A great employee is like monogamous sex. To make it great, you have to tell them what you want.
My second job ever was working at TGI Fridays. In the early 90’s, it was the hottest place in town. When you were inside, you were transported somewhere else. Everyone who worked there looked like they were having fun. The crazy hats, bartenders flipping bottles, cheering, laughing, good food and great drinks. There was something about that place. Everything was perfect. The customer service was legendary. Didn’t matter what age you were, you wanted to work there. There was a waiting list to be employed there and after applying for a year, I finally got in. The reason everyone wanted to work there, was not only was it a great place to work and you’d make great money, but it had the best training in the industry. Once you worked there, you could work anywhere.
Training was long and methodical. For bussing tables, you trained for two weeks. For waiting tables, you trained for three weeks. For Bartending, you trained for a month. They had dedicated trainers that traveled the country opening new restaurants and instilling the “Friday’s Way” of doing things. We got a large binder, that showed us what to do, how to act and how to escalate problems with guests. At every shift, everyone had a job and there were lists that described the job for that person that evening. The execution was flawless. Night after night, year after year, the restaurant opened, operated and closed the same way. The training was so good, that I traveled the country for 6 months working for TGI Friday’s and the restaurants operated exactly the same. That feat alone was incredible.
I have so many great memories working there. I worked there for eight and a half years. Met my wife there and some of my best friends that I still talk to today. I often think about how and why that place worked so well. Was it a unique moment in time? Could that happen again somewhere else? It’s clear the training set it apart. Everyone knew what they had to do. Everyone knew their job. Couldn’t remember your responsibilities that evening? No problem, there was a handy binder right there. TGI Friday’s was successful, because they let you know what the expectations were from the start and nurtured that along the way.
Monogamous sex is also better, because you are more inclined to tell your partner what you want.
“In a 2013 study of 3,900 college students found that in committed relationships men have more opportunity to get exactly what they want out of sex—playing, acting out fantasies, and flat-out asking for things guys can’t (or at least shouldn’t) ask for during a one-night stand.”
So if you want great employees and great sex, don’t wait around for someone to “figure it out” or to see if they will someday “get it.” Just tell them. If you don’t, you are setting yourself up for failure.