Employees are your best assets. No matter how much you spend on technology, raw materials, and advertisements, and despite setting up shop in a busy corner of the city, and acquiring all the requisite licences, without talented workers all your efforts would come to naught.
Therefore, your organization should have a strong human resource department that can find the best applicants, and separate the grain from the chaff, so to speak. A stringent screening process would ensure that the quality and skill sets of the selected candidates would be commensurate with the high standards set by your organization.
Once a certain number of candidates are taken in, they must also be motivated to give their best on a consistent basis. However, there is bound to be a difference in the quality of the work turned in by different employees. It is the job of the management to identify and cultivate the best employees while providing a helping hand to others to improve their performance.
An organization, in order to be successful, also needs to find ways to retain its best employees. Your best employees expect to be treated well, and often put a lot of primacy on self-respect.
Therefore, if you shout at them, schedule them arbitrarily, regularly detain them in the workplace way past their shift end time, swamp them with work, fail to recognize and appreciate hard work, and don't pay them handsomely, there is every chance that you would not be able to hold on to your most efficient staff. Worse still, they may land at rival organizations and leak out your trade secrets.
Also, when you acquire infamy as a poor employer, not only would it lead to high employee turnover, but it would also jeopardize your chances of drawing the best talents, thereby setting a vicious cycle in motion.
Importance of Finding the Best Talent
Hiring the wrong people has a significant impact on the efficiency and productivity of the organization. It could well be that you could not identify the best candidates. It may also be that candidates who had performed satisfactorily in interviews and entrance tests have turned out to be lousy employees. In both these cases, the organization stands to lose.
Disengaged employees waste the organization's resources by not putting them to good use, and enfeeble the organization from the inside. The confidence of the whole team can suffer due to a disengaged employee. By badmouthing the organization, such an employee, particularly if he is also a team leader, may be able to sway his co-workers. Persistent bad-mouthing can brainwash even the most diligent workers. Disengagement is contagious, and once it takes hold, is difficult to eradicate.
It is imperative for a business to find the best candidates because a disengaged employee is a burden to the entire team. Since such an employee tends to regularly leave work pending and is prone to making mistakes, the other team members, who may already be overworked, have to do the mopping up. This may lead to bad blood within the team. A galling statistic, in this regard, is provided by Gallup. Since 2000, when it began tracking employee engagement, fewer than one-third of the employees in the US were found to be committed to their work.
Hiring is an expensive process. Job descriptions must be written, job openings must be advertised, application forms and resumes have to be read, and interviews have to be conducted.
Even after a candidate is selected, the company has to spend money on the new recruit on account of training and onboarding. Apart from that, the recruiters have to spend a great deal of effort and time too. However, poor hires won't be able to give you a satisfactory return on investment.
Furthermore, misfits force an organization to again go through the rigmarole of tracking applicants, shortlisting them, interviewing them, conducting entrance tests, and then onboarding and training them. This amounts to an immense wastage of time, effort, and money, and this way, a company looking to drive down labor costs would never be able to do so. Therefore, organizations should always be extra careful while recruiting candidates.
It is important to find the best candidates also to protect the brand image of your business which may take a beating when inefficient employees are in charge of customer service. Dissatisfied consumers may spread the word about the company's poor service, and in this age of social media, word would spread like wildfire. It would not only drive the existing customers away, but it would also pour cold water on the chances of drawing new customers. A negative customer review is probably the worst thing that could happen to a business, especially one engaged in the foodservice sector.
It's also possible that a disgruntled employee, after being sacked, uploads a negative review about his previous company on a recruitment site like Glassdoor. This would also damage the company's image and make it more difficult for the company to replace employees. So care should be taken at the outset to find the right candidates. The management should also find ways to dispel the worries and difficulties of the workers to prevent employee dissatisfaction and disengagement to take root.
Download your free Digital Marketing for Restaurant eBook!
Ready to skyrocket your restaurant sales?
How to Attract the Best Candidates
1. Create a talent pool and cultivate it- While it goes without saying that active job-seekers would be your main target group for filling in job vacancies, passive candidates must not be ignored.
Passive candidates are those who are gainfully employed at present and have no need to frantically search for a job. However, that doesn't mean that these candidates are unwilling to change their jobs if they get offers that they cannot refuse.
It is by cultivating this section that an organization can ensure a steady supply of quality talent, and save a great deal of effort and time when job positions have to be filled on an urgent basis. Therefore, it is always advisable to maintain a strong rapport with potential top performers so that they may consider your company as their first choice when they look for a job change.
2. Make use of social media to boost brand awareness- A strong social media presence, particularly on networking platforms like LinkedIn, can help you draw top talent by sharing compelling tales about your company's achievements, culture, and prospects. You can add to the narrative by sharing customer and employee experiences. Furthermore, video storytelling may strengthen the recruitment exercise by not only making job advertisements more appealing but also by enhancing search engine optimization.
3. Provide an employee referral scheme- This can turn your entire crew into recruiters. This would ensure a steady supply of talent, and eliminate the need for businesses to search desperately for individuals to fill job positions. Organizations that are desperate to fill job positions, often end up making bad hires.
Current team members, on the other hand, are completely familiar with the organization's unique requirements and are in the best position to refer the most suitable candidates. Employees who are perfectly committed to their organizations would go beyond the call of duty to find candidates who can add a lot of value to the functioning of the organization.
Employees would take referral programs seriously if they are linked with monetary incentives, shift preference offers, paid holidays, or other such incentives. Job referral schemes give the employees a sense of empowerment, and empowered employees are highly satisfied employees who are easier to retain.
Furthermore, it is also witnessed that the referred candidates are willing to play long innings in the company. Job referral programs are cost-effective for employers as well. A job referral scheme is, therefore, highly remunerative and a win-win for both the employees and employers.
4. Establish yourself as a preferred employer- Candidates tend to avoid organizations that have a bad name. As mentioned earlier, in this age of social media, company reviews -- good or bad -- are quick to spread.
Companies forcing employees to work long hours and not allowing them to give sufficient time to their families would not be preferred by the employees. People also hate to work under managers who are domineering, rude, and unsympathetic towards employee needs.
On the contrary, managers who praise and encourage employees spontaneously and publicly are loved by all, and often employees don't mind doing extra work for such a manager. Additionally, when good work is rewarded in the form of monetary incentives, promotions, or other perks, employee loyalty and morale get boosted, and employee performance gets better.
Free and candid communication between the employees and employers also adds to employee satisfaction. Adequate wages and benefits, job security, career growth prospects, a clear description of the company's aims, and proper training, are some of the other factors that pull employees to organizations.
5. Standardize interviews- An organization, during an interview, should look to test the candidate's personality and expertise, and also see how suited the candidate is to the job requirements. However, without a standardized interview, the organization would not be able to fully evaluate candidates.
Former Google Senior Vice President (People Operations) Laszlo Bock suggests that all organizations should concentrate on structured and job-specific interviews. He writes in an article for The Wired that applicants who face structured interviews have to answer a standardized set of questions with clearly defined yardsticks to measure the quality of their replies.
Situational and behavioral interviews are two types of structured interviews. Situational interviews seek to map the candidates' ability to deal with hypothetical events. On the other hand, behavioral interviews ask candidates to recollect how they handled events in the past and apply those experiences to the job to which they had applied.
How to Identify the Best Employees
1.All candidates that pass an interview and entrance test don't turn out to be good employees. Monitoring software like Zip Clock can be used, in this regard, to identify the best (and worst) employees. Employee performance can be measured also with the help of point of sale (POS) systems acting as time clocks.
Software lets business owners track and analyze employee performance throughout the day. This would reveal which employees are struggling and need assistance. Software solutions can also identify backlogs and boost team productivity. POS sales reports can also give an idea of employee efficiency.
Zip Clock, which can be accessed from the Hubworks app store for restaurants, lets you monitor all the time punches and revisions made by your employees.
Moreover, with Zip Clock's worker performance reporting tools, you can stop time theft. With one glance at your smartphone, you can tell if your employees are following labor guidelines or not. Employee performance reports also allow you to track the performance of the employees over specific periods of time.
Zip Clock lets you compare labor costs and actual hours with scheduled costs and hours. Software solutions can, therefore, help to identify the best employees who put in the most hours.
2. Conduct surprise checks from time to time to see how your employees perform. Setting a time of inspection beforehand would not give worthwhile information as it would alert the inefficient and disengaged employees, who may put up an artificial show of diligence at the time of inspection. Inspections also give the employees, especially the hardworking ones, the impression that the management cares for them and is serious about discerning between the top performers and laggards.
3. To track performance, sit with each team member and set personal, departmental, or team objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs). Goal-setting would not only identify the best employees based on whether or not they hit the goals, but it is also a simple method of motivating the team.
4. A technique to boost motivation and evaluate if the employees are truly committed is to allow them to monitor their own performances. An initiative to perform well can be built through the implementation of activity logs, checklists, and schedules. Self-monitoring boosts employee engagement and morale.
5. Business owners may gather information on the performance of specific employees from their colleagues and supervisors. This may not be in the form of a performance review, but rather a summary of how the employees in question handled a project or a task. This is done at an informal level to give more regular information on employee performance without having to wait for annual appraisals and performance reviews.
Importance of Retaining the Best Employees
The importance of retaining the best employees cannot be overemphasized as far as the foodservice industry is concerned. Employee turnover in the restaurant industry reached 75% in 2019, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as reported by TouchBistro, Software Advice, and others. According to a CNBC article, fast food outlets are the biggest sufferers of employee turnover, with more than 100% of the employees departing every year.
In this regard, turnover rate refers to how frequently workers leave a company. Fast food restaurants that see high employee turnover rates stand to lose a lot. This is because they rely heavily on their employees' ability to offer quick service and handle large orders. A fine-dining restaurant job, however, is thought to be much more secure. Research by staff scheduling solution provider 7Shifts points out that in 2019 as many as 47% of the restaurants were hit by employee turnover.
Employee turnover has a significant monetary impact. It adds to restaurant labor expenditures, which are already rather high at 30-35% of revenue and represent restaurants' biggest financial burden. According to research conducted by Cornell University's Center for Hospitality Research, the average cost to replace one worker in the hospitality business is $5,864. In the case of a full-service restaurant, this may mean an annual cost of up to $146,000. Companies cannot afford to keep hiring and training staff since it is too expensive an exercise.
High employee turnover reflects poorly on the organization and damages its brand. A revolving door of employees makes it difficult to maintain the flow of business.
Employees who have spent a significant length of time in the same organization understand each other and the organization's unique needs well. According to a 7Shifts survey, for 76% of the restaurant employees, their coworkers constitute one of the most satisfying parts of the job. This demonstrates the importance for a company to retain its workers and keep a team together. When coordination is high among team members, customer service would be of high quality.
When a restaurant's employees leave, it's common for it to be understaffed. With fewer employees available, the restaurant would find it difficult to manage the volume of traffic while also maintaining a high level of service. It would result in a small number of employees having to shoulder too much burden. When restaurant workers are overworked and tired, they are more likely to make mistakes. Chefs may undercook or burn dishes, and servers may miss orders.
You need to protect your best employees also because they may be poached by rival organizations and your trade secrets may no longer remain secret. Moreover, a business losing its best employees may see its product and service quality going down because there is no certainty that an equally good replacement can be found immediately.
Download your free Digital Marketing for Restaurant eBook!
Ready to skyrocket your restaurant sales?
Ways to Retain the Best Employees
1. Provide better wages- Up to 50% of the respondents of a Software Advice study opined that better hourly wages would help businesses in retaining employees. At the federal level, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets the hourly pay for tipped workers at $7.25.
At one end of the scale are states like Massachusetts and California, which pay their workers $14-15 per hour, whereas states such as Idaho, Texas, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, and some others pay only the minimum wage fixed by the FLSA.
It has been observed that paying workers a wage more than the minimum wage fixed federally can allow organizations to retain their hourly workers. This is supported by real-life examples. Fast-food colossus McDonald's could control employee turnover and boost consumer satisfaction by paying its employees just $1 more than the minimum wage.
2. Build employee-friendly schedules- A work schedule specifies the hours and days that the employees are expected to work, as well as their responsibilities. It allows them to better manage deadlines, and by allowing staff reallocation, a schedule makes sure that a business is never overstaffed or understaffed. This in turn ensures that the business can safeguard its revenues and also cut labor costs.
It is extremely crucial for the schedule to be worker-friendly while not compromising the interests of the company. Therefore, the schedule should allow the organization to effectively handle staff requests. With the help of smart technology, employees can self-manage their shifts. It minimizes the managers' workload. Zip Schedules (available on the Hubworks platform) allows employees to examine schedules as soon as they are prepared and published using any mobile device, and from any place.
3. Provide sufficient incentives and possibilities for career advancement- An organization that is generous with perks and incentives can retain its employees successfully. Paid time off, free meals, sick leave, childcare stipends, health insurance, and monetary bonuses are just some of the perks that can be provided. Indeed companies that let their employees better balance their professional and personal lives are more likely to retain their human resources.
4. Overhaul recruitment and onboarding- New recruitments must take into account the organization's vision and values, not merely the applicants' experience and expertise. For example, a restaurant may consider customer service to be of paramount importance, while another may place a premium on food safety. Still another may concentrate on producing unique menu items as a top priority. Interviewers must check whether a candidate's thinking aligns with that of the company. Workers whose values match those of the company would be more willing to stay.
5. Adopt user-friendly technology- Employees are always put off by clunky technology. According to a study by 7Shifts, 28% of the respondents said that poor technology at the workplace makes up one of the least appealing aspects of the job. Not every worker is tech-savvy, and an organization must keep in mind that if the technology it employs is difficult to use and obstructs business functioning, workers will quickly lose patience. On the contrary, a software solution that functions smoothly offers numerous benefits and ensures that employees have a positive experience.
6. Other ways to retain employees- These include methods like offering a job referral program, streamlining onboarding, recognizing exceptional work, strengthening office culture, and conducting exit interviews if an employee does indeed decide to leave.
Therefore, it is extremely important for businesses to find and retain their most efficient employees. Organizations that are meticulous about selecting the right candidates are more likely to save time on monitoring and supervision of employees and are able to prevent money from being wasted on avoidable training.
The US Department of Labor points out that the average cost of a bad hire might be up to 30% of the employee's first-year pay. According to Joergen Sundberg, the CEO of Link Humans, which is a data-driven employer brand insight provider, onboarding an employee can cost as much as $240,000. A Career Builder survey from 2013 mentions that 27% of the American companies that had to deal with poor hires reported that a single underperforming worker cost more than $50,000.
Once the right candidates are hired, it is imperative to ensure that they continue to deliver good results for the company. Periodic tests, in this regard, would keep the employees on their toes, and those who prove themselves on a consistent basis must be rewarded, and the company must pull out all the stops to retain such employees.
The American food industry, however, has been buffeted by employee exodus, New hiring, however, has not been able to keep up, resulting in a huge number of job positions remaining vacant. This can be seen from data provided by the BLS.
Total separations in the foodservices and accommodation sector climbed from 766,000 to 909,000 between February 2021 and January 2022.
However, new recruitment in this sector failed to make much headway over a year, and just 22,000 workers joined between February 2021 and January 2022. The job openings created during this period were 693,000.
The methods adopted by an organization to find and retain its best workers would decide whether it succeeds as a business or not.
The Best Employee Scheduling
It's only a click away. See how 100,000+ businesses are using Altametrics