This is my story of what worked for us building a small niche contract catering company to 140 staff and managers over 16 sites with a £5M turnover.
Firstly, we'd recruit people with pride, passion and personality. The rest we trained. We required experience in the areas we were recruiting for and good references, but if interviewees didn't have the three Ps, we weren't interested.
My managers would have an initial phone call with any applicants and establish their experience, locality (we liked to employ from the community), the three Ps, and the applicants plans for now and the future and how we, as a business, fitted with that. If this went well, then we'd invite for a 1-2-1 interview. We made the applicant feel worthwhile, and the interview was about them and how we could fit together and make the business more successful.
When hired, each employee would be taken through a training program with a Company buddy. They would sign this off each day where we would invite feedback from the new starter and Buddy to ensure continued progress.
As a visible ops manager/director, I would visit sites daily and coach 'on the job'. I'd ask open-ended questions, and I regularly sought feedback from individuals and our team. Our culture of 'upside down' management created a buy-in from our employees making them accountable, thus taking ownership. In turn, our customers received excellent service because our team was inspired, well-trained, and responsible.
Of course, there is always that 5% or so who make business life difficult for themselves and others, which is clearly not acceptable. We had robust procedures in place to weed out the lazy ones or the trouble makers, and the sense of relief in our business was palpable when we 'released' them.
Ensure staff are fulfilled
We are in the service industry. The hospitality industry. The business of people. Owners, MDs, CEOs, we are here to serve our people, our employees, our customers, and if that's all amazing, shareholders can expect a juicy dividend.
A great people culture starts with a vision and meaningful action. Why don't more organisations walk their talk? Some talk up a great culture but don't deliver - this is evident in employee rumblings and gossip, and high staff turnover. We all want to look forward to our day at work and leave fulfilled and happy. Get employees involved, and read Gung Ho! if you need inspiration.
Labour shortages are real, and it'll get worse. How can we look after our employees and make them feel part-of and worthwhile? This turns into sales growth and bigger profits. Speak to Kevin Watson at Amadeus Contract Catering Co. Kevin will tell you all about the incredible P+L growth from his investment into his people.