Are you a restaurant manager that has spent hours crafting a detailed employee handbook? You’ve carefully outlined your ideal employee conduct and restaurant standards. Now you’re wondering, “How do I get my employees to start following this?”

It’s a problem every restaurant faces. No matter how detailed and comprehensive your employee handbook is you have trouble getting staff to read it, let alone follow it.

Here are five common reasons your employees aren’t following your employee handbook and how to fix them.

### Reason 1: "I’ll Read That In My Spare Time" Syndrome

Scenario:

You gave staff the restaurant handbook, instructed them to read it over the next few weeks, told them it was important and that was that. Your new employees took the handbook with the responsible intention of reading it later, then it got swept away along with gym clothes and coffee cups in the back of their car.

Tips for Avoiding
The problem with this scenario is that the handbook was positioned from the beginning as something for “your spare time”. This allows employees to mentally mark it as non-priority, where it’s tossed aside for priority items.

### Reason 3: "I Never Got Officially Trained Because There Was a Dinner Rush and We All Got Busy" Disease

Scenario
Unfortunately, aside from being an avid handbook advocate, you also manage a restaurant. Rushes happen and you and your employees’ have to react. Sometimes training can fall through the cracks and bad habits form before you even get the chance to drive your points home.

How to Avoid
It’s impossible to avoid an unplanned rush - they’re unplanned. Instead of dropping training all together, look for ways to make training more efficient and an ongoing process.

### Reason 4: The "No One Will Notice" Epidemic

Scenario
Your employees are exhausted after a hectic night. They forget to wipe down the bar and neglected their hourly bathroom checks. You don’t say anything. You know they were busy. Employees notice the lack of repercussions and subconsciously begin to cut more corners when it makes sense for them. Other employees see this happening without consequence and start following suit.

Tips for Avoiding
Finding the line between pointing out all employee mistakes, or pointing out no mistakes is a challenge for every manager. Instead look for ways to shift accountability for actions onto your employees, so you don’t have to point out every thing they do wrong. They'll know for themselves when they've missed something.

### Reason 5: "I Couldn't Do It Because..." Affliction

Scenario
Sometimes its not your employees’ fault if standards can’t be met. Maybe they’re no more toilet paper left to restock your bathrooms, or your cleaning solution has run out. They aren’t able to complete a task and aren’t clear what to do to fix the issue for next time.

Tips for Avoiding
Empower employees notify you or other managers when something stands in way of them following your handbook or help them fix the issues themselves.

### Conclusion

Getting your restaurant staff to adopt your employee handbook requires more than just creating a handbook. Look for ways to constantly reinforce and emphasize the importance of proper employee conduct and supporting restaurant standards both in your employee training and on an ongoing basis. Develop and utilize programs and leverage software and tools that empower employees to be accountable for their own actions and resolutions of problems that prevent them from completing standards.