The restaurant and hospitality industry has arguably one of the highest turnover rates of any other profession. I have personally witnessed the revolving door of employees over the years and come up with my own conclusions. In addition, I have had many conversations with people over the years and conducted my own surveys if you will.
The employee evaluation has always been a great tool for monitoring staff performance as well as highlighting strengths and weaknesses. A restaurant is truly the ultimate people business and as such, it comes with real life drama.
The best managers I’ve worked with have mastered the art of getting their points across to their staff without coming off as obnoxious. During a performance review when an employee is sitting across from their manager going over specific points, sometimes employees are shocked at what they hear.
Employee A is always on time and gets along with her fellow co workers but frequently is seen texting and accepting personal phone calls during her shift. In a situation like this the manager feels they were just documenting detrimental habits exhibited by the employee. The employee feels they are an excellent addition to staff and the documentation of such frivolous things as phone calls and texts could have been more easily resolved with a conversation. In this instance I would have to side with the employee as a productive manager would try to pull the employee aside and resolve the issue verbally before it escalated.
The point being made in the above paragraph is the manager handled a situation poorly and it is now documented in the employees file. I have seen this happen many times and in some cases the employee was so offended that they vacated their position at the restaurant. Now the restaurant is shorthanded which causes a myriad of other issues.
I could provide 20 other examples of employee evaluations and how they can be used to build someones confidence. However employee evaluations can sometimes crush an employees self esteem self esteem. The trick is to point out weaknesses while complimenting them on their strengths. The goal is to retain as many employees as possible and provide a positive working environment.
Throughout the course of employment, managers should ideally keep tight records of an employees performance leading up to the day of a review. During that time there should always be one-on-one meetings with employees informing them of ways they could improve their performance. The employee evaluation is not a forum for unloading all of the employees faults. Employees will respond more positively to manager who attempts to build morale rather than tear it down. If a manager is constantly letting a staff member know everything they are doing wrong, they should also be telling them what they are doing right. Most importantly, management should make suggestions and give instruction to the employee on how to achieve goals and the performance level desired.
Service staff are a critical bunch and can often be very judgmental of their superiors. True leaders are great listeners and sensitive to the needs of the restaurant as a whole. A happy staff equals happy guests and a happy manager.
In all, as long as it is done tactfully an employee evaluation can help staff morale without dampening their spirits. A happy staff leads to a happy (and full) restaurant.