Last week we shared 10 ideas for how we can take care of ourselves and our employees/coworkers during these uncertain times, and this week we wanted to share real time examples that our Chefs and Managers have put into action to engage our culinary teams across the country over the past few weeks.
These ideas have been great to engage our culinarians and can easily be applied to culinary students and restaurant staff too!
- Create a private Facebook group for ongoing engagement and communication. You can share food photos, recipes, videos as well as need to know information. An Instagram page for food photos would work great too! It’s easy to create and free to use.
- Get moving! For a little break in the day, try a virtual group workout. Pull up a video on YouTube and stream it so everyone can watch and follow along together.
- Host a virtual food show! Assign everyone a recipe assignment to create at home, have them take a photo of the dish. During a group video conference, each person takes turn presenting their dish, explaining the ingredients and the thought behind the plating presentation.
- Have your team conduct virtual trainings for one another. Give each person a topic to research and then have them create a presentation to educate their findings with the group. This is a great way for kitchen folks to get more familiar with office programs and computer work, and it also is a good public speaking exercise.
- Create a newsletter. There are many programs that provide newsletter templates free of charge. Include need to know information and updates alongside feel good photos, getting to know you spotlights and fun facts. It’s more engaging than a standard email and can be a great resource for teams to receive and reference!
- Create and send video messages. Celebrate staff birthdays or work anniversaries for the month by baking a cake and recording a “Happy Birthday“ or celebratory video. It will make your team feel good to know you are still thinking about them. And if you took the suggestion to create a private Facebook group, that would be a perfect place to share videos like this.
- Call. During times of uncertainty and isolation, it is more important than ever to reach out to your team members to ensure they are safe, protected and well. A simple “hello, we are thinking about you,” or quick conversation goes a long way. It not only reminds your team that they are important but also keeps them feeling engaged and personally connected.
Most importantly, have fun! Keeping the people you care about up-to-date on changes and encouraging them to be part of the group is helpful when so many individuals feel isolated right now.