In part three of the How to Create a Management Team series, I’ll give you some examples of arguments or obstacles you may face as you get to know your team.
In part two we talked about how to face the challenges of joining a new management team and what to do when the initial “honeymoon period” is over.
There are some common arguments that will arise as you conduct your manager meetings. More likely, and this is just the nature of the business, you’ll hear rumors and rumblings about problems but your team may not actually approach you with them.
Try to avoid this by creating an atmosphere where other’s ideas and opinions will be heard.
They differ on how the business should be run.
I hate to say it this way, but if you’re the leader in the restaurant there is really only one way the business should be run: your way. I know just a minute ago I said that you should try to value other’s ideas and opinions and I meant that, but during the onslaught of a dinner rush or a holiday weekend there should only be one person in charge.
You don’t have to be Gordon Ramsay and yell and scream and berate your team into doing things your way, but make it clear that no matter what’s going on, things should be done according to your plans, with your goals in mind.
Their goals should be handled during employee evaluations and monitored as you see fit.
Something I always told my team was this: I realize that my way may not always be the best way. But there’s a time to discuss better ways and options and it’s not during the busy times. During those times, stick to what’s been practiced and then we can reassess procedures later.
They differ on how a guest situation should have been handled.
This is a common argument that usually boils down to miscommunication.
A guest will make a request. A mistake is made and the guest is not satisfied. The guest calls later and complains. Maybe the guest was promised a complimentary room. Maybe a bottle of wine.
But somehow the situation is handled incorrectly, further complicating things until the guest gives up and asks for a refund while you and your team are left with a lump in your throat knowing that things could have been handled better.
What happens next is a heated discussion on how the guest should have been handled or there’s bickering over who didn’t tell who what.
The only way to prevent mistakes like this is to make sure that there is a clear way in which managers or employees are supposed to communicate and handle complaints.
In the past, there was the infamous “Red Book” that we were all supposed to use to communicate in-between shifts. Nowadays there are programs and apps which make this simpler and in real time so your whole team knows about a problem the minute it happens.
Take advantage of those but just make sure you have some system in place.
They differ on how an employee situation should be handled.
There are two components to this situation.
In one, the employee is shown favoritism. In the other, the employee makes a mistake that is unforgivable but is such a good staff member that it would hurt to lose them.
In either situation the decision on how to discipline the employee will come down to you. All you have to do is be fair and remember that once you make a decision on what the punishment will be, it must be the same for everyone afterward.
The worst thing you can do is to also show favoritism. Employees begin to form cliques and when they feel they must band together to get what they feel they deserve there becomes an “us” against “them” atmosphere. Think back of house vs. front of house or night shift vs. day shift.
As you can see, creating a successful management team requires a strong leader. Once again, make sure you’re up to the task and that you have goals in place and a plan to get there.
Please feel free to refer back to this series from time to time if you need advice. And remember, I’m always available to help if you need it.
If you’d like to share this series with your team or friends, please feel free to do so.
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