A Sense of Purpose in the Dining Room, Get Your Staff Fired Up!

Get Staff Fired Up (RESIDENT CENTERED) 092315

Last week I spoke about how I found my purpose and how Kind Dining® was born. What my clients love the most about Kind Dining® is that it gives managers the tools to show their staff how to find their sense of purpose while preparing, serving, entertaining, and cleaning up around mealtimes. So, why is instilling purpose important and how do you find it?

For starters, having a cause to get behind, gets people fired up and energized. It matters how we think, act and behave in the dining room. When staff see how easy it is to be successful, they put their full heart into their work!

Second, you’re cultural or educational background doesn’t matter.  Nor how old you are, or how long you have worked in the community or what position you hold.  With a few simple new skills, willingness to learn, and coaching, each person can succeed and even promote themselves, which creates a sense of pride.

Third, most jobs in the service sector of the healthcare marketplace, and in “dietary” specifically, are often considered dead end.  They can be perceived as menial and often unprofessional because some require only minimal education, compared to nursing or “upper” management. They were traditionally paid less and a person’s position on the traditional hierarchy of the old medical model mattered. Not anymore.

As a restaurant owner I always considered the dishwasher to be the most important position, because if there was a dirty utensil at the place setting, it creates a stomach turning first impression and dampens the excitement over the meal!

For all the amazing, often expensive, yet, worthwhile updates senior housing operators are making in hiring 5-star Chefs to produce 5-star meals, in grand style, ultimate success still boils down to the person to person connection at the table, and each employee committing to put the resident’s experience first.

It’s the littlest of details that make the best impression around the table.  When each member of your team understands why each mealtime is so valuable to your organizations’ success, and they have confidence as they serve, they will rally behind you with a sense of purpose that will astound you.

About Cindy Heilman

Cindy is the founder and owner of Kind Dining®, which she began in 2006. She’s traveled across the country and Canada working with and training senior living communities that want to create an exceptional dining experience for their residents and staff. In addition, she certifies select professionals in her Kind Dining® philosophy and provides tools, now in an eLearning format, that make learning stick and help people put insights into action. As a result of her work, clients often share their staff has a new sense of purpose, get along better and keep their focus and energy on what matters most. In fact, she wrote a book, Hospitality for Boomers on how to attract residents and keep good team members. In her free time, she enjoys walking Oregon trails and cheering on her favorite soccer teams, the Portland Thorns and Timbers.

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