Category Archives: Dealing with Bosses

Employee Success: Why Everyone Wants to Work for Chick-Fil-A

Chick-Fil-A is one of the best fast food restaurants to work for according to their dedicated employees. How does a company create an environment that fosters team building and pride in what they produce? Let’s take a glimpse into the success behind Chick-Fil-A.

The Employees

Chick-Fil-A has a good policy to hire polite, intelligent and hard-working employees. When companies focus on recruiting quality talent, they tend to have employees that get along better and work well as a team. This can also foster long-term friendships, in addition to happier employees that enjoy their jobs. It’s about creating a sense of family on the job.

The Food

This one is more obvious. Why does someone want to work at Chick-Fil-A? Well, the food is a big reason! Not only do they give employees food discounts, but their food is really good! Delicious food, great friends – this combination begets a positive culture that attracts good people.

Customers

The company is big on delivering top-notch customer service and promotes kindness towards one another. Additionally, many Chick-Fil-A locations have regular customers, and when employees and customers enjoy the atmosphere, it creates a better, stress-free working environment.

Growth

The one thing about Chick-Fil-A is that they value their employees and want them to grow and succeed. That’s why the restaurant offers many opportunities for employees to test their leadership skills and earn valuable promotions. Whether an employee starts as shy and learns to find their voice as a team leader, or someone offers emotional support to help create a better team environment, the restaurant is all ears and eyes when it comes to fostering growth amongst its employees.

The Day-to-Day Work

While Chick-Fil-A is a very fast-paced environment, staying busy helps the time fly by. Additionally, the restaurant has different positions, which means that monotony and doing the same repetitive tasks day in and day out are eliminated, helping to keep employees interested and engaged in their work.

Sundays Off

Of course, having Sundays off also helps employees. It’s an excellent way to give everyone a break to focus on their homework, studying, church, families or just decompressing and enjoying a day away. And while many of us moan about not being able to get our Sunday Chick-Fil-A craving fix, the company respects their employees, which speaks volumes.

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2019 Workplace Trends

As 2019 gains full speed ahead, some new workplace trends will be popping up in companies across America. We want to highlight a couple of these important trends that will define the workplace over the coming several months.

Centralized Communication

Workplaces need a form of centralized communication to ensure that all employees are on the same page. While some companies have tried instant messaging to help curtail overflowing inboxes, reports show that employees feel pressure to respond to instant messages immediately. This also decreases overall productivity and may lead to employees having difficulty concentrating on tasks. While instant messages and other chat applications will not disappear, we anticipate they will take a backseat, and we will see a shift in overall communication within companies.

Work-Life Balance

With the advent of technology and digital tools, many employees can work remotely and set their schedules. However, the push for work-life balance will be a central theme for employees. Companies need to let their teams know that work-life balance is a priority to them to help boost employee morale. In fact, work-life balance comes in third when employees consider essential job security components, with salary and job security coming in first and second. Companies need to set clear expectations and boundaries, and not expect employees to be readily available for work around the clock to help accomplish this goal.

Fast Paced Environments

Just because employees want a better work-life balance does not mean that the pace at which companies expect their employees to work will slow down. In fact, with today’s collaborative work management platforms, templates, automation and other technology, employees can accomplish more in less time. This year will not be about robots and automation replacing employees, but about how these technological advancements can help improve workflow and increase business productivity.

Mentorships

While we focus so much on technology, the human element of business is not forgotten. Young millennials in the workforce define their success by rapidly growing their careers. However, employees that stay with companies long-term have mentors to help them successfully build their jobs. Businesses that pair up younger employees with experienced workers can help to implement a retention strategy that boosts morale and personal growth.

Gender Equality

A hot button topic last year, gender equality will continue to define workplace culture and personal interactions in 2019. One study conducted by Ernst and Young shows that increasing women in leadership positions by 30% helps to boost company profitability by as much as 15%. We anticipate that 2019 will make more headway implementing requirements and mandates to ensure that gender equality becomes an integral part of company culture.

 

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What to Know When Hiring Teens for Restaurant Jobs

The U.S. Department of Labor has a Wage and Hour Division that provides advice and guidance to employers so they can comply with child labor provisions. Many young adults and teens have part-time jobs, but it’s important that employers comply with federal regulations.

Many teens have part-time restaurant jobs. Here are some questions that restaurants need to consider when hiring young adults under the age of 18. If you answer yes to any of these questions, you may be out of compliance.

  1. Will they operate or clean power-driven meat processing machines and slicers?
  2. Will they clean or operate any power-driven equipment, such as bakery machines or dough mixers?
  3. Will they operate, load or unload any compactors or balers?
  4. Will they drive any type of motor vehicle on the job?

Here are some questions that employers need to consider that relate to hiring minors.

Do any workers 16 and younger do any of the following?

  1. Cook? If yes, 14 and 15-year-olds may not cook over an open flame, but only over an electric or gas grill. They may not use pressurized fryers.
  2. Bake? Minors 16 and younger may not perform any baking duties, including weighing, mixing or assembling ingredients or operating convection or pizza ovens.
  3. Handle hot grease or oil or clean cooking equipment? If yes, 14 and 15-year-olds may do these tasks, but they cannot repair power-driven equipment. They may only perform these cleaning tasks if the equipment or liquids are below 100°F.
  4. Load or unload items from a conveyor or truck? If yes, 14 and 15-year-olds may not load or unload items from trucks, tanks, railroad cars, conveyors, boats, planes or any other types of transportation. They may, however, load into motor vehicles items that are light, non-power-driven and are personal related items, such as jackets for job sites.
  5. Working inside a meat cooler or freezer? 14 and 15-years-olds may not work in meat coolers or freezers, but they may momentarily retrieve items from them.
  6. Operate power-driven equipment? Minors may not operate, adjust, setup, repair or clean any power-driven equipment, which may include bread slicers, bagel slicers, lawnmowers, golf carts, trimmers, weed-whackers, etc. They may operate vacuum cleaners, basic office machinery, and devices that relate to serving food, such as dishwashers, popcorn poppers, toasters, coffee grinders and milkshake blenders.
  7. Work on or from ladders? Minors may not perform any work that requires scaffolds, ladders or window washing that requires working from windowsills.
  8. Work during school hours? Minors cannot work during school hours, which are determined by public schools in the area. Even if the minor is homeschooled or attends private school, they cannot be employed during the times when public school is in session. Outside of school hours is acceptable and is defined as before or after those hours, summer vacations, holidays, Saturdays or Sundays. They however, cannot be employed before 7:00 AM on any day.

The U.S. Department has many more requirements that restaurants must comply with when hiring minors and children under the age of 18 to work part-time. An excellent reference, complete with specific tests and requirements is located at https://www.youthrules.gov/for-employers/compliance/restaurant/

 

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What Every Company Should Do to Prepare for the New Year

December is always a hectic month for companies, but it affords the opportunity to learn from past mistakes and focus on a bright, upcoming New Year.

Here are four ways you can whip your Human Resources department in shape and be prepared to tackle the New Year.

  1. Top Performers – Stay connected and make sure that the company’s top performers and best employees are happy. Connect with employees and see what is working for them, what’s not and what could improve to help make their work environment better. Additionally, see if more lifestyle benefits, such as flexible hours or additional vacation time would ease frustrations. Don’t focus on just gaining feedback during exit interviews, but incorporate regular interviews to guarantee employee satisfaction is high, which can help reduce turnover.
  2. Policy Changes – Many state and federal laws are passed at the end of each year and become effective on January 1. Stay up to date on any upcoming changes and make sure to get everything in place to implement them starting in the New Year to avoid penalties. Your state’s Department of Labor website should list any upcoming regulation changes that may affect your business.
  3. Communicate with Management – Schedule informal meetings with managers and executives to understand the company’s big picture, which will help facilitate making sure that all departments are going in the same direction and share the same long-term goals.
  4. Performance Management – Performance reviews need to be done, and all necessary documentation should be in order. Whether your company does reviews informally on paper or files them electronically, it’s important that managers have personnel files reviewed on an annual basis to make sure nothing is missing.

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How to Create a Dynamic Work Schedule

Movie theaters, restaurants and other hourly positions, need to have management create a dynamic work schedule so that companies run flawlessly and efficiently. Without having open communication, work schedules can easily fall apart, leaving companies scattered, unorganized and scrambling to fill shifts.

Here are some excellent tips for creating a work schedule for hourly shifts.

Advance Scheduling

Employees have schedules outside of work, and it’s hard for people to find out their work schedule just hours or a day or two in advance. That’s why it’s essential to schedule shifts in advance so employees can plan. Emergencies happen, such as illness and deaths, but having a schedule published in advance can help minimize shift cancellations and streamline communication among the team.

Know Your Team

If you have team members that prefer morning shifts and others that prefer late night shifts, try to accommodate team members’ preferences and strengths. Not everyone is suited for the busy morning shift, and the same can be true for the late night hustle and bustle.

Respect Requests

Whether someone has a doctor’s appointment, needs to be at the bus stop by a particular time or prefers not to work on Sundays for religious reasons, it’s important to attempt to accommodate these types of requests when scheduling shifts. Request that employees submit their vacation requests as far in advance as possible to help accommodate any necessary requests. There may be times when employers cannot honor these requests, such as during busy holiday seasons, but it’s important to attempt to try to work around employees’ schedules as much as possible.

Shift Swapping

Having a policy that permits shift swapping is a great way to make sure that shifts are covered in advance and at the last minute. Have a clear process about shift-swapping in place to help avoid confusion, so all shifts are covered in advance. If employers don’t spell out a policy, they likely won’t know when employees change their shift schedules, which can cause abundant confusion and strife.

Busy Times

Customer demands play a central role in how employers schedule employees. Maybe weekends are peak busy times, which means that business may need to schedule extra employees for those shift schedules. When businesses identify busy times, it’s important to relay this to the employees, so they know that all extra shifts during peak hours need coverage.

Ninja Gig offers an excellent solution for businesses looking to use online job applications to attract the best, brightest talent. Many movie theaters and restaurants can advertise online job applications on websites and via social media. Sign up now for your free trial and see how Ninja Gig can help you streamline your online employment application process.

Interview Questions for a Movie Theater Manager

Most movie theater employees are teens with first-time jobs, which means it’s essential to have a responsible movie theater manager that has the necessary skills to lead and teach employees.

Below are some questions to consider incorporating into regular rotation when interviewing for a movie theater manager.

  • Can you work with budgets?
    •  What do you find is the most challenging part of the budgeting process?
  • Can you give an example and explain a time when you coached or mentored someone on the job?
    • Did it help boost the person’s skills or job knowledge?
  • Share an experience when you dealt with a difficult person or personality type, and what you did to handle and address the situation.
  • Describe successfully organizing a group of people to accomplish a specific task or goal.
  • Give me some examples of how you organize, plan and prioritize work on a daily basis.
  • Describe an instance when you did something “outside the box” that benefited your employer.
  • Tell me when you monitored or reviewed information and found a problem or discrepancy. How did you respond and what did you do?
  • Give an example when your advice facilitated an improvement for your company.
  • When setting expectations and monitoring subordinates performance, what do you find most useful?
  • Share a time when you successfully coordinated with others on a project.
    • Describe a time when that effort was not successful.
  • In your experience, what is the best way to help monitor the work of others?
  • Describe a time when you had to take corrective action with a subordinate.
  • What do you think is key to developing a good, solid team?
  • What do you think is essential when communicating with the public?
  • Describe a time when you remained calm and dealt with a high-stress situation.
  • Share a time when you took on additional challenges or responsibilities without being asked or directed.
  • Describe a time when you worked in a workplace that was rapidly changing. How did you deal with the change?
  • Share a time when you oversaw or managed the work of someone else. How did you motivate, direct and develop their work?
  • Discuss a time when you identified a problem and came up with a solution. Discuss your decision-making process and how you arrived at a conclusion.

Ninja Gig offers easy to customize online job applications, which makes it simple for movie theaters to advertise jobs and ask specific preliminary questions during the online employment application process. Sign up now for your free trial and see how Ninja Gig can bring streamline your online job applications.

How Fast Food Restaurants Can Decrease Turnover Rates

You may think that fast food restaurants and high turnover rates are synonymous with one another, which is usually right. However, a few fast food restaurants are bucking this trend and changing their company cultures to ensure that they retain good talent longer.

Hire for Attitude, Train for Skill

Fast food restaurants can take a valuable tip from successful companies, such as Google, and hire employees with good attitudes. Employees that have good attitudes will help improve customers’ experiences, and they are more likely to be happy with themselves, which directly transfers over to work performance.

The primary demographic for fast-food restaurant employees are part-time people and teenagers. It’s easier to groom young employees that have an excellent attitude and train them with the skills they need to succeed in their jobs than it is to try to teach someone that is negative and doesn’t have the desire to succeed.

Opportunities for Improvement

It’s important that fast food restaurants train their employees, retrain them, provide them with certifications and then re-certification. For example, the most successful fast food restaurants that have low employee turnover invest in 100 to 120 hours of training and require certifications for each specific job before employees go on the line. Re-certification is essential – and easy to institute via random drawings and pop quizzes – because people get rusty and can get stuck in ruts. It’s best to keep people on their toes, so their knowledge is up-to-date.

Leaders are Teachers

It may seem silly, but there’s a lot of truth in having good leaders that are teachers. Some companies organize management to read a range of books each month. Management then meets to discuss these books, whether it’s classic literature or the latest business self-help guide. Leaders are teachers, and when a company recognizes them as coaches for the staff, they feel more motivated to do their jobs, and those under them feel and share that same enthusiasm.

Having a culture that treats management well will also help employees aspire to work their way up in a company and become management too.

Some companies wonder if it’s worth training fast food employees and investing valuable time, resources and money in them when most of them will not make a life-long career in the industry. However, consider this point. If you don’t invest in your employees, you will have a high turnover rate, which directly impacts customers’ and their experience with your restaurant.

 

Ninja Gig offers online job applications, which makes it easy for fast food restaurants to reach their target demographic – teens and young adults online and on social media channels. Most of today’s Millennials apply for jobs directly from their smartphones, which is why having customizable online employment applications is necessary for restaurants. Sign up now for a 30-day free trial of our software and make hiring painless!

How to Earn Employee’s Respect

Building respect is a two-way street – and one that both employees and employers need to reciprocate. Long ago, it was thought that respect was something subordinate employees were forced to give their supervisors. However, respect is a valuable – and necessary – way for employers to help build rapport in the workplace.

How can companies build employee respect? Ninja Gig will walk you through five essential tips.

  1. Authenticity – Practice being an authentic reflection of the company’s principles and values, while simultaneously having transparency and promoting justice.
  2. Ownership – Make employees understand that management values and deeply respects their thoughts and opinions. By doing this, employees tend to take a form of “ownership” and pride in the company.
  3. Potential – Develop employees’ potential and invest in helping them become better employees. By helping employees develop and achieve their performance goals, they will respect companies more and become more dedicated employees.
  4. Energy – Focus on creating an energized work culture that is positive, with energy that focuses on winning versus defending.
  5. Sacrifices – If sacrifices need to be made to contribute to the majority’s success, these options need to be weighed and tough decisions made.

Earning employee respect is the key to empowering employees. Employees that report feeling respected at work have higher satisfaction rates with their jobs, which equates to long-term retention and less turnover.

Ninja Gig offers the ease of online employment applications. Companies can easily comply with state and federal guidelines regarding maintaining job applications, while also being able to advertise on social media, the internet and other modern-day job sites to help attract the best, most qualified applicants for the job. Sign up now for a free 30-day trial and streamline your hiring processes!

How to Train Your Cleaning Service Employees – Part 2 of 2

Now that you’ve hired employees for your cleaning company, you need to spend the time to train them. When you properly train your employees, you automatically boost your employee retention rate because happy employees are likely to stay with companies longer.

  • Determine Learning Styles – Every person learns differently, which means that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to teaching. Some people are visual learners where as others are auditory learners and there is nothing wrong with either group. The best way to teach new employees is to utilize a variety of these methods, such as incorporating written and verbal instructions with demonstrations. See what works best and refine this method over time when teaching new employees.
  • Role Playing – To help train employees, utilize role-playing to practice and reinforce what is and is not acceptable on the job. Simulation is one of the most effective training techniques. This involves showing employees how to do a task and then allowing them to practice or repeat the task in a controlled, safe environment. If the job requires interpersonal skills, lead the employee through role-playing modules.
  • Be a Role Model – To be taken seriously, employers need to be good role models for their employees. Don’t take shortcuts or exhibit behaviors that you don’t want your employees to emulate. Role modeling is never a substitute for training, but merely reinforces the training you give your employees.
  • Training Opportunities – Always be on the lookout for new training opportunities to help boost your employees’ skills and performance levels.
  • Real-Life Scenarios – Whenever possible, use real-life training scenarios instead of hypothetical situations. However, it’s probably best to avoid letting your customers know if they are a training experience for your employees or organization.
  • Questions – Not all employees know how to ask questions, so make sure you anticipate in advance the types of questions that employees may have, not be comfortable asking and address them.
  • Feedback – Make sure that employees know you value their feedback. Let them know that you want to improve the training and techniques and that you open and appreciate the constructive information.

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Is legal weed making it difficult for restaurants to retain employees?

Colorado has a food crisis. It’s not a food or crop shortage, but an employment scarcity. Local restaurants are having a difficult time hiring and retaining restaurant staff, and the reason is clear: pot shops pay double the hourly wage to care for marijuana plants.

While the government doesn’t have hard data and facts to back up Colorado’s claims, many in the Centennial State strongly believe that the reason Denver’s restaurant owners and chefs are having a difficult time hiring is that legal weed is a culprit in their lack of rising restaurant talent.

Marijuana growers pay entry-level employees between $12 to $15 an hour to cut, trim and care for their plants. That compares to a mere average $12.83 an hour line and prep cooks receive, which is still above Colorado’s minimum wage. Kitchen work does have physical demands and often requires constant juggling acts and multi-tasking in windowless, 90-degree rooms.

Instead, pot growers allow their employees to sit indoors in air-conditioned spaces while listening to music. Additionally, employees that are speedy and trim the pot plants in a timely fashion can earn upwards of $20 per hour.

As the need for legal weed grows in Colorado, restaurateurs are feeling the biting heat in their kitchens – delaying openings because they can’t find enough people to man the kitchens.

The National Restaurant Association confirms that prep cooks, line cooks and dishwashers are among the most challenging restaurant positions to fill. At the same time, Colorado is one of the top growing states for restaurant and food service positions over the next 10 years.

Servers that work at higher-end restaurants can make well above minimum wage, but because line and prep cooks don’t usually share in these profits, it’s leaving them longing for higher salaries and cashier jobs.

In 2010 alone, Colorado restaurants reported more than $8 billion sales with that number climbing to  $12 billion in 2017. This gave Colorado’s restaurants one of the highest year-over-year increases in the entire U.S.

While Colorado is seeing a massive housing boom and thousands of people are rushing to the state, it doesn’t appear they are going to work in the kitchens. Denver’s turnover rates are above the national average, which hovers at 28.4% and Denver is at 33.8% for kitchen staff. Whether this is just because of inexperienced or new personnel not working out or more people are embarking on pot growing careers, is speculation.

One way that Colorado restaurants can attract and retain top kitchen talent is to pay more than minimum wage. Additionally, offering on-the-job training is a great way to support employees having a long-term restaurant career.

If your restaurant is looking to hire top kitchen talent, consider using Ninja Gig’s online job application. Online employment applications streamline efficiencies and allow interested personnel to apply via your website or social media pages. Additionally, once they submit the information you can easily retain resumes and stay in compliance with federal and state laws.  Ready to give it a try?  Sign up for our 30-day free trial today!