This Simple Test Reveals Process Problems
by David Klemt
There’s an easy way to identify whether there are changes that need to be made to processes and practices that only requires observation and time.
Luckily, it doesn’t take much time, either. In less than a week, an operator can determine if there are issues relating to onboarding new hires.
This simple test was shared during the 2022 Restaurant Leadership Conference in Scottsdale.
Interviews are Just the Start
It should go without saying but here we go: The hiring process doesn’t end with the interview.
An operator or their leadership team found an amazing job candidate? Awesome! That’s no small feat these days.
However, that’s just the first step in hiring and building a rock star restaurant, bar or hotel team.
Step two is onboarding, step three is training, and step four is advancement.
For KRG Hospitality, onboarding goes far beyond filling out federal and state paperwork. There’s more to it than setting up direct deposit and getting a new hire on the schedule.
Rather, operators need to implement a fully developed onboarding process. The key word there is “process.”
True onboarding includes the review of an employee handbook and an introduction to the business. During this process new hires should become familiar with the brand’s history, vision, culture, mission, and core values.
By the end of this process, a new team member should understand what’s expected of them, both in their individual role and behaviorally. Additionally, they should be introduced to the entire team.
In reality, the onboarding process is the development of a professional relationship.
Technically, the actual test for operators is for them to have in-depth hiring, onboarding and training processes in place.
So, operators should take a moment to review whether they have those processes.
The only requirement is a few days’ time and an observant operator and/or leadership team.
Let’s say a candidate nails the interview. In particular, their personality is perfect for the available role. As the the hospitality industry maxim goes, hire for personality, train for skills.
The new hire works their first shift but their personality doesn’t shine through. However, that could be first-day jitters. Unfortunately, that personality the leadership team hired for is nowhere to be seen during their next few shifts.
According to Thompson, if a new hire’s personality doesn’t shine through within four shifts, there’s likely a process and practices issue. The lack of personality is an indicator that the new team member doesn’t feel confident in their role.
The onboarding process—either too shallow or nonexistent—is a likely culprit. Operators can use this test, a simple four-shift observation of a new hire, to determine if there’s a problem.
Once identified, the operator and their leaders can put their heads together, review the issue, and implement effective, positive change.