Is there diversity in your food serving team?

Does a company that hires minimum wage earners to need to invest in the expense of training?


Investing in your assisted living and senior living community servers enhances the interaction between your serving teams and your residents. It is more than improving how a meal is served to an individual. When a server knows their work is conducted correctly, it increases pride in their performance and relationships with coworkers, residents, and management. A better work environment is created. Servers create an improved self-image that extends to a sense of belonging and caring. They are part of a winning team, and their coworkers can also show pride in their connections and working for the common good of others. Research reveals pride in one’s work is more valued than the wage earned.

Learning new and re-polishing skills is part of a good training methodology. The knack for communication with residents and coworkers is key, especially with those with limited English abilities, including the different levels of language used between part-time working teenagers, middle-aged servers, other ethnic heritage, and our older adult residents. Good training practices inspire learners to embrace new knowledge, and application of empathy towards others,  It is also important for all servers to use respect and incorporate that knowledge into their casual conversations with residents as they serve meals. Skill development and control over one’s work process stimulate creative thought and improvement in one’s work habits.  Satisfaction in one’s performance builds employee commitment. It keeps your servers in your community and not looking for an alternate community for employment.

Workforce challenges call on the servers to rise above the day’s problems and overcome insecurities. Recognizing and discussing the diversity in servers can conquer differences to build a stronger serving team.  Empathy works here in a variety of servers and in using empathy with elderly residents. Kind Dining♥ roots are based on teaching authentic hospitality with healthcare, accepting others with dignity and respect, and forming healthy relationships between servers with other employees and between servers and the residents.

Kind Dining is not a program, but a way of life.  It’s designed to appeal to the diversity of people serving meals. Concepts in our handbook are easy to understand with an abundance of interactive exercises, relatable pictures, pertinent questions, limited text, and the principles of removing barriers between cultures.  It fulfills the culture change, communication and teambuilding called for in your community today.

B♥ Kind Tip: Recognizing diversity in servers on your team can build a stronger one.

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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