It’s probably no surprise that employee turnover in foodservice is quite high compared to many other industries. The stats from 2014 show the turnover rate at 66.3 percent. In many instances, healthcare kitchens aren’t exactly known for inspiration and creativity or for offering growth opportunities to junior employees. So it’s probably fair to assume that the healthcare foodservice segment has a very high turnover rate.
With patient experience playing a critical role in government reimbursements, every healthcare foodservice employee is directly responsible for the outcome of the patient satisfaction score—from food quality, meal delivery, and customer service all the way to the patient satisfaction scores measured by Press Ganey. To build a good kitchen team, you need to have an experienced team leader with high morale and qualities such as patience and understanding. An effective leader also practices the following steps that help reduce turnover.
- Encourage Ideas
Brainstorm ideas together with your team and make them feel a part of the future change. Encouraging employee involvement triggers a feeling of importance in them and naturally a sense of care.
- Provide Training
Many healthcare kitchen workers come from very little or no culinary background. Offer training to help them become better at what they do. Whether it’s cooking differently, how to follow recipe properly, food safety or working efficiently with available equipment will motivate them and enhance their commitment.
- Offer Solutions
Pay attention to department efficiency and try to reduce unnecessary steps when possible by providing the right products and solutions. Investing in much needed equipment or something as simple as upgrading to non-skid trays that don’t require the extra step of placing tray mats on each can be greatly appreciated by the employees doing the work.
- Promote Collective Goals
Promoting a collecting goal attitude in your department will bring purpose to your employees’ efforts. While the employees have different areas of responsibilities, each effort is equally important to what the department is striving to achieve collectively. Setting collective goals and reviewing those with your employees from time to time will increase the department motivation.
- Practice Fair Treatment
The worst thing a manager can do in any industry—is to favor one employee over another. This will only lower the employee’s morale especially if they already have little confidence in their ability. Remind yourself to treat employees equally and respectfully. Be consistent so that they know what to expect and hold them responsible on their part.
- Offer Support
Be mindful of your employees’ personal struggles outside the work environment. Offer your support and understanding when needed to form a culture of trust. It will encourage your employee to go the extra mile for you.
Building a team of dedicated individuals with the drive towards a collective goal is not easy but is critical to the patient satisfaction initiatives of your department. While the ideal department culture requires a long-term dedication to consistent practice, it is possible to achieve with the right management that truly cares about its employees and the facility as a whole.
For ideas and solutions that help improve your department’s efficiency contact your local Cambro Healthcare Representative.