How to Create a Unique Company Culture at Your Bar

If you’ve been reading the TallyFi blog for awhile, you know that the employees at your bar can make a huge difference in nightly sales, customer happiness, and the overall success of your business. Whether you personally manage your team or you have middle managers to help out, one of your key concerns as a nightclub owner is how to attract and retain the best talent for your team.

Company culture” has become a bit of a buzzword over the last few years as office environments have implemented features like standing desks and bring your dog to work days, but the idea behind the phrase can be the difference between happy, driven employees and resentful, lazy ones — no matter where they’re employed.

When you consider the fact that unhappy employees outnumber happy ones by two to one worldwide, it’s clear that taking the time to simply make sure your employees are happy will set your company culture apart from the rest. The tips below are designed to help you craft the unique company culture that will make your current employees highly appreciative of their jobs and make it easier for you to recruit talented employees to your nightclub in the future.

1. Be extremely intentional about hiring the right people

It happens to even the best managers and business owners. They have a job opening they need filled and none of the applicants are phenomenal but, at the end of the day, they have to fill the position so that their business can move forward.

According to Officevibe, “60% of employers admit to being very concerned with the cost of unfilled positions.” With most employees putting in two weeks’ notice and most positions taking an average of 27 business days (or nearly four weeks) to fill, the time between an old employee leaving and the right fit taking their place can have a huge impact on your business.

At the same time, rushing through the process of hiring a new employee can mean even stronger repercussions for your business. SayIt Communications calculated the ROI of a bad hire and found it to be a whopping -298%. Vitamin T Staffing Firm polled companies on the topic of bad hires. They found that 41% of them estimated that a bad hire cost the company more than $25,000, and 25% of them estimated that a bad hire cost the company more than $50,000.

But your company has more to lose than money. A bad hire can have lasting effects on the company culture and employees morale, as well. 66% of employers said they experienced negative effects of bad hires, and they cited that the leading consequence was a negative impact on employee morale. If you’re trying to keep good employees at your company and happy, consider this fact: as much as 80% of employee turnover is simply due to bad hiring decisions.

You wouldn’t be alone if you rushed through the hiring process, but if you’re on a mission to craft a unique company culture at your bar, it may be time to carefully consider whether it’s worse to have a position unfilled for a few weeks or for the wrong person to take the job. Combat the loss of money, drop in employee morale, and increase in employee turnover associated with bad hiring decisions by taking your time during the hiring process. Another important tip? Follow your gut. If an applicant looks good on paper but you just don’t feel right about hiring them to join your current team, your instinct is probably right.

2. Find a balance between working in a group and working one-on-one

If you read our last article about boosting upselling at your bar, you may be working on implementing stand-ups and nightly meetings with your team at your nightclub. We found that stand-ups allow you to get everyone on the same page, update employees on sales goals, unify the team, and promote a sense of focus before heading into peak hours.

But does this mean that stand-ups and other group meetings should be the sole medium for communicating with each of your team members? Absolutely not. Gathering your employees on a regular basis certainly has its benefits, but it’s important to keep in mind that relying on this method alone can neglect the needs of some of your employees.

Sometimes it can be easier to arrange a casual hangout after hours with the team than it is to have one-on-one talks with each of your employees. After all, you’ve got a busy schedule and enough to keep track of as it is. However, consider this Gallup statistic: employees whose managers hold regular meetings with them are almost three times as likely to be engaged as employees whose managers don’t.

While some employees are motivated by those team get-togethers, others crave a one-on-one meeting with you. Research shows that, in a 6-person meeting, 2 people do more than 60% of the talking. So for a portion of your team, these gatherings provide a strong sense of collaboration and are the perfect setting for you to acknowledge their strengths. Meanwhile, other members of your team will feel unappreciated without having an actual conversation with you. And, of course, some employees want a balance of both.

If you think that annual performance reviews have you covered in this realm, think again: 77% of HR executives believe performance reviews aren’t an accurate representation of employee performance. What’s more: 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized. So simply having regular conversations with your employees can both provide a more accurate evaluation of their work as well as give them a renewed sense of motivation.

While you constantly look for ways to get the team together and work in a group, don’t forget the importance of personally sitting down with employees from time to time to tell them how they’re doing and to work through general concerns together. Use this time to provide positive feedback, offer constructive criticism, and review goals. It may seem like such a simple act on your part, but to some employees on your team, it will make the difference between feeling neglected and feeling appreciated — which will directly impact their performance and morale every single day.

3. Use personality differences to your advantage

On a similar note to making sure employees have a balance of group and one-on-one recognition, some of the most effective managers realize that each of their employees can be wildly different — and that this is a good thing. Something as simple as considering your employees’ personalities can reveal a lot about how they make decisions, their workplace preferences, what drives them, areas that need improvement, and much more.

For example, much of western culture —especially in work environments — is best suited for extroverts. At a bar or nightclub, the ratio of extroverted employees to introverted employees may be even higher than in the typical workplace. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t talented introverts on your team or even that all of your extroverted employees think and act the same way.

According to the Harvard Business Review, one of the worst mistakes you could make as a manager is to let the most dominant people on your team do all the talking. Instead, part of your job is to encourage the quieter people to speak more and the louder ones to listen and reflect.