SFE provides 6 tips to help all operators guard the welfare of their staff and volunteers, the ones who are serving onsite during these challenging times.
Today, Southwest Foodservice Excellence (SFE) is hosting emergency feeding programs in 90% of our K-12 school districts, ensuring that our children are properly fed even during COVID-19- related school closures. Clearly, there’s never been a more important time to employ the very best protocols to take care of our teammates who are serving on the front lines. We want all employees and their families to stay safe and healthy!
To that end, we offer these 6 tips to help all operators guard the welfare of their staff and volunteers, the ones who are serving onsite during these challenging times:
- Regularly celebrate your staff and volunteers for their service: Consider providing extras like donuts and coffee for one site each day. Make it fun!
- Do your best to listen well to any concerns and then help to demystify fears you hear by reminding your team of the comprehensive list of precautions used to ensure optimal safety across every stage of service. Hold to those safety protocols every day, and spotlight behaviors that reinforce them.
- Be vigilant that your team is healthy—every day: Remind your team that they are incredibly important and are making a difference every day. BUT they cannot be martyrs. If they feel sick, have symptoms, or see someone with symptoms, address the situation immediately and with care and compassion. Everyone wants to stay and feed the kids, but we cannot have employees onsite that are showing any symptoms of sickness. Help each other, have each other’s backs, and fill in for those who need rest.
- To keep team morale up, communicate the positives: Communicate the huge difference your team is making within their community. Collect and share stories from parents, students and administrators as reported through personal notes or social media posts; and remind your team of the numbers of meals you’ve served together, daily.
- Stay upbeat and use humor when you can; and be sure to include some team updates on lighter subjects.
- Don’t forget to say “Thank you!”: Everyone is working hard to feed our students in these uncertain times, and teammates occasionally may feel overwhelmed. It’s important not to forget to express the simple thoughts of appreciation as we work together. Just saying thank you goes a long, long way.