Everyone knows that communication can make or break a relationship. In a restaurant, poor communication is a breeding ground for cultural roadblocks and can increase turnover – ain’t nobody got time for that! The good news is, by implementing restaurant scheduling and communication logbook solutions, you can turn your communication breakdowns into breakthroughs with just a few tweaks! Let’s investigate:
1. Build Communication Habits with Training
Knowledge is power. Don’t just assume your employees know how you want them to communicate. Teach them. Set clear expectations through restaurant training and give them tools to effectively communicate. Assess your onboarding materials. Make sure they are clear, consistent and regularly updated with accepted communication standards between managers and their team members. Is your training program engaging, or will it make employees fall asleep?
Solutions featuring a mobile app are ideal for these situations because they can provide robust communication capabilities with the tap of a screen. Your team can access messages, schedules and other pertinent information all in the same place; no jumping between browsers or logging in multiple times to do simple tasks!
2. Communicate Multiple Times, in Multiple Ways
Just because you say something once, doesn’t mean it was heard or absorbed. If you have a message you truly want your team to comprehend and put into action, you need to get it in front of them more times than you think.
In fact, some research has shown that it takes people up to seven repetitions to remember something! That means communicating information in multiple ways — verbally, through mobile messaging, alerts and broadcast bulletins for the entire organization.
3. Communicate by Group, Individually, or to Managers
Create an environment where messages are targeted, relevant and engaging, so employees don’t tune out (or turnover). Today’s restaurant technology makes it easy to send targeted messages to specific groups. Do you need to send a message specifically to your kitchen staff regarding a supply shortage? Or maybe there’s an issue that only managers need to know about for the time being. With the restaurant management platform, you can streamline your communication processes to make everyone more efficient and more effective.
In the event of emergencies, such as a bad storm or weather event, app-based communication tools can serve as a mode of contacting your entire staff with one message to make sure everyone is accounted for, or to get help for those who need it.
When topics are more personal – like a team member’s performance – managers should communicate it verbally and privately. It’s also best practice to document details of events, preferably in an online restaurant logbook that automatically dates and timestamps the message. This is helpful should you ever need to prove you took the right corrective action.
4. Communicate Before, During, After and Between Shifts
Pre-shift meetings are a must, but you can get messages out to your teams even before the pre-shift meetings begin. If you send your schedule out in advance, use an online scheduling tool that lets you add additional messages, such as broadcast messages that your entire team can see as soon as they log into the app.
During shifts, things can get pretty hectic and some things get lost in translation. It’s mission critical to have a quick and easy way to type or jot down notes. And the more readily accessible that option, the better. Between shifts, managers need to leave notes so the next manager can walk in and understand exactly what happened. And when the night is over, online logbooks allow managers to get home, document the shift notes and then hit the hay for the next day.
Scheduling software with messaging capabilities also gives you the opportunity to highlight the good work of your team members. Great brands recognize their team’s efforts; instantly announce employee or store of the quarter, highlight stellar guest reviews, and more.
5. Read Receipts and Accountability
Ever heard this: “But I didn’t know I was supposed to work today!” or “But I told so-and-so to take my shift!” That kind of unaccountable behavior just won’t cut it in this business. Think it’s unavoidable? It isn’t. This kind of stuff happens all the time, so it’s important to use tools that indicate when a message has been read or that require manager approval for any kind of shift swap. Put the onus on the tool and your team, so your managers won’t lose their minds!