One of the most important responsibilities that a food service management professional has to handle is the training and retention of hospital food service staff. Keeping employees accountable, invested and satisfied is of the utmost importance when it comes to the success of an operation, and every manager has his or her own methods of doing so. If you’re new to the management game or you could use a refresher on keeping your staff invested in your facility, here are some tips to keep in mind.
Give individual attention
FoodService Director magazine pointed out that giving each employee – especially new ones – individual attention during training is key. Unless you’re training a group of people on a new technology or process, you should give new hires their own training sessions. One successful method that some hospitals use is shadowing. Reliable senior employees should be paired with a newcomer for a week or so to teach him or her the ins and outs of your operation.
Recognize good work
When one of your staff members exceeds your expectations, it’s important to recognize his or her hard work. In a feature article for the website of the Association of Nutrition and Foodservice Professionals called “How to Retain Foodservice Staff,” Tammy McAllister, D.T., C.D.M., C.F.P.P., stressed the importance of commending your employees in the presence of others so that everyone is aware of the individual’s achievements, which can reinforce the recognition. You should also develop a system of recognition. This could involve adding every employee’s birthday to your calendar and recognizing each person on that date.
Help them develop and achieve goals
It’s crucial to sit down with each staff member on a regular basis to develop and discuss the goals that the individual has for his or her role in your company and career expectations as a whole. You should not only ask each person what he or she wants from the position, but suggest goals that you think the person is capable of meeting, recommended FoodService Director. A detailed plan for how to achieve each goal will help ensure that your employees succeed.
Make work rewarding
As McAllister noted, it’s not always possible to give your staff monetary awards whenever someone does something right. But instead of handing out cash incentives, there are ways you can reward employees and keep them working toward their goals. This could involve training someone for a higher position and allowing them to use those skills occasionally, giving good workers more flexibility with their schedules or coming up with customized projects that require their unique skills to challenge them.