The key to employee retention is employee satisfaction, but in this economy, you may be finding that good wages and flexible scheduling are not enough to attract and retain a solid team. Of course, recruitment is and has been an industry-wide issue. It is costly and time-consuming. However, the foundation you lay for your new hires can make a world of difference. If you are experiencing high turnover, you might want to start with a closer look at your training program.
Without a doubt, you look for employees that already have experience in QSR. In an ideal world, all new hires would show up on day one ready to jump in with both feet. Unfortunately, this is rarely (if ever) the case. You and your company are unique. Even new hires with extensive QSR experience are going to need to learn the ins and out of your business, expectations, and style of service. Here are some training tips to help you hang on to your employees and avoid the costs of recruitment.
Host a helpful orientation
Whether you are working with someone that is new to QSR or someone with many years of experience in a similar outlet, a strong orientation program is vital to laying the groundwork for employee success and retention. Here are some ways to run a successful orientation:
- Develop and disperse a detailed, yet concise orientation and employee manual.
- Verbally highlight some of the elements of the manual that you feel exemplify the history, mission, and expectations of the company.
- Introduce your new hire to all supervisors and managers.
- Give your new hire a detailed property tour. It's difficult for someone to feel confident in his or her first days on the job when they spend half of their time finding their way around.
Implement a detailed training plan
If you take the time to develop a comprehensive training plan, new hires, trainers, and managers can more easily identify expectations and track progress. If all of your players are aware of the expected outcome of the designated training period, it will give you a greater chance of creating and retaining successful employees. If you are unsure about how to develop a concrete training plan, there are many available online, like these at restaurantowner.com (and don’t forget to check with your brand standards for training plans). Periodically, you'll want to revisit your training plan and make necessary adjustments to further bolster its effectiveness.
Always look for opportunities to train and improve
Once the technical training period has concluded, it should not be assumed that all of your employees are entirely prepared to handle all situations. You have been in the QSR industry long enough to know that circumstances arise, new issues present themselves, and not all customers are the same. Educational opportunities occur every day. Continually observing your staff and finding areas for growth will help you build a stronger team. Try some of the following with your crew:
- Cross-training your employees in areas of the business other than that which they were specifically hired.
- At regular intervals, perform scheduled employee reviews — offering positive feedback as well as suggestions for improvement.
- Consistently acknowledge employees who exhibit an above-and-beyond approach to their work. Offer rewards for the extra efforts and make sure that all employees know the path to recognition and reward.
- Engage your employees in team-building activities.
Training/recruitment is a hefty expense in the QSR market, but your ability to effectively train and retain reliable employees will save you money in the long run. A good training program will provide a consistent experience for your customers, and create teamwork-centered culture. If you invest the time in establishing at least some of these training practices, you will enjoy higher employee retention and less need for expensive recruitment.