Agency staff could help maintain sanity

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A FEW years ago on Christmas morning, I was sitting at Sunshine Beach with my Jack Russell when I got a call from a customer: “Can you get here now, please Jim?”

Sensing the stress in this customer’s voice, I walked in to this venue 30 minutes later and heard: “Go in there and sort that kitchen out, please Jim.”

I thought, “Wow! It’s 11.30am on Christmas Day and the agency chef (me) is asked to raise the Titanic in oh, about 30 minutes.”

It’s fair to say that things were not in good shape when I walked in, but we got by. And from all accounts, the customers were happy.

For those of you in hospitality, you know the analogy: like a duck on water, things look elegant and peaceful on the surface but underneath there is vigorous movement to keep things afloat. This was more like a jet engine underneath a rubber duck.

Staffing issues are the biggest headaches for hospitality venues.

When places are understaffed, people are overworked, morale drops, staff leave, new staff need to be found and trained, and often the results aren’t the same as normal, which can be a bad thing.

So how do you keep staff happy? Money’s a good way. Regular staff get-togethers (not just on Good Fridays) build unity and you need to reward loyalty and the hard workers in your team. Staff need to know they are appreciated.

I find it amazing some people won’t use agency staff because they cost maybe $50-$100 a day more than what they pay their own staff. Have you noticed that bigger companies use agencies and their staff turnover is less frequent? See the connection? I’m yet to walk into a venue and see a staff member on the “Titanic of The Day” be unhappy to see me there.

Food for thought?

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