The restaurant industry is well known for having a high churn rate. This is certainly a challenge, but it is also a significant opportunity to refine the best practices for onboarding new employees year after year. Here are several key areas to review in your organization’s onboarding process to identify areas for cost savings, reduced turnover, and greater effectiveness.
Go Beyond Orientation with True Onboarding
Orientation is a fairly quick process that gives new hires some essential information to get started at work. But onboarding—making a new employee an integrated part of the organization—is a process that takes more time. Don’t be afraid to develop a long-term onboarding program that takes place over a period of weeks or months rather than days. Having a clear roadmap that takes new hires and builds them into strong team members shows your organization’s commitment to attracting and retaining high quality employees.
Expect More from New Hires
Fast food shouldn’t be a sink or swim environment for new hires. For this reason, onboarding should focus on more than the basics of carrying out specific tasks. It’s important to:
● Communicate and demonstrate the culture of the company and/or franchise
● Give new hires a sense of the business context of their role in the organization
● Help them understand how profit and loss is impacted by their performance
● Encourage them to review customer feedback so they can see the perspective of the people they will be serving
● Provide ongoing coaching and support for improvement
Automate the Administrative Side of the Process
Best practices for onboarding new employees can also be focused on very practical and tangible changes. While overhauling the culture of onboarding can take some time, it is possible to start gaining immediate cost savings by doing away with outdated paper-based onboarding. Today’s software solutions make it possible to go digital with everything from I-9s and W4s to company or franchise-specific forms. In the fast paced environment of the quick service restaurant industry, this is the only approach that makes sense for processing new hire documents.
Be sure to select a program that provides up-to-date versions of all federal and state forms, allows customization with new forms, and includes a workflow and approval process to send appropriate documents to other departments or vendors such as payroll and benefits. The platform should also make it simple to route part time hires through a different process than full time or upper tier management hires. To ensure standardization across all locations, the software should be web-based for ease of use and central management.
Capture Tax Credits
Entry level positions available in the food service industry are often ideal starting places for groups that have been traditionally disadvantaged in hiring. This includes veterans, at-risk youth, low income families, and reformed felons. Because hiring individuals in these target categories can come with significant tax incentives, restaurants should definitely make WOTC screening a part of their best practices for onboarding new employees. Getting serious about a Work Opportunity Tax Credit program is particularly powerful in conjunction with an onboarding process that aids employee retention—since the credit amount is based on the first year’s wages.
To get more advice on the best practices for onboarding new employees and to see a demo of our solution for the quick service restaurant industry, contact us today.