Keeping a poorly performing employee onboard, or simply trying to turn a blind eye to their behavior, can be absolutely detrimental to your restaurant's culture and a motivation killer for the rest of your team.
Just one bad employee can and will negatively impact your environment, team, and quite possibly, your bottom line — usually much faster than you even imagined.
Here's how to approach these difficult, but necessary conversations and evoke a positive change in behavior before any irreversible damage is done.
Approach With Caution…And a Plan
Write it out. Before meeting with the employee, think about the information that will truly help them understand the critical nature of the issue as well as the improvements needed and any potential repercussions. Write down or gather any pertinent examples of poor performance, perhaps from past performance reviews, or input or complaints received from customers, coworkers, and other leaders. While names should be withheld in order to avoid infighting or retaliation, be prepared to address specific examples of the undesirable behavior.
Forget about confrontation. When you need to have a conversation about poor performance, this is not the time to focus on hostility, rudeness, or assume a confrontational mindset. Putting the employee immediately on the defensive won't help anything, except for unnecessarily escalating the encounter. Approach this professionally and as a two-way conversation, taking the time to listen to and acknowledge the employee's thoughts.