Something that's been on my mind recently:  shop policies and procedures.  I just read an earlier thread on the subject of getting employees to clean the shop here.  This discussion quickly turned to hiring the right people and getting rid of bad hires as well as having documented cleaning lists and store policies (on cell and internet usage, ect.).  While I sympathize with business owners on using systems to get employees to accomplish your goals, I also feel that these lists and policies are often used as a stop-gap in lieu of good hiring practices.


A few books still on my palate are "Good to Great", "Built to Last", "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People", and a few leadership seminars by Andy Stanley and Dave Ramsey.  Now, I haven't read every leadership book in existence but I've read a few and none of them have ever said: "Wait to start the hiring process until you need a new person, settle for somebody who doesn't immediately annoy you, compensate for the bad hire by writing a huge rule book that plays to the lowest standard of behavior, and keep that person on until they quit out of frustration."  As a matter of fact, most of them say avoid doing these things at all costs; even if you have to work 12 hours a day for two months.  I don't think any of us set out to create this kind of work environment but through poor projection/poor hiring processes we end up doing just that.


My philosophy is currently to have as few rules/regs as possible, hire people that don't need many rules, and address special circumstances with customers or the shop on a case-by-case basis.  But I know that my way isn't the only or even the best way, so my curiosity is this:  what is your (or your store's) philosophy on hiring and policies/procedures, and/or have you found yourself slipping into bad hires and playing to the lowest standard?

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One of my fave business books is Michael Gerber's "The E-Myth Revisited" though I have read your three.


There's no one solution but providing a system of systems with checks and balances allows you to evaluate performance and work with your team on improving and keeping your standards high.



how does that adage go ? " common sense does not prevail"...

your theory is great. the problem is that sh*t happens and you need to protect yourself and/or your company's interests. Great employees can turn southward faster than you think no matter how great of an employer you are. unfortunately checklists and the such do end up being a crutch for employers but not necessarily their fault, if they've grown too fast(or a number of things) and havent shored up their management things can degrade pretty fast

At our shop we spent a ton of time dialing in the hiring/training process as well as checklists. Those checklists were only in use for the first cycle of supervisors training, its more of a training tool versus useless paperwork.( we transitioned into dry erase & email Checks )  our training process was pretty long and intensive too,

Having an Ops manual new hires are required to sign  is a useful tool if things turn unfortunate and you have to single out actions against a certain employee or if things threaten to get legal.


so yes hire people who don't require a lot of rules but have the rules in place when/if things go sour, & if you have influence to do so regulate your training process- your kids will know whats expected only if you let them know....


dunno if that even answered anything hope it did something useful!

Check lists and systems are the language shops use to maintain standards whether written or not. Check lists and rules etc will communicate what you want and design them to. They are their to back up a well demonstrated and communicated set of expectations. With this combination of hiring good people, clear communication of standards, provision pf tools that help your staff implement those standards, and leading by example you should never have to worry about regretful decisions as much

You might think it is better in the tech world as we are typically paying higher wages etc.  It's not.   We have learned that the rules and documentation are necessary up front to have a starting place for what is expected of our employees (and our policies).  Every business is different.  I feel that the handbooks etc give you a place to reference and to confirm that you both had agreed on something when a team member gets off the path set. 

The other side of this is that there is SO MUCH to learn as a new employee in every business.  It can be overwhelming.  Having lists etc can give that employee a place to reference and make sure they are doing things right.  

I am with you Joshua. I hire people that have good decision making skills and allow them the authority to make decisions. I run a 24 hour cafe and so I can not be there all the time and checklists and systems in place are essential, even with excellent hiring decisions.


Also I have found that everyone has a different learning style and it's great to have as many learning resources around as possible. I also run my business with the goal in mind that worst-case-scenario anybody would be able to walk in to the cafe and have all the tools necessary to perform the job. Not that I plan on that happening, but it's just good practice to have everything set up to that extent.


Slow to hire and quick to fire is the credo, right?

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