While its standard procedure for most office jobs to have an HR manager or team, this is still a relatively new concept when it comes to businesses in food services. To this day, most restaurants operate without an HR manager – instead, shifting some of the standard responsibilities onto general managers or senior team members, while many other tasks remain unaccounted for.
Without a proper HR, restaurant staff are often left on their own to understand policies and workplace regulations. At the same time, there’s no one to help impartially settle workplace disputes or advise staff when it comes to times of stress and burnout, safety incidents or even harassment concerns. The consequential employee disengagement and dissatisfaction that rises from this structure is a key contributing factor to the high turnover rate the restaurant industry sees annually – a massive 74.9%.
Fortunately, workplace technology is changing that. Even without a formal HR manager, businesses can now use tech tools to help implement many HR functions digitally for the entire workforce.
Onboarding and training
Without an HR team, onboarding and training new hires usually falls under the responsibility of senior members of the team, or simply whoever is free. This often makes training quality inconsistent, as there’s no standard procedure or guidelines, and takes up much time and resources for other team members. Here’s where workplace tech with e-learning features can help. With a centralised employee platform, all relevant documents for new joiners are kept updated in one accessible place, including all training materials, employee handbooks and workplace policies. In turn, restaurants can ensure the development and growth of all staff through information that can always refer to at their own time and pace, anytime, anywhere.
Despite not having a dedicated HR team, restaurant owners can still get a good understanding of their staff’s well being and performance. Digital workplace tools can gather and break down information regarding engagement, absentee levels and overall performance. At the same time, digital employee surveys and polls can be sent out to the team for anonymous feedback – allowing business owners or general managers to then use this information to improve the working conditions in their restaurant. In turn, staff now have a channel where they can voice their concerns and managers can gain better insight into the problem areas and actions needed to take care of, protect and motivate their staff.
Automated admin functions
Administrative tasks in a restaurant, such as shift management, recruitment paperwork and calculating payroll and tips can take up a huge amount of time. Rather than burden your restaurant manager, let HR technology automate these tasks – for instance, enabling staff to digitally request shift swaps, punch in and out of their shifts, sign contracts digitally and more. In turn, restaurants can offload these papy-heavy processes from their team members while also keeping all these important data centralised in one digital system. Team members will then be freed up for more time to perform their roles effectively and focus on providing better experiences for diners.
Risk management and safety
The safety and wellbeing of staff should be a top priority for all restaurants, though this can be difficult to oversee and manage at all times without an HR person. Employee platforms can take preventative steps to these concerns by means of online documents regarding safety procedures, health and hygiene guidelines and anti-harassment policies. While cases should be handled directly by senior members should they occur, having these documents and guidelines available online at the dispense of all team members can help educate staff and reduce the risk of these events unfolding to begin with.