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Decompartmentalizing Service Tasks by J. Bruce Innes, Jr
Interviewing hundreds of residents and managers at senior communities around the country, I am struck by how often the dining experience is rated low because either the part time help is not dependable or is inadequately trained. I am also struck by how few communities have tried to address the issue with any imagination. One community with a breakthrough solution got there by understanding that many service tasks do not require compartmentalization. So instead of hiring 12 wait staff, each with only 2- to 3- hours per day, they hired extra full-time housekeepers and then staggered the housekeeping hours to cover mealtimes. As part of his or her regular shift, each member of the housekeeping staff spends 2- to 3- hours as part of the Dining Room staff. Annual reviews for these shared employees are done by the dinning room manager and the housekeeping manager together. The advantages. More mature and dependable wait staff, fewer call outs, less problems recruiting.


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