Hosting a staff development party
Hosting a staff development party is more than just a fun escape from the daily routine; it’s a strategic move to enhance team cohesion, and appreciation and reduce attrition.
“I have enough on my plate before thinking about a party.” I can’t emphasize it enough: this is not simply a party. A party is just a bunch of people in a room, typically drinking alcohol. This is not that, this is staff development. A staff development, or Staff-Devo for short, is a coordinated effort to relieve the attention of this high-pressure, fast-paced job and provide a relaxed setting for people to see other coworkers in a different light. When done appropriately, this builds unity and trust, which is the bedrock of a high-functioning team. A functioning team performs at a higher level and wants to quit their job less often, so how do you achieve that?
Beyond Just a good hang. Organizing activities that are fun and promote teamwork and communication can mirror the collaborative spirit.
Consider activities like team make-line challenges, restaurant-themed trivia or problem-solving games. Additionally, anything you would see at the World Pizza Games works excellently in this environment. Moreover, if you have an all-star, this can lead to you bringing them to Vegas to compete on the grand stage.
Beyond entertainment – these exercises in collaboration and communication show off acumen to all the members of a successful restaurant team.
Budget-Friendly, High-Impact. You don’t need to break the bank to host an effective Staff-Devo. The key lies in creativity and making the most of what you have. Utilize your restaurant space or collaborate with a local venue that offers enough room for activities. Sunday nights, post-close, often work best for such events, minimizing disruptions to your business operations.
Essential Staff Party Elements for Success:
- Recognition. Introduce an element of friendly competition. Have a trophy or a custom title belt with your logo that employees can vie for. It’s a tangible symbol of achievement and a fun way to foster healthy competition. We use the Andolini’s Title Belt for our “ANDOMANIA.”
- Professional Boundaries. Make it clear that while this is a party, it’s still a work-related event. Set boundaries regarding acceptable behavior to avoid any incidents that could lead to disciplinary actions.
- Safety First. If alcohol is involved, ensure underage staff are clearly marked and understand the repercussions of breaking the rules. Arrange transportation for staff who may need help to drive home.
- Personal Touch. Take the time to thank every team member who attends personally. It’s a small gesture that goes a long way in showing your appreciation. If you allow family members to attend, thank them.
- Change of Taste. Serve food from a different restaurant. It gives your team a break from the usual and shows your support for fellow local businesses.
- Legal Considerations. No matter what you do, have staff sign a waiver for additional protection. Have your lawyer draft something considering everything you plan to do.
Hosting a staff development party is a strategic investment in your team’s well-being and, by extension, your pizzeria’s success. It’s an opportunity to strengthen bonds, show appreciation, and ultimately, create a more positive, productive work environment. Food, ambiance, and SERVICE are what we provide the customer, and great service leads to return business and solid ROI.