People Report: Seven ways to engage your workforce
June 9, 2010
The first full day of the People Report Summer Camp Conference offered a lineup of experiences for attendees that addressed many of the ways restaurant brands can keep their workforce engaged. Those experiences included:
Community service — The day began with many conference attendees serving in a variety of ways at local charity Jonathan's Place, which transitions children into foster care. Kat Cole, vice president, Hooters of America, spoke in one of the afternoon presentations how individuals and companies become better by helping others. For restaurants, that means picking a cause the brand is passionate about and engaging employees in serving that cause.
Education — Cole also spoke about the importance of the constant pursuit of education, whether through real life experiences and travels to formal schooling and training. The afternoon presentation offered attendees a strong lineup of learning opportunities, from how to embrace the transformational change taking place in today's world to being open to tomorrow's innovators.
Technology — Wally Doolin, chairman and founder of Black Box Intelligence, described how many restaurants today are faced with having fewer service-savvy employees serving increasingly tech-savvy and time-starved customers. To thrive, companies must reverse their cost-cutting mentality and invest in the areas of talent, technology and trust. One technology solution is the new People Report 2.0 platform, which Shyam Patel, COO, People Report and Black Box Intelligence, debuted at the conference. The platform includes five interactive dashboards to allow restaurants to forecast their workforce needs.
Effective leaders — FastCasual.com publisher Paul Barron described how true leadership occurs when people embrace and follow a leader's cause. Those followers then become a tribe, and the real power of leadership comes when the result becomes bigger than the original thought leader because of those who embrace the concept.
Engagement — Author Chester Elton presented his Carrot Culture, describing how employee engagement correlates directly to a company's growth. Companies drive that engagement by communicating to foster trust, aligning their brand values to foster pride in the organization, and offering development opportunities and recognition to create a sense of well being.
Recognition — Effective leaders also recognize their employees on a consistent and frequent basis, Elton said. Employees who feel appreciated are more likely to want to come to work and feel connected to the employing company. Companies with managers that recognize employees' efforts see results at the bottom line.
Reward — Excellence that is rewarded is likely to be repeated, Elton said, so it makes sense to reward employees who achieve that level. The "reward" for conference attendees was an evening of camaraderie at a Frisco Rough Riders minor league baseball game.
Other Summer Camp activities will include presentations by HR industry leaders and a variety of workshops on topics including recruitment, background screening, e-learning, digitizing HR data and more.