Team Building for Ever-Changing Teams

October 10, 2018 | 2010 Views

Team Building for Ever-Changing Teams

Patrick Yearout, FMP, CHT

Director of Innovation, Recruiting, and Training | Ivar's & Kidd Valley Restaurants

Most people who have worked in the hospitality industry know the importance of strong teamwork in their operations. When a team doesn’t work well together during a shift, it seems like everything starts to increase: lines, wait times, stress levels, and tempers. If allowed to continue from day to day, a hotel or restaurant with poor teamwork can soon expect everything to start to decrease: guest satisfaction, return visits, employee tenure, and profits.

Fostering teamwork, however, isn’t always easy in our workplaces. Unlike an office setting where workers can take the afternoon off and participate in a company picnic, scavenger hunt, or escape room to boost morale and togetherness, 7-day-a-week hospitality companies can’t generally close and take everyone to an off-site event. And even if you could get some temporary help and get 100% of the staff away on a slow Monday evening in February, for example, what percentage of those folks would still be working on a busy Friday later that year in August? 50% of them? 25%? Between hiring new people for the tourist season and turnover after 6 months, as well as the varying schedules that our employees often work, the benefits of any one-time activity will probably dissipate very quickly.  

Team building when you have ever-changing teams can be difficult, but it’s not impossible as long as you think less about event-based results and focus more on creating a culture of teamwork every day. Some steps that could help you move in that direction include:

There will be some obstacles along the way to strengthening your teams, of course. Sometimes it will be an employee who struggles to gel with his/her co-workers, and sometimes it will be other operational or situational challenges that need to be overcome. Whatever occurs, managers should not ignore them and “hope” things will improve. These issues need to be discussed and dealt with (or removed, in some cases) so that your team can thrive.

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