Do you have good leaders hidden in your food serving team?

You will find true leadership that shows a deep caring for your residents in different areas of your workplace. Someone from management that stands at the entrance to the dining room on Friday nights to greet seniors, often by name, shows a person bonded to her community. It is an example of food servers note and tuck into their own thoughts about how they may add a little something more to their daily routine. It is mentoring by example. The gesture is appreciated by the residents and noticed by their guests. It matters and communicates that each resident entering the dining room is welcomed and acknowledged. Someone cares.

Management can develop leadership from within by selecting a food server who seems to have natural leadership ability. It is easy to spot them. They are the ones who accept work without being asked to, such as restocking the pantry before the next shift begins. You will find that food server pulling out a chair for a senior or introducing a new resident to a congenial table, aware that being new can be awkward on a first trip to the dining room.

Kind Dining® coaching recommends management attend training sessions to help repair broken lines of communication with the food serving team. While being part of the interactive, hands-on training sessions they may discover important items about food service they may not have known. It is time to improve relationships with food serving staff, to support them in accepting greater responsibility and allow the food serving team to learn how to excel in the field of hospitality. Leaders will emerge from Kind Dining® training to take ownership of their work with a sense of urgency.  Fear of culture change will dissolve as they move forward widening their field of responsibility. 

Good leaders embrace a shared vision of their food serving team arriving at success in their endeavor. Employees who know their job well, work easier, happier, and take pride in becoming loyal to their company. Loyal employees don’t leave thereby saving the company the high cost of searching and finding replacements. Developing the talents of your food servers will secure a competitive advantage from other senior living communities. Remember to hire food servers who can meet your service standards. Look for those who demonstrate a desire for excellence and have a natural reaction to correct problems with their own ability as they rise.

Our B Kind® Tip: The service of a food serving team is directly related to the success of your community.

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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