What keeps people coming back to work, week after week and year over year? For most employees, sticking around is worth it if they have the opportunity to grow.
To retain your talent and build stronger teams, consider how you’re helping your employees advance.
According to a recent survey of more than 1,400 shift workers, 91% of shift workers think developing a career path is important. Personal development strategies for hourly workers don't have to be overly complicated. Read on and discover six tips to help your staff learn and grow so you can enjoy the benefit of happy, fulfilled employees.
1. Create a path forward
From day one, show employees their career path. Refer them to a 30-60-90 day plan that tracks their learning on the job. By day 30 for example, they should be able to take orders on the floor and by day 90 they can work a weekend busy shift.
Provide your staff with requirements to advance to the next level and show them salary increases that come with each role. How much can they expect to make at the Associate Manager and Manager levels? Your employees will be more motivated if they have a benchmark to work towards. A clearly defined career path with SMART goals will keep you and your team accountable.
2. Invest in training
Your employees will learn on the job through experience. Shift work is dynamic and hands-on. In such a fast-paced industry, consider slowing down to ensure that your employees are acquiring the proper skills so they feel confident and prepared. Invest in training your employees throughout their careers, from the early days of onboarding through their yearly anniversaries so they can reach the next level.
What if your restaurant server has demonstrated top performance for the past two years, but hasn’t been vocal about trying new roles? Send your entire team through a leadership training workshop, and you might be surprised when they rise to the occasion. When everyone is always busy, your employees just need the proper space to try new things.
3. Host educational opportunities
Educational events are a win-win. They enable team bonding and everyone learns something new. Your employees will appreciate unique experiences that expose them to your industry.
At your bar, allow everyone to participate in the cocktail-making class, even if they aren't bartenders. Take your team on a trip to the local produce farm so they know how to talk about ingredients with customers. Send podcasts for an affordable (free!) way of sharing tips and secrets.
4. Let them lead the way
Your staff can see, hear, and experience just about everything that happens in your business. They have a special connection to the customer and an understanding of what works and what doesn’t. Allow your employees to suggest process improvements, and actually make those changes happen. Does the flow from the merchandise to the cash register make sense? Is there an item that should be featured more prominently in the window display?
Keep your employees engaged by encouraging them to act on their proactive instincts. They’ll naturally feel more inclined to voice their opinions and step into leadership roles when given the chance.
5. Diversify job functions
Go beyond the job description. Your barista, on paper, simply has to make drinks and work the cash register. But what if they expressed an interest in design or social media management? Does your cafe need new menus or someone to manage your Instagram account? Keep your barista engaged by letting them take these projects on if they wish.
By allowing your staff to express and explore their personal interests, you’ll have multi-faceted people with a vested interest in your business. They’ll feel more valued if they can go beyond their job description and contribute to the team’s success.
6. Foster flexibility
Your employees will feel more empowered to grow if they can control their schedules. If they’re attending school part-time, can they make sudden changes to their shift with ease? Does their schedule support their commitments outside of work? A flexible scheduling tool will allow you to plan ahead so that your team is always prepared.
With the right scheduling tool, your employees can juggle their commitments and become more successful in their roles.
Personal development is happiness at work
Most people want lasting and stable careers. Employees, when given the opportunity to leverage their talents and interests, are more satisfied with their work and colleagues. Take pride when you promote your people from within! Invest in helping your employees advance, and you’ll see the returns through better performance and loyalty.
Download How Consumers are Creating Seismic Shifts in the Shift Work Industry for insights into what consumers are saying about the future of shift work — and learn tips to help increase engagement with these important stakeholders in the new year.