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A cafe is a people business while many aspects are as mechanised as possible it’s still totally reliant on your team to operate the systems which is why it’s a good idea to make them a high priority.
Attracting and keeping great staff is going to be one of the biggest challenges you face in your business. It’s not just the case of advertising for a position and getting people coming in and knocking down your door (not usually anyway). Hire badly and it can have a negative impact on your business.
So what’s the trick for getting the best people in place?
Dee Ann Turner is vice president of corporate talent for Chick-fil-A. Creating effective teams has been a key part of their massive success as a chain. And Turner has now written a book called It’s My Pleasure, in it she explains the in’s and out’s of the company’s approach to its people.
It’s about reducing the hiring into three key criteria. (This also closely aligns with one of my mentors Michael Hyatt’s approach)
It comes down to three C’s: character, competence, and chemistry. If you get these right, you’ll significantly reduce your risk of a bad hire.
- Character. When it comes to picking team members, Turner advises on Identifying the character as “the most important thing.”Get this right, and you’ll have someone you can trust to get the job done and represent your cafe well in the process.
Get this wrong, and no amount of skill or talent will make up for the potential damage your bad hire might cause your business.
- Competence. Character is essential but not sufficient in and of it’s own. Your best hires will have a level of natural competency — not necessarily on how to perform the job, but their interpersonal ability and levels of empathy.
Get this right, and you’ll have someone who becomes integral to your team and business and makes you honoured to have them on board.
Get it wrong, and you’ll spend a lot of your time clearing messes, this may also including fixing relational problems with other team members and your customers.
- Chemistry. This one is a challenge. “Chemistry is always the most difficult to identify,” says Turner. If you’ve ever been in a situation with bad chemistry, you’ll know this critical. “When attempting to put together a strong team who compliments each other’s strengths, the ability to identify a persons chemistry is critical in the selection process,” says Turner.
Get this right, and you’ll enhance your team. You’ll create positive vibe that will energise your people and power your progress.
Get this wrong, and you’ll damage your team and compromise your results. A team is like an ecosystem; bad chemistry is like pollution.
Start by creating an interview process with questions geared towards finding out a potential employee’s three characteristics. Do they align with the type of person you want as part of your team? One more note, I do not recommend hiring in desperation it does not usually work out.
Here are a few additional things you can do to retain your team;
- Show you staff the numbers – Keep them in the loop of the business costs, it’s profitability (or loss) and show them what it takes to run a successful business.
- Provide regular weekly training – update and introduce new procedures, food and beverage training, act like a fine dining restaurant, I can guarantee you will have a far more engaged team who will be professional and attentive to your customers.
- Incentivise your team – Give them a reason to make the business as profitable as possible. Sharing the profits by setting specific measurable targets is a powerful way to develop a loyal team who want to stay with you. Just make sure the goals are challenging yet achievable.
Creating a positive hiring process is about attracting the right staff, people who make a positive impact on every aspect of the business. Once you do have them, it’s up to you to train and motivate your team so that they want to stay with you. Catering is a high turnover business but this is a way to reduce the revolving door. It costs a lot more than you may think to recruit and train staff.
Question – Have you ever had a hire go wrong? If so what did you do about it and how was it resolved?
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