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How to Keep Restaurant Employee Engagement High, Even On Slow Days

It’s easy for an employee to remain engaged with their job when things are hopping in the workplace. 

Activity drives focus, which creates investment, which in turn often makes an employee feel engaged and motivated in their work. 

It’s during the off-hours, however, when the restaurant is empty and the work slows down that it becomes more difficult for an employee to remain engaged with their job. And it’s during those times that as an employer you need to make the extra effort to motivate, stimulate and otherwise enhance employee engagement.

What is employee engagement?

Before you go about trying to figure out how to keep employees engaged, it’s important to understand exactly what employee engagement is. 

Employee engagement is actually a metric made up of several different key factors, most of which are based on how an employee feels about their job

It is often confused with job satisfaction, which is actually one of those factors, but not the only one that affects engagement. 

Employee engagement is the emotional and mental connection your employees feel towards your business. If they feel adequately challenged and stimulated in their jobs, that affects engagement positively. If they feel like they are undervalued or disconnected from the company, that affects engagement negatively. 

Why is employee engagement important?

Employee engagement is the cornerstone of success in any business venture. 

Engaged employees feel positively about their workplace, which can make them more loyal and less likely to seek employment opportunities elsewhere. This, ultimately, can reduce turnover rates. 

Positively engaged employees tend to be more productive, too. They also tend to have higher-quality interactions with customers, which can make a huge difference in a business’s reputation. 

This can lead to higher-than-average morale, as well as a higher sense of job satisfaction. The best part? This sort of positivity is infectious. It bleeds into other employees, enhancing the overall culture of the workplace. 

As you can imagine, positively-engaged employees also tend to increase the profitability and efficiency of the business in which they are employed. 

It should go without saying that you want to cultivate as many positively-engaged employees as you can, for as long as you can, in your restaurant. 

What does employee engagement look like in a restaurant? 

Even when things are slow, it can be hard to keep restaurant employees engaged. Your employees are on their feet all the time, rushing to and fro, perhaps unable to focus on engagement opportunities for more than a minute or two at a time. 

Because of this, you should take advantage of any opportunities to connect and engage with them in the workplace, even if it doesn’t happen synchronously. 

One simple way to increase employee engagement is by elevating your communication efforts. Employee engagement tends to be higher when clear goals and procedures are communicated regularly, rather than leaving them guessing as to what needs to be done. 

Utilizing your in-house digital signage, you can ensure that your messaging is consistent and engaging across shifts and even across multiple locations.  

Digital engagement systems are also practical tools for making communication in kitchens a two-way street. UPshow SHIFT makes collecting employee feedback effortless, allowing restaurants to gather feedback from employees via online surveys, for instance.

Another option is to provide space for employee recognition and encouragement. You can use your digital signage to display positive customer comments about individual employees or to recognize the hard work of dedicated staff members. 

If you are looking to up the ante in your kitchens, you can create a little friendly competition between teams or shifts. Use UPshow SHIFT to connect to your existing point of sale system, like Aloha, to track real-time sales data and display front-runners on your digital signage. 

How UPshow can help you keep restaurant employees engaged

Recognize your staff 

With full in-app Canva integration, UPshow makes it easy to quickly and easily create employee recognition displays. It offers free, fully-customizable templates for any occasion. 

This makes it easy to incorporate your own unique branding, employee images and bios. It’s the perfect way to celebrate and show appreciation for dedicated staff. 

UPshow also makes managing multimedia campaigns simple with full scheduling tools. This way, you can share everything you need across all of your shifts and locations so everyone is in the loop. 

Share performance metrics in real-time

UPshow SHIFT connects directly to popular POS systems, like Aloha and Xenial, allowing you to track and display employee performance. These metrics can then be used to create recognition campaigns that celebrate hard-working employees and teams. 

The system also allows you to generate and display QR codes, which can link to various online resources including employee feedback surveys or training materials that your employees can view right from their mobile devices. 

You can even use this technology to collect and analyze customer feedback via online surveys, and then display the results on your screens. 

Give team members a say in their work 

All the engagement tools in the world will be useless if you can’t gauge how employees respond to them. 

With UPshow Connect, you gain the ability to do just that. 

UPshow Connect allows you to easily distribute employee satisfaction or feedback surveys through the use of its easy QR code integration. The QR codes allow you to link to online surveys or quizzes which the employees can then take directly from their smartphones. 

Once you have collected the surveys, UPshow products allow you to easily view and track trends to see which areas are hitting home with your employees and which ones need to be tweaked or revamped. 

And once you’ve accumulated and studied the data, you can use UPshow Connect in conjunction with existing digital signage or in-house TV systems to display the results to your employees. 

Keep your FOH and BOH staff engaged with UPshow SHIFT 

UPshow SHIFT is the employee engagement solution for busy kitchens. It integrates easily with existing digital signage or in-house TV systems. Sign up for a free demo today to see how UPshow can help take your restaurant staff’s engagement to the next level!