Wouldn't it be helpful to have a list of techniques to keep your employees happy? Well, here are a few techniques you might find especially helpful.
The hall of fame
Showcase an employee of the month, and an employee of the year. Have monthly and annual award ceremonies. It's important to have both management and employees select your Hall of Famers. Remember..."Compensation is a right. Recognition is a gift."
Happy birthday cards
Here's a real easy one: Hand-written, personalized birthday cards signed by the owner and/or General Manager of your restaurant will generate tremendous good will.
The 30 second boost
You've seen this one before. Spend 30 seconds during each shift talking one-on-one with an employee about a hobby or interest—anything non-work related. The employee feels important and special, and employees who feel good about work, take better care of your guests. Read our full Trade Secret on the 30-Second Boost, or download a 30 Second Boost form to get you started.
On the anniversary date of an employee's hire sit down with them for lunch or dinner. Ask questions, listen to ideas, show appreciation, and let them know they're a valuable asset. (You'll benefit more from this time together than they will!) For additional details and a questionnaire, read One on one.
Employees who have the opportunity to enjoy items on your menu become excellent marketers for your food--a sincere, personal recommendation is the most effective upselling strategy. Make menu items complimentary or available at cost. Read more about it in "Let them eat cake." A "Voluntary Meal Deduction Agreement" can be found in the Human Resources Employee Recruitment & Hiring Protocols and Forms.
Crew feedback cards
The Crew Feedback Card is one of my favorite incentives. Asking for server feedback sends the message that their opinion and perspective is valuable. It also creates a team-oriented work environment and promotes professionalism. Check out "The 1% solution" for details and downloadable samples.
The weather changes, people don't
That's what my Dad always told me. Today's labor force wants the same things you wanted, and your parents wanted from work: A pleasant environment, fair compensation, appreciation for a job well done, and training to develop skills for advancement.
Keep focused on the basics that have always attracted good employees. And don't forget to ask them what they want. You might be surprised at what you hear. Good luck.