Effective team task management requires clarity and transparency. When you know where you’re at and what you want to achieve with your restaurant operations and staff, you can map, track, and coordinate tasks so that things run smoothly in both the front- and back-of-house.
In addition, transparency builds trust amongst team members as well as between managers and employees. When everyone is on the same page, people stay organized, and productivity skyrockets.
So to help you improve your overall approach, here are some easy steps you can use to gain clarity over team task management and build transparency.
1. Create a comprehensive list of tasks and divide them by frequency
Without organization, getting stuff done is a hassle. After all, if you don’t know what to do, when, or how often, it’s hard to get anything done.
Thankfully, research shows that our brains love to-do lists. Not only do they add structure to daily activities and provide better foresight in the long run, but they also help build feelings of accomplishment as items are checked off the list.
So, what does all this mean for your restaurant? It means you should make a comprehensive list of what needs to be done and divide tasks by frequency, so you and your team have a clear picture of what needs to be accomplished when and plan accordingly.
Break down assignments into:
- Daily tasks and tasks that need to be completed several times a day
- Weekly tasks and tasks that need to be completed several times a week
- Biweekly, monthly, and bi-monthly tasks
- Quarterly and annual tasks
- Protocol for special events or incidents.
2. Provide clear instructions for each task
Besides telling people what to do, you should also explain how to complete tasks so that everything goes according to plan. Creating standard procedures for each job ensures consistency between multiple employees, let alone several restaurants, and makes it much easier for people in charge to evaluate performance. Plus, by following the same process every time, employees will develop healthy working habits from the routine, increasing efficiency, and workplace safety.
Furthermore, providing context when it comes to task execution gives people more clarity and direction. If you tell your staff why they need to do things in a certain way, they’ll better understand the process and be better informed with their decision-making should it be required, all with far less need for trial-and-error.
Besides regular training to make sure your staff has all the information necessary to complete each task, always remind employees of the essentials. When assigning a task, list the most important things to remember, such as:
- What tools to use
- What protective equipment to wear (if applicable)
- What performance metrics to follow
- Whether it has to be done within a specific time
- Who needs to be notified if the task hasn’t been completed correctly.
3. Put the right people on the right job
As in most restaurants, at least some of your staff is cross-trained so that more people can step in wherever they’re needed. It’s an excellent way to ensure no one will clean toilets forever and keeps everything covered when someone calls in sick.
The system does have its limitations, though, as randomly assigning tasks might not be the best way to increase team task management efficiency. Build a system in which you rotate some jobs and trust others to a limited number of employees, based on their skills and availability.
4. Notify employees of upcoming tasks
Listing tasks on a wall chart isn’t an effective method for maintaining accountability in your restaurant. After a while, people may think they have it memorized but don’t, while others may just forget to look at it and ignore tasks that don’t need to be done as often.
Instead of making a list of tasks, handing it to managers, and calling it a day, automate a notifications system. Digital tools simplify team task management by making it easy to keep track of what needs to be done, who’s responsible for each task, and when every activity should be completed—not to mention increasing accessibility, as employees won’t have to keep going back to the board to see what needs to be done.
Plus, software solutions come with the advantage of automatically informing people when they need to do something and alerting managers of when an action has been completed or missed. This way, you gain control over restaurant operations and reduce the risk of perpetuating the habit of skipping tasks.
It’s also a cost-effective way to keep expenses under control. For example, preventative maintenance tasks done at the right time will keep your equipment functional and minimize repair costs—and it’ll make your employees’ use of time a whole lot more efficient too.
In the long run, eliminating forgotten tasks increases restaurant operational efficiency and builds a safe workplace for employees, with significant customer experience effects.
5. Build a strong communication strategy
When assigning tasks, how you communicate with your employees is crucial to team task management. It’s essential to create a workplace where employees feel comfortable discussing assignments, asking questions, and even reassigning them if they can’t complete their duties comfortably or on time.
When everyone knows what needs to be done and who’s responsible for each task, you create a transparent working environment where people won’t neglect mistakes or blame each other for missing a deadline.
For increased transparency, get regular feedback from your staff and always find new ways to improve communication. Align task assignment strategies with your staff’s expectations to ensure everyone is happy with the arrangement.
Regardless of how you choose to handle your team task management, there’s no denying that digital tools are highly useful for putting all these tips to work in one convenient system. Even the most attentive and experienced workers sometimes need reminders about their tasks and the best ways to complete them at the end of the day. By implementing a system that enhances communication, encourages staff to finish their assignments on time, and keeps people accountable for their initiatives or lack of action, you’ll help all members of your team improve their approach and execution regularly.