4 Ways to Teach Your Managers to Work Smarter and Prevent Employee Burnout

By Andrew Carlson, Foodable Industry Expert

The restaurant industry has a lot of moving parts. Quality managers that know and understand the industry are very hard to come by, which is why it’s your responsibility, as an employer, to protect them from hitting the point of burning out.

The reason why it’s your responsibility is because it’s your brand on the line and employees that are feeling burnt out can result in problems at work between co-workers or customers.

We invest a lot of time, energy, and money into training people. If they are top quality managers, you want to do everything in your power to turn it around before throwing in the towel.

The truth is, a lot of managers put a lot of care into their work and are hard workers, but no one has ever taught them how to be effective. They show up to work and can become very reactionary throughout the day, which increases stress levels, makes them feel unorganized, and that the day was very chaotic. Why? It stems from them having no clear plan.

But if you look to the top at your leadership, instead of blaming them for their shortcomings, you will find that it was simply a lack of training on your part as the employer.

In order to get the most out of your management team, you need to train them better. So here are four ways to train your managers to work smarter so you can prevent burnout and losing quality employees.

1. Create a Game Plan and Stick to It!

Your managers need to know every single day what’s on their list of to-dos. It’s easy to get lost in the mundane, day-to-day issues that arise. No one is going to work expecting the ice machine to stop making ice or one of the line cooks to cut his finger so deep that they’re heading to the hospital to get stitches.

But it happens.

As an employer, you need to train them on how to make a game plan for the week. That way, they will have a list of deadlines that needs to get done. If they are finding out that there are tons of issues that arise on a daily basis, then it’s their responsibility to train their teams to be more effective at their jobs.

There’s a reason why there are leads in every position – so they take the responsibility off the shop manager’s shoulders, and so they can complete everything that’s necessary. Help them by giving them the tools to help you.

2. Force Them to Take Time Off.

I know I may sound a little crazy, because what employer wants to lose a crucial part of their business for a week? Well, I’ve been the manager who never took any time off and it not only hurt my own productivity, but it also ended up hurting my employer as well.

When employees take time off, they come back refreshed and filled with creative ideas on how to improve operations starts flowing through. Taking time off is essential to preventing burnout.

If you only have one person in your business who knows certain aspects of your business or operations, have them train other managers immediately. That way, your manager can take the necessary time off to rejuvenate while your business still runs smoothly.

3. Delegation, Delegation, Delegation!

A lot of managers feel like they have to do everything on their own. They have this huge list of things that needs to get done but the truth is, they don’t have to do everything alone.

In fact, it’s asinine to think that one person could get everything that’s necessary in a single work day. They would end up being there for 16 hours a day, 7 days per week.

Like I said, there’s a lot of moving parts, so it’s crucial to teach your managers to delegate some responsibilities onto their teams. It boosts productivity within your restaurant so you’re getting more done for less, and it gives other team members a sense of pride for the work that they’re doing.

4. Create Clear Expectations.

This last one is vital because this falls on your shoulders as the employer. One of the biggest reasons burnout happens is because your manager may not feel like they have a clear cut set of expectations where they know exactly what their role entails.

I’ve been in positions where I had to ask permission of owners (the people I reported to) for every little thing. I had to ask if I could purchase items that were necessary for operations (ran low on forks, but it would take weeks to hear back from them) or if I could terminate someone (even if it was justifiable).

As the employer, it’s crucial that you create a clear list of expectations for your managers to understand everything their job entails and to do their job effectively.

Burnout is very real in this industry and can happen at the flip of a switch. Do everything in your power as the employer to prevent it. Training a new manager is incredibly costly, so keep the high-quality ones happy and teach them new ways on how to be more effective.

People want to be challenged at work, but give them the tools necessary to overcome those challenges.