So I have a grill cook who has been with me for a few months. He is almost double my age and has been in the kitchen longer than I've been alive. He has head chef experience and a lot of kitchen manager experience and for some reason or another is working back on the line again. He generally does an average job behind the line, he MUST get better but that's for another day.
Anyways, he is very quiet, somewhat shy and not very motivated unless I light a fire under his a$$. He will do the bare minimum to get by and even then I find him spending most of his prep time doing nothing other than getting his own station set up, slowly.
I think a lot of my problems with him are he's making $11 an hour when he used to making a decent salaried living as a manager or head chef. I'm getting the feeling he's putting in what he thinks is $11 worth of work for $11 worth of pay. He's generally a nice guy but is so quiet that I don't really know how to read him. Never gives me attitude and respects me somewhat but I know underneath it all he's thinking "I can do his job better" (I can assure you he can not). He does know some correct technique but does not know enough that I can trust him to make a special, properly make an aioli or season a steak correctly and I think this stems for not really working in any higher end kitchens.
I just don't know how to go about teaching or managing this guy. He is so good at slipping under the radar that even I (who sees every detail in my kitchen) usually don't catch things til after service. I'm trying to find common ground with this guy but he never opens up to let me know what motivates him. Sometimes he talks passionately about recipes and things he's done in the past but other times he seems old and tired of kitchen work. I am generally very good at being "good cop" in the kitchen and can get people to do their jobs well without complaining and keeping a positive attitude but this guy is really testing my managing abilities. I see it as a challenge but just don't know how to get him to like his job and do it well.
Advice from experienced head chefs is needed! Thanks.