When opening your coffee shop, you may be only employing yourself and a few family members. Once you become more established, you'll need to start hiring more employees. Managing people is a big challenge. Here's a simple guide to managing employees in your coffee shop.
There's nothing more frustrating than having no idea what your boss is thinking. Your employees shouldn't have to go through that! Communicate with them sincerely. Make sure they know what's going on with your coffee shop.
As a manager, your employees should feel comfortable with you. Get to know them! Ask them about their life: their family, their aspirations, even their favorite coffee drinks. Allow them to get to know you too! If your employees feel comfortable talking to you about regular life things, they'll be more comfortable talking to you about their work experience.
Listening to your employees is just as important as talking to them. When your employees are trying to communicate with you, listen to them attentively. Ask questions when necessary, nod your head to show you're hearing what they're saying, and act on what they're telling you. If your employees don't feel like anything will happen when they talk to you, they won't be willing to come to you in the future.
Another part of listening is giving your employees opportunities to communicate with you. Give them time when they can come and discuss things with you. If they aren't comfortable talking about things with you in person (many people aren't), give them a way to contact you outside of work. This can be your cellphone number, email, or you could use an app like WhatsApp.
Set Reasonable Expectations
The expectations you set for your employees and the expectations they have for themselves will determine how they perform. When you hire your employees, tell them exactly what you expect from them. Do you need them to count the hot paper cups at the end of the night? Do you want them to arrive five minutes before their scheduled shift? Tell them!
That way, they'll know to count the hot paper cups, arrive early, or anything else. Giving your employees clear and reasonable expectations allows them to better understand how they can succeed in the workplace.
Conduct Regular Performance Reviews
Performance reviews are another way to communicate with your employees. A performance review is a meeting you have with each employee to discuss their job performance. This allows your employees to know exactly how you're feeling about their work. This way, you're always on the same page with your employees.
If you want to learn more about conducting performance reviews, read this article.
Celebrate Every Win
Everyone loves to be appreciated. A study done by TimesJobs found that "82% employees are willing to work harder if their bosses appreciate them" (Via Economic Times). When your employees do something you like or they finish something difficult, give them praise! It doesn't have to be anything major, it can be as small as saying "good job," or as much as a handwritten note. It may even just be writing them a note on their hot paper cup. If your employees feel appreciated, they're more likely to be willing to work harder and work with you longer.
Respect Your Employees as People
Coffee shops frequently employ people in high school and college. This means your employees may be fairly young. They still deserve respect. This means they deserve their schedules far in advance, they deserve privacy, and they deserve trust.
As for scheduling, people in high school have a lot of other things going on. To live with the least amount of stress, your employees need their schedules at least two full weeks in advance. This gives them enough time to get any necessary shifts covered or rearrange their life schedule.
With privacy, your teenage employees deserve the same amount of privacy as anyone else. If an employee calls in sick or tells you they can't come in with little notice, don't pry into their life. Be okay with them having a life outside of work.
Consistency eliminates a lot of stress. If you're going to conduct performance reviews, make sure to keep them at consistent intervals. When you set expectations with your employees, make sure you don't change those expectations without discussing it with your employees. Be a consistent manager so your employees know exactly what to expect.
Managing employees can be a stressful experience. When managing employees in your coffee shop, make sure to communicate effectively, listen actively, set reasonable expectations, conduct regular performance reviews, celebrate every win, respect your employees, and be consistent. Your employees will appreciate it and it'll make your coffee shop a lower-stress environment.