Does the Service you Give Have the Power to Build Community?

A friend told me about Claire, a college student who was hired as a food server in a nearby assisted living community for the summer months. She said she had worked with serving food when she was hired but it wasn’t very long before her nervousness caused her to spill a bowl of soup in the dining room during a busy lunch time. Claire was horrified! She needed this job and was committed to the work. She confessed that her service was in an ice cream shop with no training such as was necessary in a community dining room. Her short time on the job showed her to be punctual, clean, neat, busy, and pleasant with the residents and other staff. Certainly she was worthy of some training time.

Mary, one of the other food servers told her to stay after her shift and she would give her some insights. Claire was grateful, became one of the best part-time workers returning each summer and worked all the holiday seasons between college terms. Her experience with Mary created a bond where she could be called to come in to cover for last minute situations. Claire was such a natural at her work that she switched her goal of teaching to a Nutritional Science degree with an aim of working in the field of Gerontology.

Since Mary received good training, she showed empathy and had the confidence to share her knowledge to help Claire out instead of feeling superior. She ultimately became a major influence in her life. They not only worked together but became life-long friends. Just as important, Claire became a team player that could be depended on and was well-liked by the senior residents for her youthful cheerfulness. Claire found a career path she loved and a staff member exhibited the result of good training and a positive attitude. Mary demonstrated the company’s values. Kind Dining® teaches how a company’s values communicate clear direction and shapes the behavior of their food servers and their staff.

Our B♥ Kind® Tip: Close gaps with your coworkers to create good working relationships and foster teamwork.   .

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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