How do you deal with an unresponsive staff?

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Joined Oct 28, 1999
I find myself frequently frustrated by working with a staff that doesn't seem to care. Specifically, I take it personally when poor product is served or lackluster service is evident, yet nobody takes the outcome seriously. My excuse has always been that I set myself up by elevating expectations. However, I can't imagine that much can be accomplished without 'raising the bar'. Anybody else have this frustration or, more importantly, anybody overcome it?
 
1,908
274
Joined Oct 28, 1999
Chef Scott, I can appreciate your insight and, in most cases, I would agree. However, I do not work in an independent operation and termination is often something that is a long and arduous task. And, yes you can not teach someone to care... so now what is the answer? It is a tough predicament, but I am sure not a unique one. I guess what I am looking for is some management technique (that takes the food service industry into account) that will motivate/steer the 'marginal' worker.
 

pete

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I have been in just such a situation. I worked in a restaurant, in a company, that got all the long term employees that the smaller places couldn't afford anymore because of their high wages. These people knew that their jobs were safe no matter what they did, as long as they didn't down right break the rules. My whole staff had at least 8-10 yrs in the company. And the company wouldn't let me can them unless I had a really good reason. I turned everything into a game for them. Made cooking a competitive sport. Had contests, such as menu ideas for specials, in which they could win money. Money and competition are what motivate these people. It worked for awhile, until I got the **** out of there and into a better place. Unfortunately, many cooks are in this business to make money and that's it so play to their level to raise them to yours. It can work if you are stuck with these people.
 
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Joined May 14, 1999
I agree with the last post. I think the problem is related to society as a whole these days: "what's in it for me", that immediate gratification thing. My wife owns a day care and cares for the children of 23 separate families. Of these 23, not one has a father who lives at home. Most have never met their dads! These kids are growing up into adults that have no respect for authority and no understanding of discipline. For them, actions do not have consequences. I hate to say it, but get used to it guys. As a nation we have sowed our seeds and are about to reap what we have sowed.
 
1,908
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Joined Oct 28, 1999
Thanks for all of your input! I am attempting a combination of the suggestions mentioned. Specifically, I am 'picking my battles' as not to not be the 'tyrant boss.' I am, however, suggesting, pointing-out and otherwise recommending techniques to improve productivity & output. I'll keep you posted... or I'll post my resume... just kidding! Again, thanks!!
 
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