a regular basis and let them know you appreciate their good work. A thank-you goes a long way to making people feel seen and valued. Don’t take a simple “good work today” for granted. Let your staff know when they do a good job.
Out of everything listed above, this piece of advice is the cheapest and most effective thing you can do.
Good work culture is something built over time. Start making some changes today to start the process of creating a workspace that employees enjoy being a part of.