You have hired a few new employees; whether they were a waiter, bartender, front desk agent, cook, etc., so what is next? You put them through your usual training program and now they are "on the floor" working on their own. A few weeks go by and your new recruit has been doing a decent job and you know that their speed & efficiency will only get better. You think "great, that position is filled and I can now move on to the next challenge".
But how do you monitor this new employee over time? Frankly, how do you monitor ANY of your employees over time? What process do you use to evaluate your staff, and not just the newly hired ones?
There is no way to consistently have superior customer service without every employee performing to their fullest. But how do we know if any of our employees are truly performing at that level?
There are two basic ways to evaluate and monitor any staff within any department and it is a shame that most managers wait until something goes wrong to focus on either of them.
Process #1: 30-60 Day Evaluation Program
You should have a systematic program in place that allows you to gauge how well a new employee is doing at their job
Does the employee arrive to work on time?
Does the employee take pride in their appearance and follow all dress codes?
Does the employee ask questions designed to allow them to improve on their existing skills?
Does the employee show initiative and seem eager to learn?
Does the employee "fit in" with the existing staff?
Has the employee learned your departmental standards?
Does the employee keep an orderly work station, is he/she organized?
Process #2: Watch Your Staff
Regardless of our position, as a manager we still have plenty of our own paperwork to do. There are schedules to complete, budgets to follow & forecasts to adjust, payroll to process, etc. This list can go on forever. But when was the last time you went "on the floor" yourself and did nothing more than watch your staff performing their job? What could learn from this? Example:
When was the last time a reservation manager pretended to be a customer and called up to make a reservation for dinner or a hotel room? What could you learn about your reservation agent?
As a restaurant manager, have you ever taken a seat in the rear of the restaurant and watched the waiters, bartenders or bussers interact with their guests? Or stand in the lobby and see how the hostess greets the guests? Would you get a different perspective of your employees from this vantage point?
When was the last time a hotel housekeeping manager entered the public restrooms on a busy Saturday night at 8pm when there was a large wedding and 5 other dinners going on at the same time as well as a full house in the restaurant? Probably never but what would they see?
Does the chef check the walk-in boxes each day/week to see how the food is stored and labeled? Does he check on his kitchen during the early morning hours or nearer to closing time to see if the staff are functioning the same as they usually do during the lunch or dinner rush? Would he see the cooks behind the line on their cell phones or doing anything they would not usually do when the chef is there?
As a manager, we must provide the tools needed for any employee to be successful at their job. But initial training, uniforms and equipment is not enough. We must constantly monitor our staff to see where their shortcomings may be so that we can address them and guide the employee toward the desired outcome.
Remember: As a manager we are judged by the actions and performance of our employees. Make them the best they can be and we too will reap the rewards of satisfied customers.
About the Author
A 25+ year industry veteran, and known as “the ops guy” during his tenure at Hilton Hotels, Steve DiGioia has redefined the operational and service standards for multiple food and beverage departments for some of the best names in the industry.
His book “Earn More Tips On Your Very Next Shift…Even If You’re a Bad Waiter” is an easy to follow training method that can be used across all industries, resulting in better customer retention and repeat business for your company.