Since every bakery is different, each will need to adapt to its own management style. While there’s no one “right” way to handle bakery management, there are some key things you can do to lay the foundation for your employees, allowing them to thrive and feel motivated to improve themselves and your bakery.
After all, the vision you have for your bakery can only become a reality if your staff understands their role in your bakery’s success. Let’s dive into the seven critical things you can do to help your bakery employees succeed.
1. Deliver Comprehensive Training
Training lays the groundwork for successful onboarding and employee retention at your bakery. Each staff member should receive a comprehensive walkthrough of your bakery’s policies, safety procedures, cleaning requirements, dress code, customer relations, and anything else important to your brand. Make your expectations known from day one!
Once your trainee has a good handle on their role at your bakery, continue to guide and encourage them so they can learn, grow, and ultimately add value to your bakery. For example, once they have mastered taking orders, you can teach them the proper way to answer the phone and handle the requests they will receive. They will feel empowered by your support and trust in them to take on more tasks.
Many bakers can find it challenging to relinquish control and trust their employees to carry out their roles efficiently and effectively. One way to ensure all your usual tasks are taken care of in an ideal manner is to foster an environment of trust. Once your staff is adequately trained, there should be no need to micromanage.
If you feel the need to hover, maybe some additional training or trust-building is in order. Or perhaps it’s an opportunity to turn inward and pinpoint what additional support you need from your staff as a bakery owner. On the other hand, if your front-of-house workers deliver exceptional customer service and your production bakers create perfect cakes time after time, there’s no need to correct the process. In fact, you should praise it. When your staff can see that you trust them, it will empower them to keep improving.
3. Clear Communication
Clear communication is a must at any business, as miscommunications can negatively affect your bakery operations and customer satisfaction. Whether through email, phone call, or in-person, make sure you give thorough training on each customer care interaction’s different nuances and responsibilities.
Alleviate stress by ensuring employees have all the information they need to succeed. Your bakery staff shouldn’t have to make guesses when it comes to products or pricing—training should be delivered in an all-encompassing way that “sticks.” Clear and thought-out communication reduces the time it takes to receive ideal results.
4. Confront & Manage Conflict
Conflict inevitably arises at every business. As a bakery owner, the best thing you can do is to address conflict as quickly and decisively as possible. Don’t let something like conflict between you and an employee linger. Addressing the conflict professionally and compassionately can help alleviate a lot of unnecessary stress at your bakery. You should:
- Talk with the conflicting employee/employees
- Focus on the behaviors and events—not employee personalities
- Listen carefully
- Identify points of agreement and disagreement
- Prioritize the areas of conflict
- Devise a plan to work on the conflict(s)
- Follow through on your plan
- Promote employee trust and success
5. Mistakes Happen!
As a bakery owner, you know by now it’s better just to laugh some mistakes off. Confusing baking powder for baking soda happens to the best of us. Whether you think so or not, your reaction to your staff’s errors is something that they will remember. If you fly off the handle every time a mistake is made, your team may begin to feel like they can’t approach you when a problem needs to be fixed.
And when a significant or more costly mistake needs to be addressed—make sure you turn it into a learning opportunity instead of a shame fest. Our mistakes are often our greatest teachers. Encourage open discussion and ask your team if they have any suggestions to ensure similar issues are prevented in the future.
6. Lead By Example
As a leader, you should be modeling the exact behavior you expect to see from your team. Your staff will always be looking to you as an example, and your priorities will become their priorities. It’s your job to make sure responsibilities like safety, customer service, and cleanliness are always top-of-mind. If your staff sees you slacking on specific tasks, why wouldn’t they do the same?
You have more influence on your team than you may think! Model your bakery’s values in everyday interactions. Keep your word and follow through with action, leave your workspace clean and organized, and treat others with compassion.
7. Thank Your Team
The worst thing you can do as a bakery owner is think of your staff as expendable. Overworked and underappreciated employees will not only raise turnover rates, but the ones that stay will likely feel no guilt about producing work that is less than their best. People want to be appreciated and acknowledged for their hard work.
You can uplift your team and build their confidence by letting them know how well they are doing in certain areas. Sometimes all we need to do our best is a little encouragement. At OrderNova, we firmly believe that positive reinforcement is much more effective and sustainable than negative consequences.
We want to help bakeries of all shapes and sizes create an environment where teams feel motivated, appreciated, and empowered. We hope this blog gives you the insight you need to effectively manage your bakery staff. You can further support your team by linking up with OrderNova. Start for free today.