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Thread: quality vs speed

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    quality vs speed

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I would like some advice. I have a barista who is good in every aspect but speed. He does not understand that speed is just as important as the quality of the coffee. We are loosing customers due to this and when I put pressure on him I get the usual but the quality will go down. Further pressure will get compalints about the machine which is well maitained by the supplier and has had a pump upgrade. Any advice on how I should deal with this or should I move onto another barista.

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    Re: quality vs speed

    Hello ultimatecoffee4me and welcome,

    You both have valid points. Everyone wants great coffee, but 3 cups per hour is not gonna cut it ;)

    What sort of numbers/hour is he doing and is it coffee only, or does he have other duties?

    Cheers

    Chris

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    Re: quality vs speed

    You are right, speed and quality are important. If your barista is the right personality for your business as well as having the ability to make good coffee why not try to set some goals with them. Maybe even have some training sessions with them. Even using a stopwatch to see the time it takes to get orders out and together working on goals of what time is acceptable.

    It is hard to know who has the right expectations out of the small amount of information.

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    Re: quality vs speed

    Timing an employee with something as accurate as a stopwatch is a bad move. Its akin to counting keystrokes in the office and most employers have long since discovered its negative impact. All you will do is reinforce the differences in goals when you actually need to find common ground.

    I agree that identifying and setting goals is valuable. Timing is okay but why not consider number of services in a given time. This is probably closer to your business aims anyway. Your barista (and you) must realise its in both your interests for the business to be profitable (after all wages do not grow on trees) so presumably there must be some common ground to explore. If not then maybe the problem is not speed vs quality but something else again.

    Ive often found difficult employees who like to blame equipment can be brought around when you put operational costs in terms of the number of coffee sales needed to pay for a service.

    My two cents or should that be a quarter bean

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    Re: quality vs speed

    I disagree about the stopwatch. I have had it done to me as a barista when I first started out and actually found it a positive experience as I gave me a ballpark of how long it should take me to dose and the realisation of where I could save time in the process.

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    Re: quality vs speed

    Your barista needs to understand that a major part of his job is SERVICE.. making the customers happy not just with good coffee, but with good attentive, speedy, and responsive service.
    He needs to understand that if he fails to satisfy customers with good service, it will impact on his future employment prospects !* :o
    Motivation is the key, and that is your job !.. but you will have to "invest" time and effort into improving him.
    Maybe encourage him to enter a barista competition, where he will learn that speed is an integral part of barista skills.

    Ultimately, a small business cannot afford to "carry" an employee who negatively impacts on the success of the enterprise. That is unfair on the other employees and business owner.

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    Re: quality vs speed

    I understand where youre coming from CoffeeChaser but the OP has already mentioned this barista will start with mantaining quality as a concern but move onto side issues when pushed further. Theyre already moving down the path toward a debate. A stopwatch timing would be seen as a challenge not a learning tool by many people.

    You clearly valued it as a relative beginner but we dont know the baristas experience. Ive seen highly experienced baristas time themselves when counters or fridges shelves were rearranged to gauge workspace effectiveness. But they used glancing looks at wall clocks not stopwatchs measuring hundredths of a second.


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    Re: quality vs speed

    Speed and quality are essential to my business, both not one or the other. I have learned the hard way that if you cant see a difference with the right coaching in a matter or weeks once the problem has been found then it simply is t worth the risk to the business. I use all tools like positive reinforcement, stop watches and the back bone of it is simple. Sit them down one on one and tell them they 3 chances to get it right or you will replace them. You dictate what is acceptable as it is your business.

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    Re: quality vs speed

    Both are important but its unlikely a quality driven technician is going to understand the speed aspect unless you open up to him (her?) with costings on the coffee machine work station. If you are open to that idea, show the barista* what is going on in the figures, and what a favourable increase in revenue would do for them to help pay his / her wages etc.

    In such cases I have found that to work much better than the usual discussion concerning that if the clients have to wait too long, they wont come back. That I know from experience doesnt push the right buttons with some people.

    After that its up to you only you know what you will have to do if that doesnt work, but remember good people are hard to find and you are already winning half the battle if you have someone that is quality oriented. There are plenty of fast machine operators out there but their coffees are not necessarily drinkable.

    Over to you.

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    Re: quality vs speed

    Definately agree with above comment. I think to add to that.

    You have to let this person know whats in it for them... If they are getting told they make good coffee, but are too slow. Well i can only assume they think they are doing a good job, but need to speed up but dont want to lose out on quality, which is a fair arguement.

    However if you make it clear to them, that being a Quality, but speedy worker = pay rise/bonus/reward whatever you want. Then it speaker louder to them.

    At the end of the day your workers dont really care if YOU make no money, so long as THEY get paid. So few customers to them means they get paid regardless of the business. However if you give them some drive and dangle a carrot and show more quality cups sold at a good pace means x reward, then perhaps youll see a difference if they are smart enough to realise that.

    I dont mean they should get a pay rise either, but workers need incentives and although there pay is reward enough, sometimes takes a bit of cunning to get what you want.

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    Re: quality vs speed

    Quote Originally Posted by 7D41405B5D4C4C47181A290 link=1334265445/9#9 date=1334375029
    You have to let this person know whats in it for them... If they are getting told they make good coffee, but are too slow. Well i can only assume they think they are doing a good job, but need to speed up but dont want to lose out on quality, which is a fair arguement.

    However if you make it clear to them, that being a Quality, but speedy worker = pay rise/bonus/reward whatever you want. Then it speaker louder to them.

    At the end of the day your workers dont really care if YOU make no money, so long as THEY get paid. So few customers to them means they get paid regardless of the business. However if you give them some drive and dangle a carrot and* show more quality cups sold at a good pace means x reward, then perhaps youll see a difference if they are smart enough to realise that.

    I dont mean they should get a pay rise either, but workers need incentives and although there pay is reward enough, sometimes takes a bit of cunning to get what you want.
    Without sounding rude, but this is an issue that I have come across all the time. It is prevalent across a certain demographic.
    "Whats in it for me?"
    "Dont care if the boss makes no money, as long as I get paid".
    Well people, wake up and smell the roses. If the boss makes no money, you will have no job. No-one* owes you a job, you have to prove that you deserve it. The boss hired you to make him money, that is why they are in "BUSINESS". Most employers should set KPIs and monitor employee performances religiously. Feedback, both ways is essential. An employee should know what is expected, and goals need to be clearly set. Incentives are a useful tool, and can vary from flexible working hours to bonuses, etc, etc. If employees are not happy, they also need the chance to vent their opinions to the boss without fear of repercussions.
    Good bosses, like good employees, are hard to find.
    A "go slow" attitude is notorious in many industries, usually by people wanting more money, bonuses etc. Sometimes this is valid, and they are not being looked after by the employer. Staff training and continual striving for improvement is mandatory for a business to survive and prosper today.
    In a nutshell, it is your business, you invested the money into it. Are you getting a return on your investment? Is he covering his costs? If not, then you have no option but to be clear with him as to what is expected. No business can afford to carry dead weight in this economic climate. If he aint working, ditch him.

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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Re: quality vs speed

    [QUOTE=2423363934570 link=1334265445/10#10 date=1334384169]
    Quote Originally Posted by 7D41405B5D4C4C47181A290 link=1334265445/9#9 date=1334375029
    Most employers should set KPIs and monitor employee performances religiously.
    Sure. Just got to be careful that KPIs can be sensibly measured and reflect outputs that are largely driven by the employees effort/ability. This is one reason why we dont, for instance, pay retail employees entirely via a piece rate (not really their fault if the boss charges $7 for a coffee). In cases where meaningful and measurable KPIs are very hard to identify, using them at all costs just means you get what you measure...not necessarily what you want. Sometime less formal monitoring is more effective. Agree with sentiment of your post.

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    Re: quality vs speed

    Hi Ultimatecoffee4me,

    First just to address some statements - that will also tie into the jist of your post

    Quote Originally Posted by 3730252A27440 link=1334265445/10#10 date=1334384169
    Without sounding rude, but this is an issue that I have come across all the time. It is prevalent across a certain demographic.
    "Whats in it for me?"
    "Dont care if the boss makes no money, as long as I get paid".
    Well people, wake up and smell the roses. If the boss makes no money, you will have no job. No-one* owes you a job, you have to prove that you deserve it. The boss hired you to make him money, that is why they are in "BUSINESS".
    And...
    Quote Originally Posted by 3730252A27440 link=1334265445/10#10 date=1334384169
    A "go slow" attitude is notorious in many industries, usually by people wanting more money, bonuses etc.
    Without trying to sound rude BL, of course youre entitled to give your opinion and advice however, be careful that making such sweeping generalisations and statements doesnt cause others to stereotype you as being of a certain demographic.....

    Quote Originally Posted by 3730252A27440 link=1334265445/10#10 date=1334384169
    Most employers should set KPIs and monitor employee performances religiously.
    KPIs can be very useful in an organisation where (usually due to size, numbers, remoteness etc) it is not possible for the manager to monitor the day to day workings of their employees individually (I fully agree with Barry O - that you can also just get what you are measuring and not what you should really be looking at). In a small business such as this what is FAR more important is the internal culture of the workplace - especially in a cafe where good service and ambiance (human interaction) is such an integral part of the business and its successs. Having an unhappy, stressed out employer/manager or employee(s) is not good for the business - and certainly not fair for either party.

    Many people seem to believe that bonuses and rewards are what motivate people - some people, certainly, but most not so. If you reward a person with pay rises and bonuses you are only buying loyalty - not earning it. Personally I would advise against unwarranted pay rises and performance bonuses, the money is better invested in your business.

    Quote Originally Posted by 102C2D363021212A7577440 link=1334265445/9#9 date=1334375029
    At the end of the day your workers dont really care if YOU make no money, so long as THEY get paid.
    Sorry, this is simply untrue - unless you are a tyrant. What motivates people (employees) to work hard hard for you and lift their productivity when required, is trust, respect, praise when they do a good job and the feeling of being valued for their efforts and contribution to you (the business). I do generalise a little as motivation is far more complex and differs for the individual to an extent but you get the drift...

    Conversely, it must be stated that a business - especially one with such tight margins as a cafe - cannot afford to invest in any non performing assets. Everyone and thing should add more than its cost to the business - obviously it must, not necessarily just a direct financial gain which is certainly desirable but, an overall gain both directly financial and indirectly through customer satisfaction, enjoyment and loyalty etc.

    Advice......
    There is some good points (oportunities) to work with. The employee obviously has a love and passion for quality, good coffee and integrity in what they do - this is good for you, a great starting point.
    Sit down with your employee and have a cup of coffee together. Be honest, give them praise for what you like and be constructive about what you dont like and where they need to contribute. Be personal about your business, explain what you desire of it and expect of yourself; use this as an example and starting point of what you expect and need of them - their contribution to the profitability of the business. Agree to set goals and targets for them that they can achieve and, will be both profitable for you and the business.

    Above all, be truthful with them, act with integrity, lead by example, listen and encourage. This false belief and abuse of the power construct within the employer/employee relationship (which does not make any reference to you - in fact you sound pleasantly unlike this - simply by the fact you are concerned enough to ask advice and speak well enough of them) is at the heart of employee resentment and poor long term productivity for a business.
    Coffeechaser spoke very well (in a much less verbose manner) of how to go about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by 072B22222121072C25372136440 link=1334265445/2#2 date=1334275659
    You are right, speed and quality are important. If your barista is the right personality for your business as well as having the ability to make good coffee why not try to set some goals with them. Maybe even have some training sessions with them. Even using a stopwatch to see the time it takes to get orders out and together working on goals of what time is acceptable.

    It is hard to know who has the right expectations out of the small amount of information.
    Good luck - good people make good employees, and good employers develop and grow them.

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    Re: quality vs speed

    Quote Originally Posted by 457166706B5C406C65656666030 link=1334265445/8#8 date=1334365338
    Both are important but its unlikely a quality driven technician is going to understand the speed aspect unless you open up to him (her?) with costings on the coffee machine work station. If you are open to that idea, show the barista* what is going on in the figures, and what a favourable increase in revenue would do for them to help pay his / her wages etc.
    In such cases I have found that to work much better than the usual discussion concerning that if the clients have to wait too long, they wont come back. That I know from experience doesnt push the right buttons with some people.

    After that its up to you only you know what you will have to do if that doesnt work, but remember good people are hard to find and you are already winning half the battle if you have someone that is quality oriented. There are plenty of fast machine operators out there but their coffees are not necessarily drinkable.

    Over to you.
    This is also really good advice - speaking from experience. Well said.

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    Re: quality vs speed

    I agree completely with fresh coffee but be warned some people just wont get the message.

    Your time is likely worth more money than your baristas. Meaning if you need to spend to much of your time constantly reiterating the same points then likely the employee is simply not going to get it.

    I can only Speak from my experiences but I find there are too many people who dont understand the gravity of a recession and still used to coasting from job to job.

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    Re: quality vs speed

    Some gains can be made by involving your staff in your business.

    When I last had cafes, staff were set a weekly sales target and when it was bettered, everyone received a small cash bonus. Not much, but enough for drinks after work, some fuel- whatever.

    Our barista was also paid a per cup bonus over a nominated daily number of cups.

    Sometimes someone was sick. If we had to cover for an absent staff member in the event of no replacement, the*saved wage was split amongst the staff who had to work harder and faster that day.

    All these are no brainers as far as I am concerned. They respect the effort of your staff, motivate them and reward their efforts.

    Did these few simple measures deliver sales growth? Absolutely.

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    Re: quality vs speed

    Quote Originally Posted by 1C292423170B272E2E2D2D480 link=1334265445/15#15 date=1334441382
    Some gains can be made by involving your staff in your business.

    When I last had cafes, staff were set a weekly sales target and when it was bettered, everyone received a small cash bonus. Not much, but enough for drinks after work, some fuel- whatever.

    Our barista was also paid a per cup bonus over a nominated daily number of cups.

    Sometimes someone was sick. If we had to cover for an absent staff member in the event of no replacement, the*saved wage was split amongst the staff who had to work harder and faster that day.

    All these are no brainers as far as I am concerned. They respect the effort of your staff, motivate them and reward their efforts.

    Did these few simple measures deliver sales growth? Absolutely.
    Hit the proverbial nail on the head!!!* Great advice.

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    Re: quality vs speed

    Forgot to add: The full timers were informed that their sick leave was there to be used and they were expected to use it! That removed the dreaded 7am "*cough, cough* Im sick and I cant come in" bs. Instead, what happened was that if a staff member required a day off for whatever reason, s/he would inform that ___day was not a goer and staff member X will be covering for me. Casual staff were expected to do the same and at interview were told to come or call with with staffing solutions, not problems!

    All this is about simple teamwork. Too many cafe owners want a dictatorship and that can often be where it all starts to go belly up. What they should be doing is pulling their sleeves up and leading by example. If the loos need cleaning, clean them! If youre not prepared to do it, dont expect your staff to.* :-?

    We rarely had staff related issues and in four cafes over 8 years, I only ever asked one staff member to leave.

    Chris

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    Senior Member Bosco_Lever's Avatar
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    Re: quality vs speed

    Quote Originally Posted by 0A26352E292235470 link=1334265445/12#12 date=1334409798
    Without trying to sound rude BL, of course youre entitled to give your opinion and advice however, be careful that making such sweeping generalisations and statements doesnt cause others to stereotype you as being of a certain demographic.....
    I am curious, what demographic would you stereotype me into?

    Quote Originally Posted by 0A26352E292235470 link=1334265445/12#12 date=1334409798
    There is some good points (oportunities) to work with.* The employee obviously has a love and passion for quality, good coffee and integrity in what they do - this is good for you, a great starting point.
    Sit down with your employee and have a cup of coffee together. Be honest, give them praise for what you like and be constructive about what you dont like and where they need to contribute.* Be personal about your business, explain what you desire of it and expect of yourself; use this as an example and starting point of what you expect and need of them - their contribution to the profitability of the business.* Agree to set goals and targets for them that they can achieve and, will be both profitable for you and the business.

    Above all, be truthful with them, act with integrity, lead by example, listen and encourage.* This false belief and abuse of the power construct within the employer/employee relationship (which does not make any reference to you - in fact you sound pleasantly unlike this - simply by the fact you are concerned enough to ask advice and speak well enough of them)* is at the heart of employee resentment and poor long term productivity for a business.
    Coffeechaser spoke very well (in a much less verbose manner) of how to go about it.
    Quote Originally Posted by 3433262924470 link=1334265445/10#10 date=1334384169
    Feedback, both ways is essential. An employee should know what is expected, and goals need to be clearly set.
    Quote Originally Posted by 3433262924470 link=1334265445/10#10 date=1334384169
    If employees are not happy, they also need the chance to vent their opinions to the boss without fear of repercussions.
    Basically, you have expanded upon (rather eloquently I must add) what I said.
    As many have stated above, it is important to empower people to be responsible for their role within the business. Staff retention is important and a happy vibrant workplace is beneficial to all.

    In business today, be it retail, hospitality, sales of any sort; if something is not working, (or selling) then changes have to be made.
    In todays climate almost everyone is expendable and replaceable. It sounds harsh, but is true. Hiring and firing is very tedious and expensive, but a fact of doing business. The job for life scenario is no longer valid, and many people classed as Gen Y think 2 years in the one job is too long.

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    Re: quality vs speed

    Quote Originally Posted by 4542575855360 link=1334265445/18#18 date=1334452013
    I am curious, what demographic would you stereotype me into?
    Hi BL,
    I wouldnt. I dont know you.... I agree with what you just said, it is a product of the climate we find ourselves in that people are expendable - sad but true. In this particular case though, I think that (from the meager amount of information in the question) this [the barista] would be one person well worth an employer training and hanging on to. I would see a lot of potential in a person who was dedicated to the quality and art of making good coffee.... everyone is a work in progress.

    I wish ultimate coffee for me all the best with this one. I hope that we hear the follow up....

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    Senior Member Bosco_Lever's Avatar
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    Re: quality vs speed

    Very true Mariner. A diamond in the rough you say ;)
    If the owner sees potential in their employee, then psychology comes into play. They, or their manager need to work out what makes this person tick, and bring out the best in them. A simple philosophy that applies to the majority of people.

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    Re: quality vs speed

    Quote Originally Posted by 36030E093D210D04040707620 link=1334265445/17#17 date=1334444192
    The full timers were informed that their sick leave was there to be used and they were expected to use it! That removed the dreaded 7am "*cough, cough* Im sick and I cant come in" bs. Instead, what happened was that if a staff member required a day off for whatever reason, s/he would inform that ___day was not a goer and staff member X will be covering for me. Casual staff were expected to do the same and at interview were told to come or call with with staffing solutions, not problems!
    Chris,
    A great philosophy and one that I have always believed in. Your shift is your responsibility. If you cannot work it, it is up to you to find a replacement.
    There are exceptions of course, but in general this mantra works.

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    Re: quality vs speed

    Quote Originally Posted by 4F7A77704458747D7D7E7E1B0 link=1334265445/17#17 date=1334444192
    All this is about simple teamwork. Too many cafe owners want a dictatorship and that can often be where it all starts to go belly up. What they should be doing is pulling their sleeves up and leading by example. If the loos need cleaning, clean them! If youre not prepared to do it, dont expect your staff to.
    I disagree.
    Ensuring your managers lead by example is one thing. Rolling up your sleeves and doing the dirty work while your employees stand by is another. You then encourage the mentality to your employees that it is ok if the toilets are dirty, because the owner will clean them.

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    Re: quality vs speed

    Quote Originally Posted by 3A3D28272A490 link=1334265445/22#22 date=1334458409
    Ensuring your managers lead by example is one thing. Rolling up your sleeves and doing the dirty work while your employees stand by is another. You then encourage the mentality to your employees that it is ok if the toilets are dirty, because the owner will clean them.
    Nuhuh....Standing by and doing nothing when theyre run off their feet is also a no no.

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    Re: quality vs speed

    Quote Originally Posted by 7572676865060 link=1334265445/22#22 date=1334458409
    I disagree.
    Ensuring your managers lead by example is one thing. Rolling up your sleeves and doing the dirty work while your employees stand by is another. You then encourage the mentality to your employees that it is ok if the toilets are dirty, because the owner will clean them.
    People do not work like this - the overwhelming majority of them anyway. If they do, then ALL THE MORE reason for the manager to lead by example, there could not be a better way to affect change in your cafe/workplace than this. In my experience very few people wont have a go when others around them do.

    Quote Originally Posted by 52676A6D59456960606363060 link=1334265445/17#17 date=1334444192
    Forgot to add: The full timers were informed that their sick leave was there to be used and they were expected to use it! That removed the dreaded 7am "*cough, cough* Im sick and I cant come in" bs. Instead, what happened was that if a staff member required a day off for whatever reason, s/he would inform that ___day was not a goer and staff member X will be covering for me. Casual staff were expected to do the same and at interview were told to come or call with with staffing solutions, not problems!

    All this is about simple teamwork. Too many cafe owners want a dictatorship and that can often be where it all starts to go belly up. What they should be doing is pulling their sleeves up and leading by example. If the loos need cleaning, clean them! If youre not prepared to do it, dont expect your staff to.*

    We rarely had staff related issues and in four cafes over 8 years, I only ever asked one staff member to leave.

    Chris
    Couldnt agree more strongly with this - there are no guarantees in business but this is certainly a model for creating a solid and lasting internal environment which is good for all stakeholders (cafe, staff and customers).

    This has become an emotive subject that will easily slip into a philosophical debate about management models and processes. The fact that (bringing it back to the original question) ultimatecoffee4me has sought advice here from experts (of which I am certainly not) and fellow coffee lovers (of which I most certainly am) is really heartening to me. It demonstrates that ultimatecoffee4me obviously, has a dedication to their business but moreover, a genuine vested interest and care about a staff member. Good to see!

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    Re: quality vs speed

    Quote Originally Posted by 4E495C535E3D0 link=1334265445/22#22 date=1334458409
    I disagree.
    Ensuring your managers lead by example is one thing. Rolling up your sleeves and doing the dirty work while your employees stand by is another. You then encourage the mentality to your employees that it is ok if the toilets are dirty, because the owner will clean them.
    If a manager isnt prepared to do the dirty work that they require their workers to do, then that manager is in the wrong job, Simple as that.

    Dont want to clean toilets? Dont work in hospitality

    Speaking for my own experiences, Id rather a manager that says to me "hey, I know youre busy, but can you lend me a hand with this task of cleaning up" then a manager that refuses to do any of the cleaning because they feel that it is beneath them. The first gets my respect, the other gets my contempt.

    As a manager, which would you rather have?



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