With risks of allergic reactions for patients, and a hungry staff in need of the energy to perform their duties effectively, your foodservice staff must be operating above and beyond at all times, in order to serve a hospital effectively. Fortunately, there are many ways to improve performance for you and your team so that you can continue to make a difference in your hospital.
Unveil the Big Picture
Expecting your team to work without explaining to them what your overall goals are, will only result in indifferent attitudes and careless mistakes. If you want your team to view their job as a worthy mission, and not just a paycheck you need to help them understand not only what their responsibilities are, but also how valuable they are and how important their contributions are to the team as a whole.
If you appear to be an unapproachable authority, your team will likely not trust you, or come to you when they often should. This is not only damaging to your team’s collective morale, but in a healthcare setting, it could also result in disastrous consequences for patients. Everyone makes mistakes, but learning is a natural part of the process. If things are particularly tense one morning, be a good leader and try to lighten the mood so that your team can mentally reset and be ready to handle the next task. Don’t ignore mistakes, but don’t dwell either.
Innovative thinking is a crucial component of success, no matter what industry you’re in. For foodservice staff, encouraging creativity could mean the difference between being able to implement progressive new cost-saving ideas, and falling behind the curve.
Hospital foodservice trends are always changing, therefore you should allow your team learn new things and adapt, as well. No one wants to do the same thing day in and day out, so make sure you encourage your team to continue growing, as well as honing their existing skills to help keep things in your foodservice department fresh.
If you’re in charge, most responsibility falls back on you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t utilize the different perspectives of each member on your team. Allowing your team to contribute to discussions, and offer creative solutions to everyday problems will not only help you ensure that your team is operating efficiently, it will also help your staff feel more engaged in what is going on – giving them a greater sense of purpose.
For every mistake your team member makes, you likely reprimand them to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Similarly, it is your job as a team leader to also acknowledge the positive contributions your staff makes, as well, so they know how to best approach future tasks. No one wants to work a job where they are never even told when they are doing something right. Be different. Tell your team how well they are doing and what their strengths are. This will allow them to be more confident in the workplace and accomplish more goals in less time.
Even if something seems like basic/common knowledge, explain it anyway and then explain it again. Clear communication amongst foodservice staff is essential for making sure every task is performed carefully, and in accordance with your expectations. If you know your staff very well, you should even be able to assign various responsibilities based on your team members’ individual strengths.
Be the Example
Above all else, the most important thing you can do to improve performance for you and your team, is to be the example. Act how you expect your team to act, respond and contribute the way you expect your staff to, and lead your team with the same attitude you hope to inspire in them. A team will not want to follow a presumably weak leader, which is why you need to exhibit strength and confidence in everything you do. If you are a good leader, your team will inevitably follow.
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