In a column named “Building Blocks,” it’s no coincidence that we’re going to spend some time talking about building a team. After all, employees are among the most important “blocks” in your business.
Follow along for the steps to follow when hiring and assessing your new staff.
Make a ‘lineup’
The first key to building a successful team is knowing what positions you need. Just like a football team isn’t built with 11 quarterbacks on the starting offense, the same goes with making your own pizzeria lineup. Consider how many positions you’ll need to fill and what those positions are. You can get literal and make an actual list. For example:
- 3 full-time pizza makers
- 3 full-time sandwich makers
- 2 full-time greeters
- 5 part-time counter workers
- 4 full-time managers
- 2 part-time utility/do-all team members
With that list, the next step is hiring.
Assess strengths and weaknesses
Once you have your roster of team members, you need to identify their strengths and weaknesses — indeed, someone can be great at one job and just not meet expectations somewhere else in the restaurant. This whole process may take a few weeks of working with your staff, possibly by taking notes or making a mental list of where employees do and do not excel.
Once the weaknesses are discovered, try to avoid putting team members in those types of situations unless it is absolutely necessary. When there is time, work with them to strengthen their skills and help them become a well-rounded asset for your team.
Look for team-players
With your people in key positions, especially at the start, you’ll want to monitor their progress and performance. Importantly, see how they work with others. There are few areas in your pizzeria where it is a one-man show — that’s why I love this job so much, because it does take a team — so observe which team members best gel together.
We talk a lot about “putting our aces in places,” and this is where that all starts. Once you have some great dynamic duos forming and you can see the strengths of your team, the next aspect you need to judge is one that is hard to see — or is it?
Judge the buy-in
Who is all-in with what you’re doing at your new pizzeria and wants to help make it a success? This is so important, because when things get crazy — and they will — these are the team members who will hold it all together and influence other team members to do the same.
But how do you judge buy-in? Ask yourself: Who is always on time? Who stays past the end of their shift? Who covers shifts when no one else can? Who’s always in uniform? Who has a positive attitude?
Once you’ve started building a team and identified your key people, the next step is Team Building — which, believe it or not, is quite different than building your team. We’ll explain the difference in the next Building Blocks.