Tag Archives: restaurant staff training

Hanging onto Talent ~ Part 5

Keep talking

Give constructive feedback -what have they done well and how it has contributed; where they have fallen short and how this can be improved.

Communication is a two-way process, not only do people need to know what’s going on, they want to be heard. Daily briefings need to include what’s happening that could affect the operation or the customer experience in any way (e.g. maintenance, staff shortages, unavailable products or services), as well as any feedback from staff on their observations or ideas. Let your team know how the business is performing, and what this means to them.

Having a happy and motivated team will not only help you retain your talent and reduce staff turnover, but will lead to better productivity and customer service, maintaining sales and controlling costs.

If you want to retain your best people you need to give them what they want.

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Hanging onto Talent ~ Part 4

What if you are the problem?

We may not want to admit it, but you or your management team may be the reason that people leave. Rather than hide your head in the sand, reflect on what you need to do to change. Find out what are the things that people find difficult or frustrating about working for you or with you, and then figure out a way to change your approach before others decide to jump ship.

How much direction do you provide? Do people know exactly what’s expected of them, and have the tools, time and resources to deliver? Lead by example so there are no mixed messages.

Ensure that you and your management team are approachable. Provide support when it’s needed, and be receptive to when this is required. Not everyone will be confident enough to ask for help. Consult staff and listen to their ideas; they may be able to offer better ways of doing things.

Take time to talk to staff to build relationships and show an interest in them as individuals. Listen to and act quickly on any concerns. Identify what’s important to them recognising that with the varied cultures and backgrounds of your staff that their values and priorities may sometimes be different to your own.

In the final part tomorrow will discuss the impact good communication with your team.

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Hanging onto Talent ~ Part 3

Insecurity

I’ve worked with a number of businesses recently who have had to make cuts and changes. This makes people uncomfortable, and so when another opportunity comes along, they jump at the chance if they feel it has better long term security.

Communicate any changes that are happening in the business before they happen, and how this might affect them.

Set standards so that people know what’s expected of them, and can measure their own performance, and not left in doubt about their contribution.  Be consistent, ensuring the same ‘rules’ apply to everyone. Focus on telling people what you want to achieve, i.e. the end result, rather than dictating how to do it.  This gives people flexibility to adopt their own style (you’ll be surprised how often they end up improving the process) rather than living in fear of not being able to comply with strict processes.  And make sure you provide the appropriate tools, resources and training to do the job effectively.

Training your staff in the mechanics of the business operation puts them in a better position to contribute to cost control and income generation. If people understand how the business makes its money they are then in a position to contribute to this and put forward their own ideas. A win-win for both.

Tomorrow we’ll look at whether you or your management team may be the reason that people leave your hotel.

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Hanging onto Talent ~ Part 2

Recognition and reward

When staff leave, if the reason they give is more money look to see how your rates compare with the competition (bearing in mind for some roles your competitor for staff may be in totally different industries). But also look at what benefits your staff are getting that they may not be getting elsewhere and ensure people are aware of everything that makes up their package.

What about the less tangible aspects of their package. Recognise and reward performance and achievements. Celebrate and share successes; identify and utilise people strengths, training, delegating and giving them control and ownership where appropriate. Be sure to recognise all departments, including back of house staff, e.g. housekeeping is often the most undervalued department, but is commonly the most profitable aspect of a hotel.

Encourage and reward loyalty by conducting regular pay/benefits reviews. Think about incentives that are within reach of any member of staff who performs well. This might mean focusing on a different theme each month so that everyone has an opportunity to be recognised for their particular skills or strengths.

Career and prospects

If they’re moving for career progression, is this something that you could have given them but just didn’t make them aware of the opportunities? What can you do in future to ensure that all your team get the recognition and development they need for their career progression?

Grow from within where possible, and give people the opportunity for career progression as well is enhancing the skills to do their existing job. Think also about life skills; for example offering English lessons. And make use of the training grants available through the tourist organisations, colleges, and government-funded schemes.

You won’t be able to accommodate everyone’s aspirations particularly if you’re a small hotel, but having some kind of succession plan in place does give people something to work towards. However, be careful you don’t make promises that you are unable to keep.

Make training a part of day-to-day management, so it’s not seen as something that is additional or optional. This goes for both staff and supervisors/managers. Identify those who have an interest in developing their CV and are willing to take on training responsibilities as part of their own development.

Tomorrow will look at the impact of changes in your hotel business and how to minimise the disruption this brings.

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Hanging onto Talent ~ Part 1

We already know that there is a lack of new talent entering the industry so it’s important that we hang on to our best people. The hospitality industry has always had one of the highest labour turnover rates in all sectors of the economy, so are we just deluding ourselves if we think we can beat that trend? Well maybe there are a few things we can all be doing to tip the balance in our favour.

Each day this week I’ll be posting steps you can take to hang on to your hotel’s talent.

Why do they quit?

Staff turnover can be infectious, the more people come and go, the easier it is for others to make the decision to leave. Unless we understand why staff leave it’s unlikely we’ll reverse the trend.

In an ideal world some kind of confidential exit interview should be conducted and wherever possible this is best done by someone other than a line manager. Let’s face it, if the reason is it’s poor management or leadership that has prompted the move, it’s unlikely that you’re going to learn the whole truth if the line manager is asking the question! The saying goes people don’t quit jobs they quit bosses. But even if your staff structure doesn’t allow for this it is important to find out as much as possible about people’s motives for leaving.

Tomorrow we look at how we can use recognition and reward, and career prospects to help retain our best people.

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How to get your staff Upselling ~ Part 4

Behaviours

Here’s part 4 of what to consider in getting your team to upsell effectively, and to include in your hotel or restaurant staff training.
Teach staff the mechanics of upselling
  • The need for open questions to identify what the customer wants
  • How to listen actively to customers’ requests or preferences
  • How to respond, and make suggestions, or offer alternatives that best meet the customers needs
  • How would they describe each of your products and services?  Rather than a script, allow them to develop their own dialogue, one that comes naturally to them, rather than something they have to remember and run the risk of forgetting.
Tomorrow we’ll look at what you need to do to enable your team to put all this into practice to upsell effectively.

How to get your staff Upselling ~ Part 3

 

Spot the opportunities

Here’s part 3 of what to consider in getting your team to upsell effectively, and to include in your hotel or restaurant staff training.
Let staff identify all the situations that lend themselves as an opportunity to upsell – not just in their own department – but across all areas.
  • Options on accommodation – room upgrades, special packages, champagne in rooms,
  • In the restaurant – bottled water, suggestions for starters, accompaniments, side orders, deserts, desert wine, specialist coffees, after dinner drinks
  • Bar – branded beers, snack items, pasties with their coffee

 

I’m sure you’ll have many more specifics for your own operation

It’s also about timing – for example selling desserts – ask too soon and people say they are still too full, and go straight on to coffee, ask too late and they have gone off the idea, and want to head off home.

Tomorrow we’ll look at the third of the three key things your staff need to upsell effectively.

 

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How to get your staff Upselling ~ Part 2

Product knowledge

Here’s part 2 of what to consider in getting your team to upsell effectively, and to include in your hotel or restaurant staff training.

In order to talk about, recommend or upsell staff need to fully understand each of the products and services available. Do they know:
  • What are the high profit items
  • What are the component parts of any packages
  • What’s not included, but may be relevant to offer to the customer
  • What are the ingredients in a dish
  • What does it taste like
  • What are the best accompaniments to a dish
Allow staff to experience all the products and services first hand – this will not only make them more memorable, there will be more willingness to promote if they are confident to talk about it, and it will certainly be easier to evoke emotional appeal through vivid descriptions of taste, smell, feel, if they’ve experienced them themselves.
Tomorrow we’ll look at the second of the three key things your staff need to upsell effectively.

How to get your staff Upselling ~Part 1

Upselling is something we are all exposed to from time to time.  And whether you sell meals, bedrooms or widgets, it’s technique that can not only help your bottom line, but done well can give your customers an all round better experience if done well.  Here are some of the things to consider in getting your team to upsell effectively, and to include in your hotel or restaurant staff training.

Upselling usually involves marketing more profitable services or products, but upselling can also be simply exposing the customer to other options he or she may not have considered previously. Upselling implies selling something that is more profitable or otherwise preferable for the seller instead of the original sale’.  But is it just about increasing the customer spend, or is it also about giving the customer a better all round experience, giving them something they might have forgotten to order, or never even thought of?

McDonalds of course are the masters of this – have you ever not been offered fries or a drink to go with your burger. And when was the last time you bought an electrical appliance and not been told the benefits of an extended warranty?

What to promote

So in order to do this effectively the first thing is to determine which are the products or services you wish to promote.  It obviously makes sense to be promoting high profit items, but there can be a danger in using this as the only criteria.  Unless what you are promoting is perceived as value to the customer, it’s unlikely the sale will be achieved, and does little to build your customer’s loyalty or trust.  It’s also important to distinguish between high selling price and profitability, and appropriateness to meet the customers’ needs.  For example upselling to a more expensive bottle of wine when it does not appeal to the customers tastes.

Tomorrow we’ll look at the first of the three key things your staff need to upsell effectively.

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