There tends to be a generalization that workers, younger especially, want to coast and don’t welcome the burden of continued learning. Scheduling software platform 7shifts recently surveyed about 2,000 restaurant professionals and found the opposite to be true, more often than not at least. Restaurant employees ranked training a 4/5 on average as important to their workplace happiness. Thirty percent gave it a 5. The company also discovered the biggest difference between employees likely to quit and those sticking around is the amount of training they received. The employees ready to churn rated the training they got from management a 3. Those who said they weren’t going to quit gave it a 4. “At-risk” employees wanted hands-on training from managers (67 percent), to shadow senior employees (40 percent), and to take external courses (23 percent).
Sullivan says attending the GM conference is an example of showing employees there’s more to their jobs than clocking in and out. It has been well-received by finalists. They see the organization from an aspirational angle.
In 2015, CPK launched “PizzaWise,” a branded mobile app to help with development as it rolled iPads across restaurants. A previous case study said the app was opened more than 8.5 times per day, giving employees direct access to CPK’s proprietary recipes in the station, which boosted efficiency. The white-labeled solution also allowed restaurants to push updated materials and information instantaneously to locations, saving it considerable expense from what used to be a manual process. Previously, instructional guides and safety procedures, as well as training materials, were stored on DVDs and on paper in binders.
It was also a challenge considering many young workers were part-time and didn’t have a company email address. Non-corporate employees, those in the front of the house, didn’t have access to CPK’s Intranet, either. PizzaWise made the information easily accessible and also cut inefficient waste, like old-school tech and paper. It met employees where they are today—mobile as opposed to desktop.
Readily available training is critical for a multitude of reasons. One that can’t be discounted, though, is empowering workers so they feel comfortable and confident and take more pride in day-to-day tasks. The ability to access material beyond entry-level duties draws a clear career path to climb the ladder. A carrot to chase and stay invested. Not to mention, it’s in CPK’s interest not only to have engaged employees, but to also reward knowledgeable workers who can craft a pizza you can’t simply order from the plethora of discount-heavy, counter-service options available.