It Matters That Your Servers Care

One day an instructor called me, very excited, about a community where she had been conducting Kind Dining® training sessions.“The Licensed Nurse Aides (LNAs) have been serving meals in the dining room and came to me to ask permission to buy decorative baskets for the tables. Naturally I happily said, This is your dining room, please do it!

She sees that the concepts of Kind Dining® teaching servers to accept ownership is transforming behavior and positive thought about their service. Servers taking initiative to make the changes are an outward expression of pride in what they do. I know instinctively that these servers are looking forward to their workday. The residents will receive the extra benefit of being served by employees who care enough to buy pretty baskets to brighten their table and their mealtimes.

When employees enjoy and honor their work they tend to take fewer days off for a simple headache. Because they have invested their ideas in their workplace, they are less likely to quit, saving the company a loss of time and money on training someone new. Best of all, a happy worker influences her co-workers positively without even realizing it. Knowing the success of the community is based mostly on their contribution allows them to grow and blossom.

Teaching good manners and social skills used daily so it becomes second nature will enhance the servers who didn’t have those experiences in their own youth. It is important, basic practice in every dining room. Setting higher standards is a positive move forward. Embrace it! The service you give during mealtimes influences the reputation of the community. It is part of passing along a positive review of their home community so their friends will consider moving in, too.

Engaging a resident in pleasant conversation enhances their day and overflows onto other staff. It’s contagious! Sharing a story delights everyone who listens in and helps people to talk to each other even if they have never met before. Residents know when serving staff enjoy their work. It shows! Servers carry a powerful position. They matter because they care!

Our B♥ Kind® Tip:  Remember, servers are the face of the organization and have the power to make or break mealtime.

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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