Restaurants can be like pressure cookers. In the back of the house, employees work in close quarters where speed and accuracy rule. In the front of the house, servers have to be on the top of their game to deliver exceptional service and sales worthy of big tips. Other team members work to serve both their guests and their co-workers at the same time. It’s easy to see how that pressure can build to a point where it could turn hostile. As a restaurant manager, it’s your job to manage the pressure and maintain a hostile-free work environment.
It Starts with Respect
The term “hostile-free work environment” is often associated with harassment and discrimination training. That’s a fundamental place to start. Every employee deserves to be treated with respect, and every employee has an obligation to treat others the same way. This applies to big issues, such as blatant discrimination and harassment, but it also applies to issues that might start out smaller. Typical banter on the kitchen line can morph into hostility quickly. An upset guest can cause hostility among front-of-house staff looking to share the blame. When everyone starts a shift with a calm baseline of respect, it makes difficult situations easier to navigate.
Back It Up with Training
Your employees probably weren’t hired with all the skills they need to do their jobs correctly. That’s why you trained them on your menu, policies, and procedures. The same is true for soft skills such as managing relationships with their co-workers. From a robust online employee training program to mentoring programs and on-the-job training, the more knowledge you share with your employees the more productive they’ll be. To determine your highest priority training needs, conduct a gap analysis to compare your team’s current competencies to your long-term business goals.
Get Everyone on the Same Team
In a restaurant, it’s easy for front-of-house and back-of-house teams to feel like they’re at odds with each other. In order to create and maintain a hostile-free work environment, you must show your entire staff that they’re truly on one big team. Work with your employees to establish valuable team goals based on delivering exceptional guest experiences at every point in the cycle of service.
Practice Two-Way Communication
For employees to be a part of a hostile-free work environment, they need to feel like they have a voice. Make sure your communication skills include both speaking and listening. Take the time during team meetings or even one-one-one to ask specific questions about the work environment. You can’t know everything that’s happening in your restaurant. You have to be willing ask the tough questions and listen to the answers.
Training for a Hostile-Free Work Environment
Online harassment training provides the baseline of knowledge managers and employees need to handle harassment in the workplace. Click here for information on our affordable online harassment and discrimination training program.