5 Tips for Reducing Employee Burnout
Many restaurant employees are burnt out. In many cases, they've worked long hours because of staff shortages, overwhelmed by new COVID protocols, and being treated poorly by customers who may be frustrated with capacity limitations, mask requirements, slower-than-normal service, and the need to show proof of vaccination in some cities. While some impatient customers will never be at peace, here are some tips to help solve the other issues contributing to widespread industry burnout.
- Prioritize employees' health and well-being
Promote a safe, healthy culture. Don't expect employees to work when they're sick or utterly exhausted. Offer paid sick time, make it easy for employees to swap shifts, and don't “punish” staff for taking time off when necessary. Consider closing on specified days to give overworked employees a break. Also, simple gestures go a long way in making employees feel valued. Thank your staff often. Give them little tokens of your appreciation, such as small bonuses, and praise their efforts in meetings, on your website and via social media.
- Leverage user-friendly scheduling systems
Anything that makes employees' lives easier will help reduce burnout. Digital scheduling systems allow employees to view schedules on their phones instead of needing to come into work to see their upcoming shifts. Today's systems allow employees to easily swap shifts, and don't require managers to remember texts about PTO or shift swaps. These features also help managers track employees' hours, to ensure they're not being overutilized.
- Use digital tools to elevate tasks
Manually tracking inventory, completing safety checklists, running reports, and managing other tasks is extremely time-consuming and prone to errors. Make the processes more efficient and accurate with digital tools, which will save employees significant time and aggravation.
- Provide important information at employees' fingertips
Help employees stay current with ever-evolving COVID regulations and provide regular refreshers around important safety protocols. Prioritize ongoing training by sending ongoing reminders right to employees' smartphones. Short videos, links, and bite-sized chunks of information make it simple for employees to remember vital information without becoming overwhelmed.
- Recognize the signs of burnout
Common signs that your employees may be burnt out include exhaustion, frequent illnesses, irritability, and increased mistakes or accidents. Create an open-door policy where employees feel comfortable talking to managers about their struggles. Implement simple – but powerful – tactics like regular team check-ins, scheduled breaks, paid time-off, and mental health days to keep all employees at the top of their game.
Greg Staley is the CEO of SynergySuite, a back-of-house restaurant management platform. Greg focuses on facilitating better visibility and increased profitability for restaurant chains through the use of intelligent, integrated back-of-house technology. For more information or to discuss SynergySuite's solutions, please contact Greg at firstname.lastname@example.org.