No matter the industry, empathetic leadership is an effective and essential tool for success.
The future of any organization depends on strong leadership to survive and thrive – and with our world facing a period of uncertainty, an empathetic leader can help navigate the waters and guide their organization to success.
We recently revamped our training techniques at Angry Crab Shack that help our management teams experience the jobs of every staff member they oversee, from bussing tables to working in the kitchen – creating a new wave of leaders within our franchise system.
Empowering Team Members with Empathy
Empathy is increasingly important to create a positive, resilient and agile work environment. Studies have shown that when leaders have empathy for their employees, they can help increase job satisfaction in the workplace.
It helps build deeper connections with each member of the team, but it can also enable managers within your restaurant to understand the environment where they operate and therefore set more accurate expectations, develop better strategies and communicate clearly with those reporting to them.
Empathy ensures that your leadership team can show those around them that they not only recognize and acknowledge others’ perspectives and ideas, but that they care about them and how their actions impact them. Being able to relate to and understand team members empowers leaders to think critically about restaurant operations, while giving them autonomy over their work.
The Building Blocks to Becoming a Great Leader
In today’s business landscape, leaders need to be flexible in their thinking and open to diverse viewpoints that challenge the status quo. Great leaders are there to unlock the potential in each team member, enable their creativity and motivate them to flourish. Inspirational leaders give their teams the tools to succeed and create an environment of constant learning for employees at any level.
At Angry Crab Shack, we recognized the need to develop a clear structure and pathway to foster the growth of current and future leaders. Our Director of Operations, Eric Kardon, joined Angry Crab Shack in January 2020 and has worked with other our management team to update our training program.
“One of the biggest changes we made to the program is making sure that everyone going through management training has hands-on experience in each of the roles within the four walls of the restaurant. This also includes all new Franchise Owners as part of their initial training,” Eric explained.
The four-week training program is broken down into three increments. The first two weeks of training focus on back-of-the-house operations, including our boil and fry stations, as well as preparing and plating dishes. Management trainees spend multiple shifts shoulder-to-shoulder with their fellow employees learning our sauces and spice mixes so they’ll be able to know from experience exactly how a dish is meant to be served.
Managers in training also get experience in front-of-the-house roles in serving, bartending and bussing over the course of one week.
“Every person in each location is a vital piece of the puzzle that creates a cohesive experience at our restaurants,” explained Allison Maize, a District Manager who oversees three restaurants in the Phoenix market.
The hands-on training gives everyone a clear understanding of – and often newfound respect for – the difference each team member makes in ensuring customers have exceptional experiences in our restaurants.
The last week of training provides insight into expectations for each role, whether they are a general manager, assistant general manager, kitchen manager or assistant kitchen manager. These final seven days are pretty intense for trainees. They learn the fundamentals of financial, inventory and labor management, which gives managers a stronger sense of leadership and confidence when they officially assume their roles.
A Culture of Continuous Improvement
We work hard to give everyone as many tools as possible so they can achieve their goals and successfully lead those around them. By creating a culture of continuous learning, we help our leaders adapt to a constantly-evolving industry environment and create a team of leaders that effectively implement empathy into their management style.
Being a leader can be daunting, but our training techniques aim to instill confidence in current and future leadership teams within the Angry Crab Shack family while giving each individual the tools they need to make their success possible.