Performance standards developed by food truck owners form the heart of the job description and they describe the whats, how-tos, and how-wells of a job for employees in a food truck business. Each performance standard states three things about the job:
- What the employee is to do
- How it is to be done
- To what extent it is to be done (how much, how well, how soon)
Traditionally, job descriptions have simply listed the duties and responsibilities of what the employee is to do for each job. Although this approach is better than no approach, a job description using performance standards is much more useful.
Anatomy of a Performance Standard
Job classification: Window server
Type of work: Take food and beverage orders
Performance Standard: The window server will take food and beverage orders for food truck with 100% accuracy using standard business procedures.
Breakdown: The window server will…
What: take food and beverage orders
How: using standard business procedures
To what standards: all food truck customer orders with 100% accuracy
Supporting materials explaining or illustrating the specifics of the how ( in this case, “standard business procedures”) are necessary to complete each performance standard. They explain the action to be taken in order to reach the goal or standard.
Uses of the Job Description
Job descriptions are used often in recruiting, evaluating applicants, and training. They are also useful in assigning work, evaluating performance, and deciding on disciplinary action.
What a Good Performance Standard System Can Do
If you develop a full set of performance standards for each job classification in your food truck, you have the basis for a management system for your staff and the work they do. You can use them to describe the jobs, to define the day’s work for each job, to train employees to meet standards, to evaluate employees’ performance, and to give them feedback on how they are doing. You can use performance standards as a basis for rewarding achievement and selecting people for promotion. You can use them as diagnostic tools to pinpoint ineffective performance and as a basis for corrective action. You can also use them in disciplining workers as a means of demonstrating incompetence. They provide the framework for a complete system of employee management.
Consistent use of a performance standard system can reduce or eliminate low productivity and high turnover. Your food truck employees are told clearly what to do. They are taught how to do it. They know how well they are doing because there is an objective standard of measurement. You can also help and support them with additional training or coaching when standards are not being met. All this makes for much better relationships between you and your workers.
Performance standards improve individual performance. When people are not given explicit instructions but are left to work out their own ways of getting their work done, they usually choose the easiest methods they can find. People also begin to find certain parts of their job more to their liking than other parts and will slack off on the parts they like least. The procedures and standards put all these things into the right perspective.
Once workers know what to do and how to do it, they can concentrate on improving their skills. Improved skills and knowledge, coupled with goals to be met, encourage people to work more independently. If a reward system is related to achievement staff will respond with better work. Better work means better productivity, better customer service, more sales, and higher profits.
Morale in your food truck will benefit greatly. People feel secure when they know what to do and how to do it, and when their work is judged on the basis of job content and job performance. If they have participated in developing the objectives, they have a sense of pride and a commitment to seeing that the objectives work. Participation also contributes to their sense of belonging and their loyalty to the company.
A performance standard system can reduce conflict and misunderstanding in your mobile food business. Everybody knows who is responsible for what. They know what parts of the job are most important. They know the level of performance you expect in each job.
We hope this article helps shed some light on performance standards and how they can help any food truck business.