It’s time for team building

As the pandemia is still ongoing and new general lockdowns are a recent scenario what could do a coffee shop owner?

This is the best time to work on your team. Working on building a strong, tight and motivated staff is hard. Nowadays it’s even harder. But the slow rhythm, the less stressful shifts and reduced working hours could be a great opportunity if taken into consideration.

This is the right time for action. The world “teambuilding” has often been used with poor implications by HR managers during recruitment sessions, just to highlight the possibilities to grow into a dynamic team. Well now it’s time to go for action as I just said.

There are just few aspects on which focus our energy and attention. Holding your staff united now is the best time and energy investment you can afford this year. 2021 is not going to be the re-start year as everyone of us hoped just a couple of weeks ago, this is gonna be the year of resilience, the year of hard and silent job behind the scenes of a coffee shop, a bar, a restaurant. Only who could work together now through crisis could face the re-start, even if it takes time.

A café owner must keep organizing staff meeting, motivating the baristas, bartenders, waitresses and everyone who works in his team. Let your guys know that you are with them, let them know how you feel, come closer to your team, it will pay with effort and loyalty.

First of all this is the best time and the best occasion given to you to build and make a strong trustful relationship. Trust is too often given for granted: “I give you a job = you trust me”, thus it is extended with a spirit of generosity. It’s more complex than this. Trust is like a plant, you should water it constantly to see it grows. So work on it with your fellas: extend trust as that staff could grow day by day and thrive. When people understand they are in a safe environment they pay back with hard work, generosity and trust.

Secondly, work hard on the core values of the project and people too. A staff that share the core values of their workplace is a happy staff, they work better. Assuming that everything is good since day one of opening is a blindness. Owners and managers do not pay that much attention to the staff until someone resigns or starts to work poorly. Pay attention to your people, listen to them. Have one to one meetings, ask them for reports, how doo they feel in that group, do they still love their duties/position or maybe they developed new abilities and could be switched to another job. They are human resources. Human. Resources. People working for you.  People need a recognition and affirmation in their work.

Sharing core values and the so loved phrase “marry the project” could also have a negative implication: staff is there to do a good job in a stress-free environment, providing the best service to customers. We should keep in mind that staff is not family. They are not friends. They are not there to be seen as younger brothers or our children. Don’t threat them with all the fuss about sharing the project and marrying the values. Reward your staff, treat them with respect and humility but remember to set boundaries. They are essential.

Be sure to create and stick to clear job descriptions since the begin. Don’t go for the trendy “everyone does everything”, this is the best way to get your professional barista disappointed. He/she will be the first to leave. Communicate clearly your expectations. Treat employees as professional.

Last, just a small reminder, everyone is essential. The barista is on the same level as a bartender. The morning waitress is the same as the evening one. Don’t make differences from one shift to another. As to do so be sure to take care of your staff’s need: equipment. Lacking the necessary equipment is seen as a lack of care for their professional figure. A professional barista should need milk jugs, sponges, microfiber clothes, a tamper and all the necessary equipment to work fluently, stress free and manage the working station at its best. So the bartender. So the waiting staff.
In order to build a strong, loyal and happy staff work on one aspect at time. Be clear with your staff, make them aware of your efforts. Work together.

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