Why Staff Mental Health Matters
Mental Health and Morale
The restaurant industry is tough on workers. Especially during a global pandemic, ongoing health concerns coincide with the overwhelming grief and worry that’s surrounded us all. Mental health care for your overworked employees now matters more than ever. The labor shortage only exacerbated all these problems; as customers return to dining out, staff spread themselves thin to meet the rise in traffic without extra helping hands.
Focusing on mental health helps them avoid burnout so that they can continue giving their best each day. When you find ways to increase morale, it directly leads to more productivity. Customers notice the difference between weary and motivated waiters. An increased focus on mental health will resonate with the customers who prefer to frequent businesses that treat their staff well. Word-of-mouth recommendations will gain you customers, loyalty, and profit, too.
How Morale Influences Productivity
The restaurant industry has had an unprecedented year and a half. From mass closures to the chaos of last summer to reopenings now, your employees have stuck through it all. Given the labor shortage on top of this, they’re overworked and stressed out. If they feel as though you’re attentive to that and supporting them as much as possible, then they’re more likely to put their best foot forward in return.
As the face and heart of your restaurant, it’s important that the front and back of house are at the top of their game. Forming deeper bonds between coworkers helps motivate them; people try harder for those they care about. Demonstrating your commitment to making their jobs as stress-free as possible helps drive productivity for this very reason.
Tips for Supporting Mental Health
Be attentive to what your staff needs. For example, in a pandemic and labor shortage where many workers would prefer to stay on unemployment benefits, PTO and healthcare can coax employees to come and stay. At any point, they may need time to be with family or to get over an illness or the after-effects of the vaccine. Knowing they can safely do so without professional repercussions gives them the time and space to fully recharge, and then come back ready to work.
Open communication between the staff so they feel closer, and can bring up any potential issues as they arise before they snowball. A tight-knit staff works more cohesively to provide a better customer experience. Find creative ways to promote better interpersonal relationships.
For example, you might give them a paid day off to de-stress and recharge before the next busy shift. This can really help staff avoid burnout. Showing appreciation for their hard work is a long-term investment that will lead to an increase in productivity and, thus, profit. Consider organizing optional team-building exercises during these days off, so coworkers can meet in a more casual environment and get to know each other better. A solid support system inside the organization gives them people to rely on when the hard times come.
Better Restaurant Management
Help streamline your restaurant and make your workers’ jobs easier, to take some of the load off their backs. Modern Point of Sale systems, like the one powered by eatOS, can manage the workforce and customer relationships, run detailed sales reports to influence budgeting decisions, and so much more that make day-to-day operations a breeze.
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