Don't Let "Shift" Roll Down Hill

Setting up your workday for success is a task that is often overlooked. This is a method that we teach our supervisors so that our customers receive a super premium experience with their super premium ice cream. - Mark Banks.


We begin each day with the previous day’s baggage. Car needs an oil change, the kids are late for school, and you’re working a double today. The weight of all of those concerns can be overwhelming. All too often we forget to lay down that baggage. As we prepare for our workday, it can be easy to let the day lead you, raise your hands in the air and proclaim “Shift Happens!”

With a line of customers, shelves that need restocking, dishes to the ceiling and you need to refill waters at table two and three, it can feel like you are in a shift storm. You leave exhausted, frazzled and covered in shift. Well, you don't have to! With proper thought, planning, and communication you can have a productive, fun, and engaged workforce that treat each guest like royalty.

Let me give you a few tips that will ensure you and your co-workers will leave energized, accomplished, with a pocket full of customer gratification.

Before the shift hits the fan...

Take the time to vision the shift that you want. What are your goals?

  • What are your goals?

  • Great Tips?

  • A clean environment?

  • Great service?

  • Satisfied customers?

  • Stress-free crew?

You can work towards those goals to achieve unparalleled success. Take a moment before you step into the workday. Think about how you’d like to feel as you leave for the day.

  • What does success look like?  

  • What does it feel like?

  • Write it down.  

  • Share it with your staff.

A vision can be a practical guide for creating plans, producing valuable tangible tasks that will lead you toward your goals. Most importantly, future-forward thinking will objectionably evaluate the work of both you and your co-workers. Invite your staff to add to the vision. Visioning as a team can bring the group together, increase staff alignment, and make yo’ shift a whole lot easier on everyone.

Take the time to plan yo’ shift out.



- Mark Banks

Looking at your vision, what steps are necessary to lead you toward your goal? Write them down! Use those actions as a step by step guide. This is your strategic plan. If the vision explains what success feels like, this is your roadmap. When possible, delegate to motivate. Delegate duties based on the strengths and passion of each team member. As a result, you can ensure that things get done in a timely manner. Share your map with those you work with. Involve your entire team in the planning process. Communicate your thoughts and gather opinions from your teammates. Keep in mind people support what they help create. When you take the time needed to plan, shift runs a lot smoother.

Take a hard look at yo’ shift

How are things? Are you headed towards your goals? One minor course correction can prevent a hard right turn in the future. Take a step back and take a look at the larger picture. Allow yourself time to breathe, step away and assess. Ask yourself :

  • What does my staff need?

  • What are my customer’s needs?

  • What might I need to meet my goals?

Reviewing your plan from a different angle can give you the perspective needed. Careful not to assume anything. Allow yourself to form your own opinion, however, ask your co-workers what they need to feel successful. If you haven’t seen the pattern, bringing the team together multiple times throughout the day will increase alignment, increases efficiency, and reduce conflict amongst the group.

“We got into this shift together, we’ll get outta this shift together.”

Adjust yo' shift and take control


Attachment to one plan of action can prove to be detrimental to the end goal. Stay flexible. After an assessment, adjust your plan based on any new information that is available. Perhaps the line is longer than expected. Maybe a key piece of equipment has failed. It is essential to stay agile and move key resources around quickly to meet the needs of your goal. What can be done to make sure that you and your teammates are both happy and productive? Analyze the Problem, create a Vision of success, allow your vision to produce tangible tactics and finally measure your success. As they say “shift rolls downhill", but it doesn’t have to.

You don't have to step in a pile of shift. With planning and communication, you and your teammates will stay calm, have fun, and are less likely to shift all over each other.

Do you have any tips and tricks to keep your shift under your control? Let us know in the comments!