Arrivals and departures: the importance of managing a transient workforce
Ask any foodservice operator what the biggest costs in their business are, and undoubtedly staffing will be one of the first gripes mentioned. Wages (especially once penalty rates are factored in) and training costs represent a significant expense for caf and restaurant owners. Restaurant & Catering Australia’s 2014 Benchmarking Survey found considerable increases in business costs and overheads associated with running a business. Staff wages and on-costs continue to be the single largest business expense for restaurant operators, representing approximately 45.3 percent of business costs.
A key factor in ensuring that staff members are happy and productive – making the investment of their hire and training money well spent – is to ensure the employing company provides a smooth and effective ‘on-boarding’ system. This process brings new employees up-to-speed on how the company operates, clearly defining their role and what both the employer and employee can expect from the hire.
Having said this, it’s inevitable that every business will have some degree of staff turnover, especially in foodservice which, unfortunately, is often seen as a ‘stepping stone’ to another career or a way to fund tertiary education. In a new job, the first 90 days is a critical period. A study by Recruitment Solutions in April 2007 found that 47 percent of employee turnover occurs within the first 90 days, and a more recent 2010 study from Chandler Macleod found that first impressions really do count for new employees, again with 47 percent of employee turnover occurring within the first 90 days of employment at a new job.
This problem can be exacerbated by the lack of or ineffectiveness of an on-boarding process. If the employee feels that the realities of a position don’t match those advertised, or that they haven’t had adequate training and therefore decide to leave the company, the employer is faced with the time consuming and expensive reality of having to rehire and retrain.
As frustrating as this may be to employers, handling the departure of staff members is just as important as managing their induction. Depending on the circumstances of an employee’s exit, the employer should make the ‘off-boarding’ process as valuable and smooth as possible; after all, you want all of your employees – current and former – to recommend your business as an employer of choice, right? By thanking departing employees for their tenure, recognising their contribution to the company and making their transition as effortless as possible, you’re increasing the likelihood that your company will be well respected and perhaps even sought out by industry members keen to share their enthusiasm and skills.
So whether you’re welcoming new team members or farewelling exiting ones, the process needs to be handled very carefully. The best way to ensure that both employers and employees are happy and productive is to get expert advice from a recruitment company well versed in your industry. Frontline Hospitality can not only help foodservice operators find the right employees for their business, they can also offer advice regarding your staff on-and-off boarding procedures.