You’ve made great hires and developed and implemented a training program, but just because the trainees are working shifts doesn’t mean that training is over. The last phase of a successful training program is measuring the performance of your employee(s). It’s also an integral building block of any prosperous business.

Using employee evaluations

Employee performance depends on a number of things, from punctuality to quality of work to how well they fit with the team. The best way to put all factors together is by using employee evaluations.

Plus, feedback is important, especially in the service and hospitality industry. It’s how we know we’ve done a good job and made someone happy. Employees ask for it from every patron that crosses our threshold, so it’s natural for them to expect it from their managers, too.

When conducting the evaluation, you’ll want the employee to understand that you’re there to help them.

Conducting employee evaluations and following up on them periodically throughout the year is the most effective way to monitor your employee’s progress and give feedback. Based on the size of your establishment, we recommend you conduct employee evaluations at least once or twice a year, if not more.

When conducting the evaluation, you’ll want the employee to understand that you’re there to help them, not to criticize them. Make this conversation as comfortable and collaborative as possible. This shouldn’t be a one-sided discussion where you point out their mistakes and then send them on their way. They, as well as you, have put a lot of time and effort into training and development.

A great way to frame the conversation is by goal setting. Both you and the employee can participate by identifying goals, which will help you and your employee better focus on development. This will also provide a benchmark to refer to during the next evaluation. Goal setting can be tricky, but by using S.M.A.R.T. Goals, you’ll ensure that they are appropriate and achievable.

If you’re providing daily feedback, an employee shouldn’t be surprised by anything when it’s time for their evaluation.

It may come as no surprise to you when we tell you that evaluations are also the best way to determine how to reward an employee. We’re talking raises here, in case you haven’t guessed yet.

Pro-Tip: For legal and logical reasons, you should always keep records of conversations you have with an employee regarding their performance.

Cracks in the system and how to fix them

The hospitality industry is unlike any other. Managers and owners work closely with their employees on a daily basis. Because of this, you’re able to provide your employees constant feedback and immediately correct any bad behaviors or procedures. The trainers that you’ve enlisted (see Training Hacks: Part Two) should also be following suit.

If there are cracks in your training system, you should be able to spot and address them right away and adjust accordingly. In fact, optimizing your training process based on outcomes is a great way to ensure that cracks are few and far between.

Also, if you’re providing daily feedback, an employee shouldn’t be surprised by anything when it’s time for their evaluation.

As always, taking the high road during an employee termination is the only way to go.

If you do have to let someone go…

Unfortunately, there are times when no matter how hard you try to help an employee excel, they just can’t seem to improve their job performance. Or they just don’t care to improve.

Once again, this is another area where the employee evaluation can and should be used.

If you’ve taken the time to work with an employee, to set goals with them, to monitor their progress, to provide constructive feedback, and to retrain them if necessary and things are still not improving… then it’s time to have the difficult conversation with them.

Here are some tips for the meeting:

  • As always, taking the high road during an employee termination is the only way to go. Never lose your temper (even though they may lose theirs).
  • Try to get to the reason for the meeting as quickly as possible. Don’t try to ease into it. It’s going to be uncomfortable no matter what.
  • Never resort to arguing. Simply state you’ve made the decision to end the working relationship and let them know HR will provide them with any written proof or documentation necessary.

A training program is meant to develop as the business develops.

Moving forward

Despite what many think, a training program is meant to develop as the business develops. It’s not supposed to stay static. You may change your menu by adding or subtracting new items. New procedures may arise. Or, you may change equipment in the front or back of the house.

All of these (and more) are reasons to make adjustments to your program.

Just remember to revisit training periodically. Pay attention to your business. Work alongside your employees on everyday tasks once in awhile. Participate in training as much as possible. This will help you understand where your business stands and what you need to do to tweak training to get the best from everyone.

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