Every business has its rules and regulations. Some businesses have rules which are too strict and inflexible in their application; others are too lenient and promote laziness. Rather than just implementing rules to be followed, the most successful operations develop a culture of successful behavior which revolves around some of the “rules” below. Many of these are not written down rules that you’ll find in the employee handbook, but rather are behaviors which the best employees exemplify and encourage because they recognize that these unspoken rules make everyone’s job easier.
A culture of successful behavior includes rules/behaviors which promote self-awareness, self-discipline, personal integrity, responsibility, pride in one’s work, the willingness to work as a team, and the deliberate decision to be respectful of others. The whole purpose of these rules is to promote/encourage/develop these qualities in people.
Some of these rules will need to be strictly enforced, such as attendance rules. But other rules are taught through mentorship both by leadership and tenured crewmembers who lead by example.
1. You show up early and are at your station or work area ready for the day’s work.
This displays self-discipline and integrity. You arrive early because you are always one step ahead. It gives you time to plan for the day.
2. You are confident in your abilities but not arrogant. You walk with purposeful strides.
Confidence is different than arrogance. A confident person has a willingness to learn and can admit to mistakes. An arrogant person is difficult to teach and often will not admit to mistakes made.
3. You are appropriately dressed for the work that you do with an eye towards making an admirable impression on guests or customers.
This applies to any job regardless of if you wear a suit, or wear coveralls. You are dressed professionally in clean clothes which are appropriate for your profession.
4. You take pride in your work and have a genuine enthusiasm for the work you do.
Taking pride in your work means that you enjoy (most of the time!) the work that you do, and you perform your work to the best of your abilities. But pride in your work does not mean that you are always correct, or that your work is above criticism.
5. You are Knowledge-Seeker and don’t get defensive when criticized.
You are always willing to learn new things or new ways of doing things. You know that you are not perfect and are able to control your ego in order to continue to grow and improve both at your job and as a person.
6. You are not a know-it-all (the opposite of being coachable).
Do not have a reputation of being someone who frequently says, “I know” or “You don’t have to tell me” because you will be stuck at whatever level you are currently at and will have a very difficult time advancing beyond it.
7. You don’t complain – especially about things That can’t be controlled like the business hours of operation, customer requests/returns, working on weekends/holidays, how busy or slow it is, etc. all.
Every one of your co-workers is in the same boat and feels the same frustration about these things as you do…except that the best co-works don’t bring down everyone else by complaining about what cannot be changed. If your comments or actions will not help improve the situation then keep them to yourself.
8. You show respect for fellow co-workers regardless of their position.
Every person is worthy of respect up to the point that they prove themselves to be unworthy of respect or betray your respect. Every person has something of value to give, something that you can learn from them.
9. You do not expect or demand respect from others. You understand that respect is earned: a) by being equal or better than everyone else in the kitchen, and b) by treating everyone else like they are equal or better than you.
If you feel that someone has disrespected you, ask yourself if you have disrespected them first. You cannot demand or expect respect from someone whom you have already offended. Respect is built by extending your hand, not by forming a fist.
10. You are neither too proud nor too afraid to ask for help if you need it.
It is better to get instruction on how to do something right the first time than to pretend you know how to do it and then have it brought back to you as being incorrect.
11. When you are having a great day you focus, prepare, & execute your duties properly throughout your entire shift. When you are having a shitty day you focus, prepare, & execute your duties properly throughout your entire shift.
This is professional self-discipline; pride in your work; integrity; the ability to do your best regardless of how you feel today.
12. You do not bring your personal drama to work with you. You take control of, and are responsible for, your “Emotional Wake”.
While at work you are paid to work, so learn to leave your personal life at the door when you clock in…you can pick it up again on your way home. This includes your cell phone use! If friends, family, whoever are interfering with your work by constantly texting/calling you then educate them that while you are at work you can only communicate with them during your breaks. Enforce this, or risk being terminated because you allow other people to interfere with doing your job.
13. You admit when you are wrong, but do not point it out when others are wrong.
You take ownership of your mistakes and allow others the opportunity to own their mistakes. By owning your mistakes you show that you are mature and confident enough to admit a misstep. You also gain respect, show that you can manage your ego, and gain credibility for those times when something happens which is not your fault.
14. You consistently show up for work…if you are sick then be prepared to provide a doctor’s note to prove it.
Too many people “call in sick” so they can go to a party or other event. Although this can hurt the business, the real damage is done to other co-workers who now have to work harder to cover for the fact that they are now short-staffed.