Hello Lancaster SHRM! I hope your new year is off to a fantastic and successful start! The groundhog has predicted an early spring, and the weather seems to already be responding!
Each month when I write the newsletter, I try to share a personal experience or subject of interest that is relevant to HR and the business realm. This month I witnessed an event that I feel compelled to share. It was something that I suspect many people would have considered ordinary and others may have even thought it was bothersome, but I thought it was magnificent.
My husband and I went out to dinner in downtown Lancaster on a Saturday evening. We were not able to reserve a table, so we took our chances at getting seats at the bar. We were in luck; we got the last two.
The restaurant was packed, and the bar was full. There were two bartenders making drinks for everyone in the place. They were hustling, to say the least, yet they never looked frazzled, and they did not stop smiling. They worked seamlessly with one another and managed their multiple responsibilities seemingly effortlessly. They took care of their customers at the bar who like us were ordering drinks, appetizers, and meals as if this was not a problem. They took their time to explain the specials, answer our questions, and make recommendations. We had a wonderful meal and a terrific time together, but that is not the story. Then the moment came to test the level of service.
Where we were seated, we could see the entire scene play out. There was a slip of the hand and glass dropped just above the ice bin. The glass did not shatter, it only chipped but that did not matter. The first bartender checked the other to make sure she was not hurt; the glass was disposed of and the process of cleaning the ice bin immediately began. The problem was there was food to be run and drinks to go out. There were quick gestures and instantly everyone knew their roles.
A member of the kitchen staff came out with a bucket of hot water to start to melt the ice. The area was cleared of all unnecessary items. A second team member came out with a different container of hot water while the first staff member refilled it. The bartenders continued to make drinks and cleaned and sanitized the area. Once complete the ice bin was refilled and everything was returned to its original place and all team members went back to their original roles. The entire event took about 10 minutes.
I am sure some drinks took a minute or two longer to get out. I imagine a few customers had to wait a few more moments to place an order. But what impressed me the most was what I did not see or hear. There was no finger-pointing, blaming, or short-cutting of safety. Instead it was teamwork, adaptability, accountability, and culture in action. There was a known system and process. Everyone knew what to do and while it may have been an inconvenience, not one single employee complained or even groaned. Each jumped in, did their part, and moved forward. The team worked quickly but not hastily. They checked on each other and they did their jobs thoroughly. The team did not miss a beat.
I have worked in restaurants before and I know it can be stressful and taxing. Customers can be rude and demanding. An incident like this can ruin your night, not to mention your tips. But this team was trained, prepared, and executed and it was all done with a positive, supportive, adaptable attitude.
The bartending team at that downtown Lancaster restaurant showcased a seamless blend of skill, teamwork, and a positive attitude in the face of unexpected challenges. In HR, we can draw inspiration from such moments, using them as a guiding light to cultivate workplace cultures that thrive under pressure, where every member knows their role and contributes to the collective success of the team. In the world of Human Resources, we aim to foster environments where collaboration, adaptability, and accountability are not just ideals but lived principles. The dedication and camaraderie demonstrated by the restaurant team underscores the significance of investing in training, the importance of a well-defined process, effective communication, and a shared commitment to excellence.
Wishing you continued success and looking forward to your respective, exciting journeys ahead!