Everyone knows that office hours are for busy, distracted professors who want to offer their students an opportunity to receive their undivided attention. But busy food truck owners who are similarly busy and distracted should also make the time to connect with their employees. Maybe it’s time that the office hours concept crossed the academic-business divide.
Hold Office Hours For Your Food Truck Employees
Clear an hour or two each week and let your employees know that you are available by phone or in person for an unscheduled meeting. Tell them you want to hear what excites, worries, or confuses them. This may well become the most productive hour of any food truck owner’s week and put you at the head of the class.
While holding office hours sounds simple, here are three tips to help you do it the right way.
Effective use of office hours involves some organization. Avoid long, aimless, drifting discussions. When an employee shows up, establish the reason for their visit and keep the conversation on track.
Listen But Don’t React Too Fast
When employees come in with a complaint, refrain from becoming defensive. Ask questions and consider giving yourself a day or two to think before giving a final response.
Your office hours will be more productive if you schedule them at times when your employees have free time. It is important to remember that these meeting times require commitment on your part as well. Busy lives force people to juggling family, school, and other tasks in addition to work. Coming to your office hours often means a schedule rearrangement so it’s important that you show up when you committed.
The Bottom Line
Office hours give your food truck employees the opportunity to ask in-depth questions and to explore points of confusion or interest that cannot be fully addressed during a regular work day.