Team Building Ideas to Help Reduce Turnover Rates

Team Building Ideas to Help Reduce Turnover Rates

Has your restaurant fallen victim to a high turnover rate? Do you spend too much time hunting for new employees in hopes that they won’t soon stray like their predecessors? Recovering from mediocre employee retention can become a vicious, never-ending cycle causing unnecessary stress and energy on your part. Implementing a successful employee retention program may be the solution to your problems.

Why do employees quit?

Since the dawn of times, compensation has been considered the primary driving force behind employee retention, and without question, it still is. However, people don’t always leave their jobs because they’re unhappy with their pay. Upon accepting their position at your organization, each employee agreed to the wages offered.
[pullquote-right] High turnover rates signify a trend: employees are dissatisfied with their jobs at your organization.[/pullquote-right]
Of course, bigger and better opportunities do occasionally arise, and employees presented with those opportunities are liable to move on. Devoted employees leave their workplace because they feel undervalued or unsupported by peers and superiors. When employees feel mistreated, misunderstood, or unappreciated at work, they’ll move on.

How to Lower Turnover Rates

Open Communication

Offering an open line for communication between yourself and employees is the first step in improving work relationships. Ask your employees what they like about their job and what they would change. Ask your wait staff what their primary challenges are and discuss paths for improvement. If you employ a large staff and can’t physically speak to employee, send out an anonymous survey. This gives employees an outlet to provide honest feedback without facing repercussions. Regardless of how the feedback is collected, it is useless unless you listen to them and take action. Use their feedback to improve their work experience for the betterment of your company.

Proper Coaching

New employees can’t be expected to know everything about your restaurant on their first day. Sometimes, it’s easy for managers to forget this. Even if the new employee has prior restaurant experience, your restaurant is different than the last one they worked in. You must invest in your employees if you wish for them to invest in your company. Proper training and regular communication and feedback are crucial steps in cultivating long-time employees. As with any other kind of team, coaches must lead by example. You have the ability to set the tone of the work environment for employees.

Be present. Be aware. And most importantly, be encouraging.

Group Activities

No, nothing like those embarrassing group activities you had to partake in at summer camp growing up. Group activities, such as volunteer work in the local community, promote cooperation and communication amongst employees. Stay away from activities that promote intense competition or division between employees, as hostility may arise and carry over into the workplace. Here of some of the group activities that QSROnline has successfully implemented:

Biggest Loser Challenge
Over the course of the last 8 weeks, QSROnline has challenged employees to partake in a Biggest Loser Challenge to promote health and wellness. Participants are weighed each Friday by a non-participant who records the progress and relays it to the team via email. Actual weights are not published, but there is a weekly drawing for $25 available to those employees who have lost weight week to week. Next week, our friendly competition ends with one female winner and one male loser who will split the $650 pot.

Group Outings
Each quarter, the QSROnline President invites employees and their families to “QSROnline Family Night.” Activities vary but some of our recent outings include bowling, a local concert, and a minor league baseball game. Food, drinks, and tickets are provided to employees free of charge.

Free Friday Lunches
Each Friday afternoon, the QSROnline President provides the entire QSROnline Team with lunch. Typically, lunch is delivered to our office, and as we eat, we discuss important news and changes occurring in the office.

The QSROnline Team also has a monthly potluck. Employees are divided into two Teams, Odd and Even. The Odd Team is responsible for bringing items to the potluck for odd months, and the Even Team is responsible for bringing items to the potluck for even months. Depending on the month or season, our potlucks with have a them. This past July, we have a July 4th theme, and the items included hamburgers, hotdogs, chips and dip, popsicles, and red white and blue cookies.

Impressive Perks

Perks like parental leave, paid vacation and sick leave, and health care are some of the best privileges employees can receive from employers. Not all perks have to be monetary incentives though, especially if they can’t be included in your company budget. You can make employees feel appreciated by acknowledging milestones in their lives, such as birthdays, work anniversaries, and weddings. Make the milestones a celebration for the entire organization with a cake and refreshments. Supplying employees with in-house items such as sodas, a water dispenser, a coffee maker (and coffee), and snacks will help employees feel more at home will in the workplace. Other in-house items could include a TV or ping pong table in the breakroom. Free company branded items, like backpacks, phone case, t-shirts, and water bottles, can also be fun giveaways for your team.

We also suggest that you post your team building photos and other related information on your website and social media platforms to express the love, support, and concern your organization has for your employees.

Does your company offer any of these?

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Alexis Hesseltine

Alexis Hesseltine

Marketing & Media Relations Coordinator at
Alexis is the Marketing and Media Relations Coordinator at QSROnline. She’s responsible for content strategy, obtaining partnerships with industry leaders, and offering restaurateurs an excellent back-office system. Her passions are helping restaurants succeed and spending time with her French Bulldog, Winnie.
Alexis Hesseltine