Do your food servers let ‘getting their work done’ interfere with being kind?

BullyIt isn’t only a resident that can be a bully! Sometimes a member of the food serving team is a bully and creates difficult problems to overcome. Other members of the team may not want to ‘tattle’ on the person thinking it may reflect badly on them. They may fear losing their own place on the team or face retaliation from the bully. The bully may not even realize they are being a bully. Kind Dining♥ training sessions can alleviate this problem without pointing a finger at one person but by bringing better ways of working into the virtual practice sessions. By introducing everyone on the team to food serving skills, no one will be singled out. It is essential that anyone who carries even just a glass of water to a resident is included as a server and need to attend all training sessions. It is an added way to create a team working toward the same goal and dissolving the problems from anyone who has acted like a bully, even once. Holding open discussions on a regular schedule with the entire serving team and encouraging new ideas from the very people who do the serving, instills leadership qualities and trust in their fellow coworkers including administration.

When one of your servers is a bully it affects more than the rest of the team.  Older adults are particularly aware of the atmosphere that exists around the people that are in contact with them when they serve meals three and four times a day. It is easy to spot when someone strays from team goals for whatever reason. Coworkers must leave the problems they have outside work, on the doorstep before they enter the community. There is never a time or situation for them to unload their own difficulties on a resident. This includes any young part-time servers who have a tendency to talk about themselves. It is paramount that they understand and follow that rule. Never. The focus of the food serving team must be person-directed care.

Kind Dining♥ training encourages building friendly relationships with others on the serving teams. Treating each other with respect, extending a helping hand if someone gets behind, or simply sharing uplifting news of the day helps to cement working relationships. It can lighten the load of a sometimes heavy day. It is also a factor in an employee’s looking forward to going to work. Working with nice, kind people makes for a wonderful day!

B♥ Kind ®Tip: Remember to build stronger mealtime relationships with coworkers, too.

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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