Last Updated On October 16, 2020 / Written By Grace Njaramba

How to Conduct Regular Employee Performance Reviews in Your Restaurant

Did you know that even in this age of technological innovation employee turnover remains among the biggest challenges in the restaurant industry? True, restaurant management apps like Zip Inventory, Zip Schedules, and Zip Clock have managed to solve tasks that were once very challenging for restaurant owners and managers like inventory and data management, employee scheduling, and time management. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the crazy employee turnover rates the industry has been experiencing lately.

How Bad Is Employee Turnover in the Restaurant Industry?

To give you an idea of how much of a challenge employee turnover in the restaurant industry is in the United States, the average yearly turnover rate for fast-food restaurants totals up to a shocking 150%, according to Gallup, a global analytics organization.

If, as a restaurant owner or manager, you are worried about top talent leaving your restaurant, you may be able to convince them to stay and thus decrease turnover rates by improving communication and feedback between you and your staff members through employee annual performance reviews.

What Are Annual Employee Performance Reviews?

Employee's annual performance reviews are assessments of how good or bad employees are performing and developing in their job roles. During these reviews or assessments, employees and their managers or supervisors have the opportunity to-

- Discuss job performance
- Provide and receive feedback
- Discuss accomplishments and expectations
- Set goals
- Etc.

When carried out in a fair and balanced way, these reviews can be a key component of employee development in any business. Now, these reviews are traditionally scheduled to take place annually, and this is where most restaurant owners go wrong.

Let's look at it this way, one of the main reasons why employees' annual reviews are so effective in decreasing turnover rates is because they improve communication between team leaders and team members. As we all know, effective communication is extremely important in any workplace, as without it it would be impossible to get any work done.

Perhaps you didn't know this, but poor communication is the biggest contributor to high turnover rates in many companies and organizations, including the restaurant industry. Yes, when it comes to employees, effective communication is that important!

Now, since your employees are the most important part of your business (yes, without them, you'd have no restaurant to run or operate), why wait for twelve months to give them what they yearn for most, i.e., communication?

We communicate on a daily basis! you might argue. Yes, you do communicate daily, especially with the help of applications like Zip Schedules. The Zip Schedules scheduling app not only simplifies shift scheduling but also allows effective communication between managers and their employees, and also between employees themselves; but is that enough? Does it make them feel valued and important?

The Importance of Conducting Regular Employee Performance Reviews

You may have already embraced the routine of conducting annual performance reviews on your employees, but if you've never considered performing these assessments more regularly, the following benefits might urge you to give it a try.

1. Regular performance assessments enable you to offer feedback on behaviors that need to be improved upon right away.

2. Scheduling regular performance reviews will give you the opportunity to correct a problem before it affects the business' bottom-line.

3. Employee reviews provide opportunities to set new goals for staff members. Setting new goals will prevent boredom, as a bored employee is likely to take their talents somewhere more challenging.

4. Reviews provide an opportunity to know your employees well on a personal basis, listen to their concerns, include them in future and current plans of the business, ask for their suggestions, etc. Doing so will make employees feel valued and important, and an employee who feels valued and important is less likely to leave.

5. When employees feel valued and important, they are more likely to develop job satisfaction; when this happens, productivity will rise and consequently, your sales will go up too.

How to Conduct Regular Employee Performance Reviews in Your Restaurant

Perhaps you are wondering, Won't conducting regular performance reviews take too much time and effort?" The short answer is no; it won't.

While you can schedule an annual review with your employees, it may be beneficial to arrange brief reviews every few weeks that won't take as much time. For example, if an annual review takes 30 minutes per employee, a minor review may take about 5 minutes per employee.

Even a 1-minute personal chat with your employees where you thank them or praise them for a job well done every two days can count as a mini performance review and generate excellent results. With a forecasting tool, like Zip Forecast, you can be able to foretell the days or hours when your restaurant will not be too busy, so you can successfully schedule mini-reviews for some of your workers during your less busy hours or days.

How to Conduct Annual Employee Performance Reviews in Your Restaurant

Annual performance reviews, unlike mini-reviews, should be detailed and will, therefore, require a lot of planning, as poorly conducted reviews can leave your staff members feeling dejected, confused, and unengaged.

So, when is your next annual employee performance review scheduled for? Below are a few tips you might find helpful.

Prepare Ahead of Time - To ensure the review or evaluation runs smoothly and efficiently, come well prepared. Compile your data, feedback, and thoughts way ahead of time, and use them as a framework for the evaluation. It is advisable to collect performance data all year long to avoid missing critical points and issues.

Encourage a Two-Way Conversation During the Review - Rather than lecture your employees on how to improve on their performance, keep the conversation open by encouraging them to share their thoughts.

Give Feedback, but Also Focus on Goal Setting - Providing feedback is great as it will help your employees to improve on their performance, but don't focus on it so much that you forget to talk about goals. Help them to outline new goals, and while you are at it, provide the necessary resources, such as training, to help them attain those goals.

Be Clear and Concise - Be clear and concise in everything you say; otherwise, you might end up confusing everyone about your expectations. For example, if an employee performed dismally in time management, give specific examples of lateness or unpunctuality. Zip Clock is a great time management tool that will make it possible for you to store this kind of data over a long period.

Provide Negative/Tough Feedback in a Respectful Way - As difficult as it is, delivering negative feedback is your duty and is best given respectively and constructively. Do not give employees negative feedback in front of customers and other team members.

Provide Copies of Completed Evaluation Forms at the End of the Meeting - To give your employees something to refer to when making any improvements you may have outlined, provide each employee with a completed form of his/her evaluation at the end of the meeting.

We hope these tips on how to successfully have an employee review, no matter how long, was helpful. It's important to remember that increasing the frequency of employee reviews is not the only way to heighten employee morale at your business. You can also boost employee morale by increasing the amount of responsibility and control employees have over their work. For more information on how restaurant management software can benefit your employees and your business, check out our guide on the 7 Ways Forecasting and Workforce Planning Can Increase Your Profits, which is also on the Hubworks Blog.