Do Your Servers Make Goals?

Do Your Servers Make Goals?

Some time ago a particular community called me in for a training workshop. I sat in the Administrator’s office with, I’ll call her Anna for anonymity, to learn the issues that were preventing a higher resident satisfaction rating. She was discouraged that her food servers weren’t performing better. When I asked whether she would be attending my training session, she gave me a funny look.

“If I’m sitting there, I’m not sure anyone will speak up and be honest,” she said. I smiled because I’ve found that this is the reaction from most people in management.

I gently replied. “The reason you need to be there is so that you can hear what’s going on when they do speak up.”

Anna attended each training session and saw that my training is not just my telling how to grow a community or fix a problem. We have hands-on practice, interaction, and discussion. A first step in creating trust and working relationships is to have all staff attend meetings to repair any broken lines of communication, remove barriers, share ideas, and plan goals for themselves.

It’s important for employees to learn how to think and solve the issues they encounter on the job, to settle disputes with grace and courtesy. Encouraging servers to take ownership, to share their thoughts, and to build relationships with management, as well as those working in the same dining room is a goal that will create growth.

Your food servers are the most visible and valuable employees in the community. They interact with your residents throughout the day. Taking the effort to teach your serving staff about hospitality, inviting them to become leaders by offering their opinions and solutions allows them to fulfill their positions as important assets to the company. This will improve the quality of life for your residents and that is the goal of every senior living  community.

Our B♥ Kind® Tip: Be visible in your dining room to grow your community’s team culture around meal service.

Remember the Painting Freedom From Want by Norman Rockwell?

Remember the Painting Freedom From Want by Norman Rockwell?

Norman Rockwell’s Freedom from Want must be one of his most revered paintings. It shows the grandparents placing the turkey on the Thanksgiving table with the family sitting happily around it. I think so highly of it that I have used it in my presentations. It is the very essence of my beliefs of bringing warmth to the table in every community. The feelings that lift off that picture can be in every community. The grandmother probably had years of learning about cooking, how to present the foods, set the table, hospitality, and relationships, both within the family and for newcomers to the family as it grew.

It is what a community ought to be, year-round, creating a family atmosphere in the dining room between the residents, the serving teams and the residents, and between the serving teams with each other. Like Grandma, the serving teams can expand their knowledge and learn how to be the best at hospitality. It’s the glue that brings all other efforts in the community together. You can learn how from Kind Dining® training in less time than it took Grandma!

This time of year opens new opportunities as the holidays burst onto the scene. Servers can make a difference when new people move into the community. The dining room is the perfect place to introduce them to the ‘regulars’. A good server will know exactly which resident will add a welcome feeling to a new resident and would be delighted to help. This is a result of bonding between serving staff and resident. The glow of this small interaction will overflow onto your server knowing she has performed a good deed. It is also a reflection of the decorations that adorn the tables encouraging that wonderful feeling of family between the blending of traditions that share a community.

Many families and visitors will be in the dining room as guests during this holiday season because 50 to 80 percent of seniors surveyed prefer to remain in the community, avoiding the hectic for the comfort.

Our B♥ Kind® Tip: You and your staff have an important role to play in helping residents overcome loneliness during this holiday season. Give them a sense of home.