What would your employees text you—the successful owner of an independent, multi-unit restaurant group—if they had the chance?
Michael Lastoria, CEO and founder &pizza, gave every one of his 750 employees at his 35-units his cell number—and the open invitation to text him.
You may have read about him last week in Nation’s Restaurant News in the article “Democratizing Pizza Through Text Messages”.
Text Me—but Not Too Often
In that situation, you want two things:
- You want to give your employees the feel-good message that you are available to them at any time.This sets the example that bigger companies can retain the positive aspects of being small.
- Simultaneously, you want a great organization so employees don’t take you up on your offer very often.
You must have people in place throughout your organization who do the right thing in directing, developing, and, also, correcting employees; otherwise, the whole day is going to be spent responding to that ding, those emojis, and an occasional GIF.
What Would Be Written to Your Phone?
Imagine, for one day, if every one of your employees had your cell number and you encouraged them to text.
What content would be the most likely to blow up your phone?
Would it be more, “Boss, we had a great night tonight. So proud to be part of this”…
…or more, “I am not trained on the things people are asking me to do, and I need help”?
Or something else.
Top Ways Owners Connect to Their Employees
Connection to your employees is advantageous, no matter how big your company is.
Employees feel that the leader looks out for them, cares about them, and works to expand their opportunities as much as they do their own.
If you don’t want texts, maybe you can be known just for being in your dining rooms and kitchens, staff meetings, and pre-service meetings; or be known for hosting employee events—or just for being willing to stop and talk.
To be truly successful, everyone has to feel they are part of something, going in the same direction, and treated fairly.
When you handle employee concerns, texted or untexted, retention rate goes up, training costs go down, and the guests feel the same good cultural vibes employees do.
Sales and profit go up. Net worth does too.
Your brand? Protected from the competition.
Over to you. What would be on those texts? When do you start to respond?