The chef has decided to close on Sundays, the day she billed the most of the week, to enjoy her son. This labor trend requires managers to consider how they can offer flexibility to their workers to retain talent.
"Working in a kitchen is totally idealized. You burn yourself, you cut yourself, it's hot, the hours are tremendous, you live in constant stress... The boys who want to dedicate themselves to this should be told the whole truth about the profession. No everything is dinners, galas, prizes, recognitions... there is also a lot of sacrifice, work and many setbacks to reach the goal". With these words the chef Vicky Sevilla (Quart de les Valls, Valencia, 1992) begins the masterclass of A force of talent, the fourth of the project Imperfectxs: Gastronomy for an immense minority of Beers 1906, after having the participation of Diego Guerrero, Pepe Solla and Angel Leon. For the chef, the youngest to achieve the Michelin star in our country at Arrels (in Sagunto), "you have to fail, get up, try again. Those mistakes help you to be successful, also in this dedication that, although very sacrificed , it fills me a lot, because you make people happy".
The story of the first chef to star in these videos begins by chance. "I was a good student at school, but I totally lost interest in high school and abandoned my training. I was lost, I didn't know what to do with my life and in Formentera my friend Gemma got me a job in the kitchen at Blu Bar. It was my first job, I had no idea about anything and my mother begged me not to get fired. A year later, I was the head of the cold room because of my good attitude," summarizes Sevilla, who confesses that she is also committed to young talent: "I have a boy in training that I will also hire as head of the cold room when he finishes, as they gave me that first opportunity in my life".
In 13 years he has gone, as his mother says, from nini (adolescent who neither studies nor works) to toto (expression used to define a person who does everything). "Now he scolds me, he tells me just the opposite: please, stop, don't spend so much time on him." And she has listened to him, because she has decided to put her personal life first, at least a couple of days. "I no longer open any Sunday and that was the day with the highest billing of the week. A decision I made before getting the star to spend more time with my two-year-old son. My priorities have changed and enjoying my son is priceless I optimize the time I work much more and try to disconnect when I'm away," says Sevilla, who also rests on Mondays. "The numbers add up for me. The important thing is to fill the restaurant and I get it [in the eight services it provides], so I can not open those days. I prefer to earn a little less and have time for myself and my family. I could no longer more", explains the chef, who managed to open her own project in 2017 thanks to the fact that her wife endorsed her with her own business.
Vicky Sevilla's experience symbolizes a labor trend: many workers prioritize their personal life over their professional life and do not allow them to dedicate their week exclusively to work. They want to disconnect, enjoy their leisure time and their private facet, whether with or without children, because conciliation is not exclusive to parents.
If one is the owner of the business, like the chef, it is true that it is easier to make the decision to put preferences first if the accounts come out, "but those responsible for companies, if they want to retain talent, must adapt to this common requirement among employees. In just two and a half years, the work model has changed so much that it is impossible to return to pre-pandemic customs, such as command and control and whoever shouts the most is paid more attention or face-to-face for face-to-face. they don't adapt, they are going to lose part of their workforce," says Ramón Prat, director of Human Resources at Axis Corporate, a business transformation consultancy. He himself left a previous job to take care of his newly adopted son and not miss some key moments.
If the position allows it -this is not the case with the almost ten workers that Seville has in its restaurant, who prepare and serve Arrels' "cuisine based on seasonal, rooted products", which means precisely that in Valencian-, a A simple and highly valued tool when it comes to reconciling is teleworking, which provides a certain freedom. "Right now, if the bosses do not allow that flexibility, so that the objectives of the company and the people do not collide head-on, many are going to resign, also in Spain and that we have 13% unemployment, a trend that in countries Like the US, with a residual strike, it is unstoppable," warns Prat, who acknowledges that the initiative announced this week by Banco Santander that authorizes its staff to operate from home for up to 16 days a quarter legitimizes a social demand that he, as head of Human Resources of his company has not yet regulated: "We are not in a hurry and we are still in a pandemic, but, of course, teleworking will continue to be a reality. When we do, the model will be two days at home and three in the office. In any case, We will never be a policeman who controls the workers who, as a boss, you have to trust." In that trust, in honesty and in communication is the key to the success, according to the manager, of this work model.