Teenagers looking for jobs during the summer and school vacation times often apply at retirement communities. One in particular was a boy working in the kitchen. When he started, he had no other thoughts than earning money toward future education. His entire attitude changed when residents became interested in him. They took the time to ask his opinions about events.
When asked about his work, he said, “It didn’t take long for me to realize that showing up for work, being there, and being kind made a big difference to them and it did to me, too. Many don’t have family and considered me as part of their family. My interaction with them was a way I could give back.”
Being noticed and respected changed his attitude and focus. He put extra effort into his work often doing more than his task demanded. At the end of the week he looked back to see if he could have done anything in a better way. His focus was no longer only on his paycheck but as a learning experience outside school. He knew these lessons would stay with him throughout life. He remained with the company returning each summer and holiday vacation periods.
He communicated with full time food servers, asking for ways to improve his responsibilities. They shared how residents became people with individual personalities rather than just faces sitting at a table waiting to eat. When the servers asked questions and came to know who they were serving, what their likes and dislikes about many subjects were, their work became meaningful. If they didn’t show up for work one day, they knew certain residents would be concerned or would simply miss them. They mattered. Kindness took precedence. It made a huge difference when employees found their work meaningful.
Kind Dining® training stresses that this concept needs to be nurtured and reminds us that it can be a learned skill. Communities that are committed to a strong workplace culture improve the balance sheet for its company. Food servers, including those in the kitchen who aren’t seen as often, with a sense of identity and purpose is a vital asset to the community.
Responsibility for leaders is to create a workplace culture that helps employees find meaning in what they do. This investment in community creates meaning and value for all stakeholders. Kind Dining® is an affordable training series and direct route to transform staff behavior during mealtimes. They will become your most valuable company asset and will show you how to surpass your competition.
Our B♥ Kind® Tip: A committed employee is an asset to the community.