8 Tips for Creating a Positive Work Environment

In any work environment, but especially in restaurants, it’s highly important for management to promote a positive work environment. When employees feel welcomed, respected, and encouraged, they can be more efficient and productive, which allows them to provide a better customer experience for patrons.

While this doesn’t necessarily mean managers can’t be stern or provide feedback when necessary, it does mean that the organization should have the infrastructure and support in place to allow employees to do their best on the job and feel comfortable enough to ask questions.

So let’s take a look at some of the top tips for restaurant managers to create a positive work environment–from new hire training to nurturing tenured employees. 

1. Have Open and Clear Communication

Being transparent with staff is an important factor in building a positive work environment. Beginning with new hire training, management needs to make expectations clear so employees can understand the purpose of their role and its importance within the organization. 

As we’ll discuss later, this lends itself to employees feeling comfortable enough to ask questions, keeping the dialogue open between management and staff. In this case, there’s no confusion about what’s expected of them, or where employees need more support to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. 

2. Provide Growth Opportunities

Another way to promote a positive work environment is to give employees room to grow and explore new avenues for their talents. The truth is, many servers in restaurants are not looking to make a career out of it, so provide them with opportunities to shadow in a management position, try their hand in the kitchen, or any other areas within the business where they show interest.

When management is open to helping employees grow and develop, the staff is happier and in a better position to help the business grow. Plus, it can boost staff retention rates if employees don’t need to look elsewhere for growth opportunities. 

3. Make Time for Employee Recognition

It goes without saying that we all enjoy some recognition and praise on the job every now and then. This is an important part of keeping employees happy and motivated, so it shouldn’t go overlooked as managers try to build a positive work environment.

Management’s recognition efforts don’t need to be over the top–they can be a simple shoutout during a meeting, an email to all staff members, or something along those lines. The crucial part here is that employees feel like their hard work doesn’t go unnoticed, and is appreciated by management. 

4. Encourage Friendly Competition

This may not seem like a good way to boost employee morale and make the workplace more positive, but a good dose of friendly competition can be beneficial for employees. This gives staff members a way to show off their strengths, bond with other employees, and bring some dynamism to the workplace. 

Some examples of friendly competition among restaurant employees could be to see which team can upsell the most appetizers, which team shows up consistently on time for their shifts, or something similar. 

5. Welcome Mistakes

In any business, new hires and tenured employees alike need to feel comfortable making mistakes. Of course, there are always limits to what’s a reasonable mistake that’s a learning lesson and one that’s done out of negligence. Even still, managers need to make it clear, especially during new hire training, that it’s okay and expected for mistakes to be made.

This is a crucial part of coming up the learning curve on a new job and is almost inevitable. With good training efforts and clear expectations, managers can help large and egregious mistakes from being made, but they should be aware that things happen. 

6. Allow for Creativity and Innovation

Many good ideas and innovations in business come from the employees doing the work day to day. They see the ins and outs of the business and its operations, and likely have ideas for areas that could be improved or become more efficient. Management shouldn’t be afraid to abandon the status quo for what could turn out to be a revolutionary idea.

So don’t turn away employee suggestions, and encourage staff to use their creativity to come up with solutions for enduring problems within the company. This will help employees feel valued for their opinions, and keep them happier and engaged in a positive work environment. 

7. Don’t Micromanage

Managers that micromanage can create a toxic work environment where employees are afraid to make mistakes, ask questions, or come up with solutions to problems. Plus, the pressure of being watched constantly while on the job may lead to staff members making more mistakes than they would otherwise.

Thus, giving employees the space to do their duties instills confidence from management, and makes employees feel more empowered on the job. If management has done new hire training properly and nurtured existing employees along the way, the staff should have the tools and resources they need to do their job without being monitored every second of their shifts.  

8. Train New Hires and Upskill Employees with an LMS

Set new hires off on the right foot with a robust new hire training process. Training new hires in the modern age doesn’t have to be complicated, time-consuming, or boring. With an employee training software like an LMS, you can quickly onboard new hires, help current employees sharpen their skills, and communicate with all staff members in real-time to inform them of procedural updates, new regulations, and more. 

For the best LMS available for restaurants today, look no further than Retention 360’s Retention360 HQ platform. With an easy-to-use and customizable dashboard, management can personalize courses to fit their exact needs. Plus, our tracking capabilities allow management to provide feedback in real-time and recognize where employees need extra support. For a well-trained staff that supports business growth, utilize an LMS to streamline your training processes. 

Visit Retention360 HQ and request a free demo today!

Bailey Schramm

Bailey Schramm