Reviews and Evaluations
Reviews and evaluations are something that few managers seem to have time to do. Ideally, you know you should be conducting these employee benefits on a regular basis. Why don't you just make the time?
Many employees want to know if there will be periodic reviews and/or evaluations of their performances. Even if they don't ask about them in the interview process, you should mention them. Then you have to live up to your statement and conduct regular evaluations. What it does is convey the message that you run a professional organization and you expect them to have the same professional attitude about their careers.
I tell them in their training class that if they present themselves as professionals, their customers will see and treat them as professionals. You must start the professional image from the interview process forward. Holding regular evaluations shows that you are truly concerned about their performance. Even if they are not concerned, they are aware that you are and that you are monitoring their performance. I don't mean that you have to be "big brother," I simply mean that you have to let them know that you care about the image your staff portrays to your customers. They will either perform better because they are aware of your evaluations, or perform better because they know it is in their best interests or they will decide they don't want to be a professional and they will soon leave. You don't need those people anyway. They would have presented a bad image to your customers.
What to give as the prize for attaining these goals is up to you. You might consider giving a bottle of wine to the person that sells the most wine. Perhaps a gift certificate to a more upscale restaurant would be nice to give if you have the kind of staff that would appreciate it. Cash is an obvious easy prize, but that can get costly for your pocket!
One of my favorites is a week or two of a “free” schedule. The winner gets to choose his/her schedule for the designated period of time. Servers love to make their own schedules! What a great motivator!
Contests don’t just have to be for servers. Get your kitchen staff, hosts and bussers involved in some creative contests of their own! They are a part of the team and should have their own incentives for contributing to the team goals.
Employee incentives keep your staff interested and motivated. They will be successful because of it. After a while, they will just be successful because they want to be.