Reducing the Stress of Hospitality Employees

If you are the supervisor, you can play an important part in making the job satisfying and less stressful for the individuals you supervise and in reducing stress in your work environment.

Encourage employees to help one another during busy times. Be willing to help others, even if the task falls outside of your job. After a hectic period, thank employees for pitching in.

If you notice tensions rising and tempers flaring, give a brief break to the employees involved if at all possible. If not, use a joke or funny story to break the tension. Acknowledge the stress levels when times are busy. Be positive and upbeat about the challenges the team faces. However, do not minimize the challenge in such a way that group members feel unappreciated for their efforts. For example, you could say, “We have a real challenge coming up in preparing a banquet for the Olympic team. There will be a lot of hard work for several days and we will have to plan carefully. However, with our staff team, I am confident that we can do a first class job.” This is not the time to express your doubts about the capability of the staff members. Remember, people rise to expectations.

Reducing stress = Happier and more productive employees

Workers whose contributions and suggestions are considered feel that they are valuable members of a team. Before busy events such as a Mother’s Day brunch, ask employees for their suggestions on how to handle the crowds. When workers bring concerns and suggestions to your attention, do not dismiss their comments. Although not every recommendation will be feasible, discussion of the idea will often develop a better idea that can be implemented. Taking comments seriously also lets employees know that you value their contributions. This will encourage them to open their minds more broadly and potentially increase the scope of their observations in the restaurant.

Care in scheduling staff can reduce stress and improve morale. Research has shown that frequent shift changes are stressful and disrupt sleep patterns. When possible, keep individuals on the same shift during a week (for example, from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.). If a person must work different shifts during the week, it is usually easier to change from an early shift to a late shift than the reverse.

Consider the personal needs and preferences of employees. If the workers you supervise are able to manage their personal lives more easily and with less stress, they will be able to cope with more stress on the job. Of course, your ability to meet these needs will depend on the needs of the business, the conflicting needs of others, and the requirements of legislation and collective agreements.

A job is also more stressful if employees are confused about their role or expectations, are bored, and have no room for creativity and personal input. Be as clear as possible about your expectations of the employees you supervise. Provide opportunities for workers to take on new and interesting challenges. Give employees feedback about their performance, making sure that the feedback is constructive. Strive to keep the lines of communication open.

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