1. Tell each employee how much you value him/her.
2. The catering business, like many other businesses that provide "luxury" services, is going through a difficult time. Talk about the changes in the industry and remind your staff that you are committed to finding ways to turn the current lemons into lemonade and the proverbial lemonade stand.
3. Partner with your employees. Ask your staff for ideas on how to find and keep business. Offer intensive bonuses to those who are able to garner new business.
4. Forget the golden rule and go with the platinum rule instead. This means you should do unto others as THEY WANT to be done unto. Ask your staff members what they need/want and how you can help them accomplish their goals.
5. Your employees (like your customers) will not necessarily remember what you say or what you do. But, they will remember how you made them feel. So be sure to end every exchange with them feeling valued, appreciated and respected.
Elinor Robin, "The Relationship Mediator," has more than 18 years of experience in mediation while working within the public and private sectors.