Give your managers a competitive edge

The National Restaurant Association helps restaurants invest in employees.
Photograph: Shutterstock

Your managers have all felt the pain of a great employee giving notice. Too often the industry suffers because it fails to sell itself as the long-term career opportunity it could and should be.

The 2019 National Restaurant Association State of the Restaurant Industry Report confirms what most operators already know: It’s getting harder to attract and keep good employees. And with the industry predicted to need another 1.6 million employees over the next decade, it’s not going to get any easier.

The key to attracting workers in this industry is clear: They want in-depth training and the opportunity for professional development.

Sara Anderson, director, workforce development for the Association, cites research from Gallup Inc.’s How Millennials Want to Work and Live report, which found that 87% of millennials across all industries feel that training and development is crucial to job satisfaction. According to the 2018 LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report, 93% of employees say they would stay with a company longer if it invested in their careers.

ServSuccess—the Association’s online course set to train, test and certify your current employees as restaurantprofessionals, restaurant supervisors and restaurant managers—is simple to implement through online courses and provides a powerful way to invest in staff.

“ServSuccess focuses on developing experienced employees—those already working in your operations,” says Anderson. ServSuccess validates their professionalism. It’s the industry’s first formal certification program to train employees for specific restaurant career paths, and it builds a strong case to stay.

For smaller operations, ServSuccess provides vetted learning suites and courses so they can build a training-and-career development program without starting from scratch. “Smaller, independent operations often don’t have the brand recognition for effective recruiting or the resources to create robust training programs that big, multiunit operations might have,” adds the Association’s Daniel Ray, senior product manager, career development. “They need professional development offerings that will attract and keep those employees,” he adds.

For operations that have established training programs, ServSuccess programs can further develop employees’ training and advancement so that their careers continue to progress within the organization. And, for midsize to larger operations that have robust manager-in-training programs, ServSuccess certifications can validate the effectiveness of those programs through measurable metrics.

“Investing in employees through continuing education shows them it’s possible to have a true career within the operation,” Ray says. “When employees advance from within, businesses benefit. Not only do you save money on turnover, recruitment and retraining, you keep the people who already know the basics, know your operation’s policies and procedures, and know the culture. That’s a win for everyone.”

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