5 Ways to Be An Even Better Leader

What Does Being a Leader Mean?

As a restaurant owner, you're the person who is in charge. When your employees have difficulties and are looking for guidance, you're the person that they turn to. Strong leadership is crucial in order for your restaurant to be successful, without a strong leader the ship will sink.

"A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way"- John C. Maxwell

The title of being the "owner" comes with a lot of responsibilities. You're expected to have a vision for how the restaurant will grow and succeed, lead the pack, and practice what you preach.

With the new year beginning, here are 5 ways for you to elevate your leadership game. Start the new year off strong by practicing these concepts.

1. Stress the Importance of "Why"

A good leader is someone who is able to eloquently explain "why" a certain task is being completed. Leaders are visionaries, they're the ones who have an overall idea of where they want to get to and this can't be reached unless certain steps are taken.

When you explain "why" tasks have to be done a particular way, you're enlightening your employees on your rationale for your requests. This helps ensure that everyone is on the same, and this helps your restaurant run smoother.

Stressing the importance of "why" also helps cultivate a sense of transparency between all parties involved because everyone now knows the same amount of information. This can also create a stronger sense of teamwork between you and your employees, you're working together as a team to achieve success.

2. Make Onboarding a Priority

You want a winning team working at your restaurant, top talent produces better results. Employees who have been in this industry for a while have enough experience under their belts to ensure that they provide 5-star customer service on a consistent basis. It's important though that you onboard all of your new employees, even if they have years of experience under their belts.

There's no other restaurant in the market that has the same culture as you, and this is why it's important to onboard new members of your team. You need to give them time to get acclimated to this new environment, and onboarding is a key to retaining your employees.

Your onboarding process gives employees a good idea of what it will be like working at your restaurant, and this is why you want to make a good first impression with them.

During your onboarding process, this is when you present your employees with clear expectations and guidelines. It's important that people know what is expected of them so that they have some principles for them to refer too. Employees who experience great onboarding tend to be more productive, and they have a higher level of satisfaction at work.

3. Provide Praise & Recognition Consistently

Recognition will always matter, it will never go out of style. Showing your appreciation for your employees' hard work boosts their morale, and when employees are happier they are more productive.

45% of employees say words of affirmation are the primary way they like to be shown appreciation in the workplace

You might not realize it, but providing praise and recognition is a way to motivate your employees. When your employees perform well, acknowledging their efforts lets them know that you're paying attention to their hard work and that it doesn't go unnoticed. You can provide praise based on your employees' character traits as well, there are soft skills that your employees have that deserve recognition too.

4. Be The Ultimate Coach for Your Employees

Your employees can't get better at their jobs unless they have a coach to guide them along the way. As a coach, you're responsible for teaching your employees new skills so that they can advance within their positions.

Training plays a crucial role in coaching your employees, no one can advance without taking their skills to the next level. You're only as strong as your weakest member, so it's important that regular training is provided to your employees.

5. Create Periodic Goals For Your Team

As the leader, you're the one who has a vision for your restaurant. In order to reach this vision, goals need to be established. Start by creating annual goals and then break them down monthly.

Having monthly goals gives your employees metrics to hit for a certain time frame and helps hold them accountable. It's also a good way to track your employees' progress, you can see the trends on a monthly basis which is easier to analyze than if you were to look at it on a yearly basis.

Take the time to sit down with your employees to explain "why" these goals have been created, tell them how they fit into the vision you have for your restaurant's success. This allows for a conversation between you and your employees so that any confusion can be cleared along with making sure that everyone knows the direction that the business is headed toward. You'll be able to develop a strategy that will help your team achieve their goals when you break it down, it seems less daunting for them.

Start Off On the Right Foot

The new year is a great time to implement these 5 concepts to be an even more effective leader. You can't dwell on the past because that doesn't get to where you want to be. Innovative leaders think about the future and how they can keep progressing. Try to incorporate these 5 ideas into being the best version of a leader that you can be, what you'll start to notice is that it will make a big impact on your team which impacts your success.