From Our Chefs

Culture Highlight: Employee Engagement in Food Service

Shelby White, Culture and Engagement Specialist, explains how important employee engagement is within the food service industry and shares advice to inspire engagement.

At College Chefs, we have an awesome team with great skills. By all indicators, we have the “right people on the boat” and “in the right seats.” A true team can handle the good, the bad and especially the ugly. If you’ve ever worked a day in food service, you know what a tumultuous journey it can be.

There’s just one question. Do we always work together to paddle the boat where we want it to go?

Photographer: Ali Kazal | Source: Unsplash

The most successful teams are those that understand the company’s philosophy and vision. Not only do they understand it, but they are fully committed to the point that they are enhancing it on a daily basis. In food service, that means working as a team to create the final culinary experience.

As we welcome in the New Year, what better time to focus on how we can grab our oars and paddle our boat in the same direction? And what better time to reflect on what role we’re playing on the boat?

Employee engagement: the mutual commitment between the organization and the employee.

And although we are all in the “same boat”, research says we’re not the same.

chefs working in food service
chefPhotographer: Fabrizio Magoni | Source: Unsplash

According to ___, Only 32.5 percent of employee are engaged (paddling hard), 51 percent are disengaged (along for the ride) and 17.5 percent are trying to sink the boat.

We understand that circumstances both at work and at home can affect engagement and really weigh down our personal boats. So, what can we do?

Ask yourself these four questions:

  1. Am I engaged? If not, why not?
  2. Am I overwhelmed? If so, who can I talk to?
  3. Am I adequately challenged? If not, what can I do?
  4. Am I enthused and passionate about what I do? If not, what can I change?

Lastly, if you are adrift, you are not powerless. You can take control of your own engagement. There’s a reason we all got into this game of food service: the passion for creating amazing food! Grab your oar, and start paddling.

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