Because many retirement and assisted living communities are shy of the number of employees needed to keep their community running smoothly, many are resorting to hiring gig workers.
After your company has responded to excellent training for its food servers and ancillary employees it is imperative to be certain gig workers are involved in the training program. To hire these part-time or short-term workers without providing the same, educated training the rest of your staff participates in, would upset the care invested to make your community stand above the others.
Staff retention is part of the goal to turn your well-trained staff into permanent, committed employees who accept the responsibilities of their work, and build relationships with the rest of the food serving team and with the residents.
Of course, this can be attained with the new workers who choose to attend fewer hours than a full week for their reasons. They can still be added to your list of permanent employees.
We are stepping into an era where applicants coming into the retirement and assisted living Marketplace are members of the Generation Z group of independent thinkers. They are often only accepting fewer working hours than what has been the norm. This may help fill the empty gaps made in your staff by the pandemic.
Remember the importance of their training. Instill your core company values ensuring empathy, respect, and kindness with coworkers and residents. The old guard can be a great help in working with gig employees by offering to mentor them. The practice of what gig workers learn in the training session is part of this mentoring.
Integrating a hybrid workplace in your community may be the answer to the short-staffed problem. The idea of Gen Z is focusing on the balance and flexibility of work and other life. It has been suggested that for some, this will be their primary income. For others, it will be a second income position. Combine this generation with the ‘baby boomers beginning to settle into retirement or assisted living communities.
Is your community ready for these major changes?
Training is helpful to include education about person-directed regulations required by government policies. If gig staffing is the way for your company to correct or supplement your strained staffing issues, at least they can depend on the company to provide training for proper service to introduce and meet your person-centered goals and residents’ service expectations.
Kind Dining♥ is ready to assist you in this goal. Our training series is experiential, meaning that we engage trainees by using action, reflection, application, and performance. Servers build empathy to respect the aging process and connect with the residents on a one-on-one basis.
We teach personal and professional skills that improve the lives of your residents while improving the lives of those who serve them. These skills will benefit the performance of your gig employees as well as refresh your permanent employees who will be there to help them through the process of becoming an employee that makes the company proud.
Be♥ Kind Tip: A hybrid workplace may be the answer to the company’s short-staffed problem.
Your food serving team is the most powerful segment of the senior care community! Their work responsibility begins long before the salad is washed or onion is tossed into a pot. Your registered dietitian might be busy researching and choosing foods for individuals who need particular attention to what they can and cannot eat. They are designing meals for residents recovering from illness or physical disability for added nutrition selected for healing. Dietitians and other Nutrition Professionals are very passionate about food. They work closely with your Chef and Food and Dining Service Directors.
Menu planning to satisfy the many different palates and tastes and preferences of your residents; finding sources for fresh vegetables and fruits, the best meat suppliers, and other foods get the chef’s attention before even thinking about firing up the stove or filling a pot with water. Chefs are very passionate about food. They also work closely with the other chefs and cooks in the kitchen.
Food preps do the chopping, slicing, dicing, and preparing foods to ready them for the chefs. They need to be dexterous, energetic, and stress-free. They are very passionate about food and often are there to gain experience too, hopefully, become a chef one day.
Assistants and helpers fill in other necessary jobs in the kitchen. The best are reliable, efficient, and skilled at maintenance. They are also passionate about food. It is why they choose to work in the kitchen. By now you know this is a unique team of workers that ready the food for the servers to deliver to residents either in the café, dining room, or their private quarters at least three times a day. Since culture change requirements suggest keeping the kitchen open, the kitchen must be manned at all times.
All of these people are highly skilled. When the results of their efforts are favorable, word spreads and the community will attain a high occupancy. The quality of food and its presentation often is the only promising difference when a potential resident is searching for the right place to call home.
With a top team preparing meals and snacks for your residents, you want to have highly skilled food servers from all departments delivering these wonderful meals. Your food servers are the bridge not just from the kitchen, but from the community to the residents. It’s vital they use their developed skills to gain trust, open communication and build relationships.
Kind Dining♥ training sessions are now available online and on-demand using training modules that are divided into 3 sections. The Foundation of Service, (1-3), the Nuts & Bolts of Service, (4-6), and Polishing Service (7-9). The series takes approximately 8 hours to complete. The curriculum has recently been approved for 11 hours of credit (CEU), including 1 for Ethics, from the Commission on Dietetic Registration. Allow yourself or your wait staff to become passionate about serving food that was prepared in a kitchen full of people passionate about food.
Be♥ Kind Tip: Allow your wait staff to become passionate about their work.
“The late James Beard said, ‘Food is our common ground, our universal experience.’ He was not only a great chef but also an instructor, TV personality, and you’ll find at least 4 of his cookbooks on my kitchen bookshelf,” said a woman socially distanced by eating her salad at the far end of a picnic table during their lunch break from a culinary cooking class. “He would never know that the other universal experience the world shares is the coronavirus pandemic.” She mentioned the James Beard Foundation that continues to support the industry of food service, including the Foundation directing financial assistance with a Food and Beverage Relief Fund. “He also advocated mentorship and training. We must help each other in the food industry,” she continued.
If James Beard were alive today, he would probably be proud of how the foodservice teams and staff have pulled together in their work in senior living communities maintaining top-quality meals, considering individual dietary guidelines, and still offer selections for the general community. Foodservice teams and leaders had to create ways of serving meals to all their residents, and they had to do it quickly. Food servers were called on to work longer, intense hours to provide seniors with good food while also building relationships using conversation as bridges.
Kind Dining♥ developed virtual training instruction on-line workshops to help food servers work better by working wisely while still learning how to expand their own knowledge of their work field. In times of stress, an educated food serving team can save the day from what could be a disaster. Training sessions encourage and teach you how to create teamwork that motivates and uplifts. Food servers are employees skilled in many ways that are not often noticed. The part-time servers need to learn those skills that aren’t used in other parts of their daily routine. Good leaders realize their power comes from empowering others to make necessary decisions and trusting them to act on those decisions. Inspiring a shared vision of what can be, is valuable as is showing respect and giving credit to others in their success. Let your food serving team know that they are an asset to the company. Even in these most difficult times, your food serving team can obtain a competitive advantage. The training attracts and creates committed food-serving employees, which attracts new residents and reduces the expense of replacing unsatisfied employees.
B♥ Kind ®Tip: Food servers work better when they work wisely.