As the leader of your business, you have to move the business forward, not stay stagnant or stand still.
Have you ever had that feeling in the pit of your stomach that something is absolutely wrong with one of your employees? Like they're doing more harm than good to your business even when, and especially when, you think they're one of your best. If you can relate, then your gut is trying to tell you something and it’s usually right. Unfortunately, most of us don’t trust our inner voice enough to listen.
What are some of the key indicators you should be looking for to tell you you're keeping a team member on longer than you should? Here are the key indicators that you have a bad team member or manager.
They're difficult to manage. If that employee or that manager is difficult to manage on any level and it feels like they're chewing up 80 percent of your mental power on running your business, that’s a sure sign of trouble. If it’s endlessly challenging to manage them or to get them to do the work you’ve asked them to do, you probably need to help them move on from your restaurant.
They have unlimited excuses. I teach my members you might as well have your managers or your employees tell you it was locusts. “I was late to work because a swarm of locusts choked up my car and it died.”
“Oh, I would have gotten those recipe costing cards but locusts grabbed my computer and flew away with it, so I couldn't do my work.”
“It was locusts’ fault that I didn't do my side work. They were swarming and all I could do was fall behind. I had to leave.”
It doesn't matter the excuse; it matters that they’re offering up excuses at all.
They don’t think the rules apply to them. These people often think the rules apply to everybody else and not them. These special team members and special managers get away with murder, creating a negative work environment.
They tend to cause drama. If you’re constantly searching for solutions to complaints about an employee and nobody wants to work with them because all they do is bitch and moan, you’ve got a drama problem.
If you wouldn’t hire them again if you knew what you know now. Ask yourself if you would hire this employee again knowing what you now know, not what you thought you saw in them, but what they’ve shown you. If the answer is no, it is clear they’re doing more harm than good.
This is a big challenge in times of a labor shortage. Restaurants are always struggling to fill the kitchen and letting someone go means someone must step in and fill those hours and it will probably be you. But I'm going to tell you right now I would rather run short-staffed than have the wrong people on my team.
As the leader of your business, you have to move the business forward, not stay stagnant or stand still. Keeping restaurant employees who do more harm than good prevents you from doing that job.
David Scott Peters is a restaurant expert who teaches restaurant operators how to cut costs and increase profits with his trademark Restaurant Prosperity Formula. He’s taught thousands of restaurants how to use operational systems and create a hospitality-based company culture to skyrocket their profits.