Does Your Culinary Team Huddle? Why it Matters.

Culinary Team Huddles (RESIDENT CENTERED) 101315

As communities transform their dining environments, employee’s fear of change often rises up as an unspoken and unsettling barrier to success. I’m an advocate for after meal team huddles, and here’s why.

As a leader:

  1. You quickly create an opportunity to reconfirm staff for their effort and contribution after they have successfully accomplished an important job. Everything may not have gone perfectly, however, quick, open, praise and communication about what went right and how we can improve, helps people create stronger bonds and feelings of accomplishment and unity.
  2. You affirm the person, the team, and the work of serving a meal. Rarely is the dining environment honored adequately as the heart of the community with the power to draw residents together, strengthen interdepartmental teamwork and given due credit as a means that attracts new residents to move-in. Serving to exceed customer expectations and company standards at each meal is an art. There is a formula for making it work successfully and when people know they are contributing to something special, and willing to make a difference, it warms their spirit and strengthens their commitment.
  3. In a very short period of time, you’ve instilled new meaning and value to the myriad of work assignments it takes your entire culinary and service team to accomplish, as they prepare and serve each meal. When employees know they make a difference to your organization they believe in themselves and strive harder. It’s a natural turn-on to do a job right, even when no one is looking.

Look for every opportunity to increase employee job satisfaction as you journey through organizational change by recognizing that each mealtime has a start and a finish. Know that every little accomplishment ratchets up an employee’s sense of fulfillment and restores faith, not fear, in their personal contribution.

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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