Customer-first policy is a result of solid, forward-thinking leadership that filters down from a confident administrative staff. A manager who serves meals on a holiday shift so a food server can have the day with her family creates a loyal team member. That server carries that respect to the residents she serves. When information from a resident is carried on to a staff member that needs to know, this is a food server who actually listens when residents talk with her. That is blending hospitality with healthcare which is a major ingredient in daily living in a senior care community. Listening is another skill of the food server that isn’t always mentioned at the time of hiring but is an important skill. In training, a food server learns what her responsibilities are and good leadership encourages her to expand on those responsibilities.
When food serving staff become familiar with the residents they are serving, they also develop empathy, coming to understand the life of being an older adult. Aging can be difficult for many who are facing new trials in health on a daily basis. Enhanced relationships result from a customer service-oriented dining team creating a relaxed atmosphere in a COVID19 air of tension. A culture of service is food as medicine, mixing hospitality with healthcare.
Good leadership is not seen directly. It is seen when watching a food server make a necessary decision without seeking permission first. It is seen in discussions at company meetings where new ideas that come from those who have hands-on-the-work are listened to and acted on. It is seen when serving staff take ownership of their positions and develop pride in the work they do. Good leadership is applauding food servers when they reach for higher standards in their work.
Kind Dining♥ training series and workshops were developed from my formal education but also from first-hand knowledge of being on the job for many years and seeing what was needed most in senior care communities. Good training of food servers is an investment for a company that knows that its’ best assets and marketing tools are the positive one-on-one interactions between food serving employees with residents, and foodservice and nursing teams in their community.
B♥ Kind ®Tip: Take a leadership role by setting a good example today.