We have been fortunate to have had an awesome past couple of months! July was the second busiest month in Footers’ history and overall we could not be happier with our team and how smooth our events went. We had the opportunity to cater some very large events, some extremely complex events, and a couple of high profile events. Successful events require great teamwork and I believe that requires two things that I would like to highlight.
1) Know Your Role (be awesome): Each of our team members has been put in a position to make the company successful. As leaders, it’s our job to make sure they understand exactly what is expected of them. It’s critical that everyone recognizes their responsibilities and does their job to the best of their ability, but also understands their role in relation to the rest of the team.
I’ve told our team many times that we all need to accept that no department is more important than another. We all rely on each other and play an equal role in creating exceptional experiences for our clients and their guests. As Catersource founder Mike Roman famously said; “If you don’t sell it, you can’t cook it.” I agree that is where the process starts, but if you don’t cook it, you won’t have anything to sell and if the trucks don’t get loaded there’s no party. At Footers, we use a wheel analogy where each of our five departments (sales/coordination, kitchen, financial/administration, service, warehouse) represents an equal part of a wheel. Motion of that wheel represents the progress of our events and business as a whole. If there are gaps in between departments, the wheel will still move, but it won’t go smoothly and if one department is missing then the wheel does not move at all.
We must focus on ourselves first before looking for strengths and weaknesses of others, especially when things aren’t going as well as they could. This brings me to the second point: patience.
2) Have Patience (respect each other): No one comes to work trying to do a bad job, so when things don’t go as planned or mistakes are made, I encourage our team to not be so quick to blame someone else or assume that they made that mistake on purpose. We need to trust that they are all trying their best, have patience, and again ask ourselves; “What can I do to improve the situation?” You might be able to fix a problem that you didn’t create or offer to help someone who might be struggling, which is what teamwork is all about.
Patience can also be improved with better communication. If you need help from a teammate, make sure you are clear on what you need them to do. Too many times we assume that what we say will be understood and implemented in a certain way without checking to make sure the other person truly understands what you expect of them.
If you can encourage your team to be great at their jobs and be patient with one another, you will see some phenomenal teamwork begin to unfold right in front of you. And that high level of teamwork makes work even more enjoyable and fun, which leads to awesome events!