Inspirational Stories about Employee Engagement: Part Two
How One Chick-fil-A Tackles Engagement
An article published in Tulsa World Magazine titled “Cook, serve, my pleasure” highlights what one Chick-fil-A is doing to keep not only their customers flooding back for more, but their employees as well.
It starts with a scoreboard of sorts, named the “Intentional Acts of Kindness Daily Activation Board” (a mouthful, I know). This board serves as the foundation for the great things that are happening at this location, which is owned and operated by Arthur Greeno.
The point of the scoreboard is for employees to keep track of their good deeds each day. They are encouraged to brighten up customer’s days by acts of generosity. Everything from holding doors open to gifting people with free meals, it’s all on the table. The idea is that if there is an opportunity to truly make somebody’s day, do it. It’s that simple.
New employees are “coached” through a five-day period, and on top of the orientation handbook and welcome box they receive, they each get a 114-page book written by Greeno himself. It is a look back into his rough childhood and leads up to where he is now. He wants his people to know him on a deeper level than simply as their boss, and he also wants to get to know them on a deeper level and not just as an employee.
He sits down with employees to chat after they’ve been there for two weeks. Employees of the Month have a short video created to showcase who they are as individuals, not workers. This kind of openness forges relationships similar to a family, which is probably why his employees stay an average of six years. (In the fast food industry, this is almost unprecedented.)
Even when an employee is ready to leave their job, he will either offer to change their role, or, if that still isn’t what they would like, he will offer advice on where they can seek employment elsewhere. There aren’t grudges held because he cares more about them as individuals and wants what’s best for them. Wouldn’t it be nice if that was the way of the world?
All of this ties into customer service in a large way. Treat your employees well and with compassion and they will treat your customers in the same fashion.
Emphasis is put on going above and beyond for the customer, and because emphasis is put on the employees first, they are more than happy to oblige. They know that they can make a difference and they are empowered to do so. Greeno himself will even get in his car to bring food to guests who have called back with incorrect orders.
As Greeno puts it, “That’s one of the things I encourage with my team is you guys, whether you are 15 years old or 50 years old, you have the ability to change someone’s life. As weird as that sounds, when they hold a door open for a mom with a kid, that may be the only time she has had the door held open for her at all that last week.” How will you get a spot on the scoreboard today?
Tramel, J. (2017, February 18). Cook, serve, my pleasure. Tulsa World Magazine, pp. 74-82.
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