Shooting for the Stars: Developing a Staff that Shines

By Heather Ringwood

In our common thread of specialty coffee, we find coffee to be a premium product that is essential to our business operations, yes? Well, I am here to argue that the success and development of our employees is just as critical, if not more so, than the coffee. If your business values address investing in your staff, it will give you paybacks well into the future.

We are an industry who cares about a quality product and the people involved in the process. That product is made better by the people who present it to you. Consider your favorite places to frequent, whether they be online stores, a grocery store around the corner, or your favorite restaurant. More than likely you are drawn to the place based upon your need for the product but you keep coming back because of the relationship you have developed with the employees there. We have all heard this story a million times but it rings true.

Having a staff that represents your business operation, and fills you with pride, takes preparation and planning but will save time for you and your staff in the long run. That preparation should include developing job descriptions, writing a training manual, and clearly outlining your expectations for the time it will take for training. I also suggest that you make it clear in your employee manual what the implications are if your expectations are not met. This will allow you to communicate concerns most efficiently and not spend unnecessary time on an employee who may not be working out.

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