4 Quick Employee Development & Retention Tips

publication date: Aug 7, 2018

Tara Jacobsen

Looking to develop your staff into leaders?

Johnny's Italian SteakhouseTara Jacobsen, Managing Director of Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse of East Peoria, IL, started at the company 13 years ago, when she was 20 years old. Tara began as a server and quickly worked her way up to running the entire restaurant just 6 years after she was initially hired. Tara is a direct representation of Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse’s focus on retaining talent and growing and developing from within the company.

Below are four tips that Tara and her team use to both retain and develop employees.

Continue Teaching/Learning

It is important to continue the learning process even after your employees complete their initial training. Keep the learning alive by offering additional training courses and hold “pop quizzes” to go over company values and material.

Show Employees Appreciation

An employee will want to stay and grow with your company if they feel appreciated and enjoy their job. Always take the time to compliment them on their strengths and offer tips to improve their weaknesses. For instance if they are a great at upselling, but need a little help with taking orders more efficiently, compliment them on their upselling first and then offer a tip to more effectively take down and place orders.

Set the Stage for Success

At Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, every night before the dinner rush the entire team holds a meeting to set the stage for the night. This gets the staff into the service mindset and holds the team accountable. These meetings also ensure the entire staff from the kitchen to the servers are on the same page from the specials of the night, to the special reservations and events. Keeping your staff involved in all aspects of the business will help prepare them for a management position and smooth the transition.

Keep Them Engaged and Involved

To keep your staff involved, add daily contests to pique their interest and keep them motivated. This can also help to identify the hardest workers and gives them the opportunity to acquire additional responsibility.


Learn more about Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse...