Five Tips for Disciplining Employees Effectively

.... and maintain order in your restaurant

Restaurants are often known as jovial places to work. After all, you’re usually working with your peers, you get to meet new people on a daily basis and you can share your passion for food. Restaurants often have a sense of camaraderie and staff usually blow off steam after their shifts by getting together for a night out.

Yet, despite all the fun and abundance of energy in the industry, no restaurant can function successfully without a sense of order and discipline. Restaurants need to run like well oiled machines and to do so, everyone needs to do their job and do their job correctly. This means that every staff member needs to know what is expected of them and they need to execute their responsibilities.

An important part of managing a team, is knowing how to keep your staff members motivated, however it’s also knowing how to teach your staff to execute their job properly. To do so, managers must be able to instill a sense of discipline when staff members continuously disrupt the order and break the rules. However, to execute discipline properly, they must know how to approach the situation effectively.  Here are five tips to disciplining your staff effectively:

Keep it Short

If you find a staff member breaking the rules or doing something incorrectly, you don’t have to go through a long diatribe about it. The most effective way to communicate to restaurant staff is to tell them what changes you expect directly, honestly, and with few words as possible. You don’t have to be cold when you say it, but you can simply be concise. This way you don’t have any misunderstandings surrounding the situation, and you can be sure that your staff members get the point. If said in the right way, your staff members will appreciate your honesty, which brings me to the next point.

Watch Your Tone

You can say the same thing, but based on the tone you use it can be interpreted in many different ways, simply said, your tone is very important. Your tone can be condescending, kind, stern, or critical. For every person and every situation a different tone can be effective, so when you speak to your staff, make sure that your tone of voice is both appropriate for the situation and effective for the person being addressed. Some people or some situations, call for a stern tone, while others require and calm and compassionate tone. Use your emotional intelligence and your intuition to decide what tone is right for the situation and be mindful of the tone you use. It can be the difference of getting your staff to respect and trust you to having your staff resent you.

Pick Your Time Wisely 

There is an effective time to address someone and there is a time where your words will go in one ear and out the other. When a staff member is running around, trying to put in an order, or at a table, it’s not the best time to confront them. If it’s a slight adjustment you need, feel free to address your staff immediately, however if there is something you want to bring to their attention, find a quiet, still moment to speak to them. If the issue isn’t very big, one effective way to get your message across without creating confrontation, is to address the entire staff at your next meeting. You don’t have to single anyone out, you can just say, ” this is just a reminder to make sure you are _______.”

Maintain Procedures

If you have a staff member which is consistently breaking the rules and creating chaos in your operations by coming in late or not fulfilling their responsibilities, you’ll want to go through a formal disciplinary process. Make sure to give them a dated written warning, clearly stating their transgression. The written warning should be signed by you and a witness. If the problem continues, write a second dated and signed written warning. The third warning warrants a termination. By keeping record of the situation, you will protect your business, but you will also assure that the employee understands their transgression clearly.

Review Consistently  

In order to make sure that your staff members know where they stand and how they can improve, execute staff reviews consistently. Reviews are a great time to address each staff members strengths and weaknesses an to hear from your staff members on how they think they can improve and what they need to succeed. This is a great time to learn more about your staff members, address any issues and get the feedback that you need to be a more effective manager.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

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