The pandemic has changed the way we work, play, shop, and even eat out. Most recently, however, it spurred the Great Resignation. Workers are resigning en-masse to find jobs that can better help them cope with today's post-pandemic world. The food industry has been one of the hardest hit, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting a quit rate of 6.9%. This is significantly higher than the average overall quit rate of 2.9%. In California, employee shortages meant businesses had to shut down and were unable to fulfill Thanksgiving orders. Experts say this will last through the holiday season putting an increased strain on employers and employees.
Nearly 84% of former employees resigned due to stressful workplaces and poor management, and it's time to formulate strategies to remedy this. The food industry is infamous for being a high stress environment, which is why managers must now have an increased focus on promoting camaraderie between workers and creating a better workplace.
The first thing you can do is detect inefficiencies in your organizational structure. As exemplified by the main reasons for resignation mentioned above, employees usually leave due to poor management. Your managers may have the tendency to neglect task delegation. Conversely, they may be a micromanager. Listening to employee feedback on this matter will be important for you to determine points of improvement in this area. This review will help you set clear boundaries between roles, so both management and employees can work to meet expectations without overstepping boundaries or falling short. Each member of your team will be able to work more productively, communicate better, and ultimately collaborate more effectively.
At the same time, don't limit interactions to the workplace. Encourage friendships to form outside of work hours. Doing so can supplement and even enhance the benefits of any team-building activities you organize. To accomplish this, don't penalize your workers for taking time out of the day to chat with each other, whether it be during operating hours or as they're closing up. Instead, consider assigning some team members to organize their own social events with a dedicated budget from management. Some in-season activities they can try include Wear-An-Ugly-Christmas-Sweater-To-Work Day, Kris Kringle, and even throwing their own Christmas or New Year's parties.
However, we've previously discussed that feedback loops are also crucial to boosting employee morale. By going a step further to recognize jobs well done, you’ll also help your team feel valued. Instead of focusing on individuals who exhibit stellar work ethic, though, consider recognizing good teamwork when you see it.
Such efforts don't necessarily need to be related to productivity, either. Award altruistic activities, like team members going out of their way to help each other despite their pending daily tasks. By doing so, your team is likely to feel less like the cogs of a machine that needs to constantly produce output. Instead, they'll feel more like people, working with others toward a common goal: making good food.
Hire A Development Manager
In order to properly implement the above, you should consider consulting a training and development manager or hiring one permanently. These experts are in high demand across all industries due to the way they can transform a business through implementing enhancement programs and better practices. When hiring, look out for professionals with a comprehensive background in management and leadership, such as an ACBSP-accredited degree program. These professionals will be well versed in the latest management strategies, and social development techniques that can be applied across a variety of industries, including food and beverage. By having a person dedicated to the job of boosting camaraderie and team work, not only will your food business be able to organize and implement more effective team bonding plans, but you will be able to focus more on the business side of the company.
In today’s work environment, employees expect their managers to create a positive workplace. By following the above tips you will be able to improve camaraderie in your food business. It’s an investment that will pay dividends to your overall business.
Written by Rosemary Jenna
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