Features

10 ways to empower employees

Because an uninspired crew can lead to guest dissatisfaction, dwindling profits, and even a tarnished image

Photo by Ali Yahya /Unsplash

Do you ever wonder why top caliber individuals leave behind their companies despite lucrative offers to stay? Or why millennials don’t stay with a company for at least a year?

Employees want to feel that they are a critical part of a company’s growth story. They want to be empowered. They want to be heard and listened to. Employee retention is critical in the long run, and empowering these individuals is a crucial step in ensuring the future of an enterprise. Many times, even the best and the brightest employees need a tiny push from their employers to continue being inspired and passionate about their jobs. Here, find ten ways to empower and deepen relationships with your staff and employees.

1. GIVE CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE

There are some bosses who ask their staff to do due diligent work on a tight deadline. Despite the sleepless nights and countless work hours of the staff, all the glory still goes to bosses, who often fail to recognize their team’s valiant efforts. Don’t bask in glory alone. Publicly recognize the great work of your subordinates. For restaurants, recognize that the back of the kitchen also plays a crucial role in the success of the service in the dining area. Give credit even to the dishwashers and cleaning personnel. 

2. CONDUCT REGULAR PERFORMANCE APPRAISALS

Employees would like to get feedback from their bosses on how they’re faring at work. Good or bad, provide regular work evaluation to your employees to encourage them to improve on their weaknesses and build on their strengths. Conduct regular team and individual evaluations, which should always conclude with action points. Sharing feedback from customers is also a beneficial to their job. 

3. PROVIDE REGULAR TRAINING

While internal coaching gives employees the needed guidance, it is important that they feel the company is investing in their professional growth. Don’t look at sending your employees for outside training as cost. Consider trainings as an investment for your company’s future as well. Do not send only the top employees to trainings and seminars; rather, make sure to provide equal opportunities for growth for all employees. For the hospitality industry, a good practice is to send employees in trainings to other branches of the establishment to be able to improve on systems and procedures. 

4. GIVE THEM THE SPOTLIGHT

At times, bosses need to give their subordinates the opportunity to speak during meetings. Often, giving subordinates the responsibility to deliver presentations will allow them to feel that they are trusted by the company. Make sure that every employee is listened to. Another good practice is to have team meetings right before service where everyone can give inputs on what to improve on for the day. 

5. ALLOW THEM TO MANAGE

Mid-level employees, as part of career pathing should be allowed to manage and train those below them. Managers must recognize that career pathing sounds heaven to any employee. Allowing mid-level employees to have some level of managerial responsibility provides them that feeling. This also means allowing employees to train their fellow employees. While hiring training managers can be deemed beneficial, the best trainers remain to be those who have gone through the same role and responsibilities already.  

Give your staff exposure by bringing them to events outside of the office. It allows them to feel that they are trusted by the company to be its ambassadors. Send them out to networking opportunities, entrusting them with the name and brand of the company. Think of it this way: Who else knows a dish or food product more than those who get their hands dirty producing them?

6. GIVE THEM SOME LEVEL OF FREEWILL

Young employees typically lose their motivation if their bosses tell them point-for-point how to complete a task. Don’t be a micro-manager. Instead, bosses must allow their staff to work through a task by merely providing guidance and allowing them to sift through its completion through their own ways and means. Trust in the decision-making process of your employees, too.  

7. ENCOURAGE FEEDBACK ON MANAGEMENT

Giving and receiving feedback should be a two-way street. While some companies are scared of hearing out their points for improvement, it will be better if there are mechanisms where employees’ inputs and suggestions are heard on how the company could operate better. For example, listen to what restaurant servers would suggest in terms of FOH operations since they’re constantly exposed to that area. Restaurateurs, meanwhile, should make sure that communication lines with their chefs are always open—don’t push for an ingredient if the chef says it’s not in season or won’t look good on a plate. 

8. ASK STAFF TO JOIN CRITICAL MEETINGS

If permissible, ask your staff to join management meetings so that they get to know the decision-makers in the company and give them a feel of what it is to be on top. Allow them to discover how decisions are reached at that level. It won’t hurt to have low-ranking employees sit in at these meetings. It will even prove to be beneficial to the business—a waiter might know just how to increase the profitability of a dish that no one else has figured out.  

9. PROVIDE EXPOSURE TO OUTSIDE EVENTS

Give your staff exposure by bringing them to events outside of the office. It allows them to feel that they are trusted by the company to be its ambassadors. Send them out to networking opportunities, entrusting them with the name and brand of the company. While this may be seen by others as an employee’s personal gain, it actually reflects stronger on your company as it shows the trust given to employees. And think of it this way: Who else knows a dish or food product more than those who get their hands dirty producing them? 

10. MAKE EMPLOYEES PART OF THE COMPANY’S GROWTH STORY

Every employee would feel great if they are acknowledged as part of the company’s development. When reporting growth in company profits and revenues, acknowledge the effort of all staff as part of the overall company milestone. A good practice is to award employees who have succeeded to remain in the company for five, 10, or so years. It will inspire other employees to pursue the same goals.

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