Does your administration support your food serving team?

Picture of co-workers with their arms around each others' shouldersAn acquaintance recently told me about her teacher friend who was about to quit her position as a third-grade teacher. She could endure the ogre of a principal in the small school no longer. The woman caused friction between the other teachers and completely upset the staff, causing havoc and creating dissension with every one of her new rules and decisions. The principal had been on the job for less than a year. Mostly everyone else had been with the school for more than ten years. 

She knew when she started that teaching at this particular school meant low pay. But, because she loved her students and the influence she had on them made up for the low pay.  Knowing she was worth more contented her. She also enjoyed working together with the teaching staff to bring new programs for these children of lower-income families. Then a wonderful thing happened just in time to save her. The principal handed in her resignation! It seems she had a family emergency that needed tending. All who worked at the school in any capacity rejoiced. “Kind of behind closed doors so no one outside the school would know,” she said.

The teacher continued to tell her friend how the administration returned to allowing the teachers to seek better ways of instilling the desire to learn in the children now that the disliked principal was gone. They encouraged the teachers to expand their concepts and plans. The teachers enjoyed a good relationship with each other and extended complete support.

Kind Dining® trains food servers in a retirement community to benefit from the same doctrine. When encouraged to become part of solving problems that arise and seeking new ways of improvement, food servers adopt ownership of the work they do. When the food serving team is aware of how important they are to the seniors they serve, their attitude changes the way they see their job. People don’t generally leave their job because of low pay, they leave because the administration doesn’t support them, encourage them or thank them for the good work they do. It’s a lack of appreciation that hurts the person who does the best they can. That’s when their job becomes meaningless. Why bother with a meaningless job when they can go somewhere else they are appreciated.

In a senior living community where personal care is applauded, that same personal care applies to the food serving team. To increase food serving staff stability, management must update their training practices.  

Our B♥ Kind® Tip: Thanks for the service you give. It honors the residents.

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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