Taco Bell franchisee shares: 3 ways to engage employees and improve staffing

Last week, we hosted a webinar on how to drive effective communication and improve staffing with Cathy Blankman, Growth Leader at K-Mac, a 300+-location franchisee of Taco Bell. The recording is available to watch at any time and we encourage you to share with your team!


Cathy drew from her 32 years of experience, working every role from team member all the way up to Growth Leader, to share some great insights with us and we wanted to share some of our favorite takeaways from Friday’s webinar.


First, to set the stage, let’s look at some of the interesting - and staggering - stats we shared from the QSR industry. The average turnover within QSR regularly exceeds 100% and the average costs of turnover can come in at $150,000 per year.

With that in mind, it makes sense that employees who are engaged will have a longer tenure than those who are not. We also know that disengaged employees are a growing problem. But what does it mean to actively engage your employees and what does that look like?


Cathy shared with us three guiding principles for how to build engagement that she and her team rely on:


1. Seek positive attitudes

One of the interesting things Cathy mentioned to us while preparing for the webinar was how she and her managers work to identify the “we cans” vs. the “we can’ts” on the team, whether that’s in day-to-day operations or in hiring. The question isn’t whether something will go wrong or whether things will get busy and overwhelming - the question is what type of attitude your employees will have when that inevitably takes place?


2. Recognize great work

Part of seeking and cultivating positive attitudes is modeling that yourself. In a position of authority, Cathy said that recognizing the extra effort people put in or the exemplary job they do on different tasks cascades down, until the act of recognizing good work and spreading positivity is across every level of the organization. You can learn more about Crew’s system of recognition, Gold Stars, and how they’re used here.


3. Communicate early and often

Part of keeping employees engaged and happy at work is making sure that they are aware of the expectations on their performance. With Crew, Cathy is able to communicate exactly what her team needs to know about - their schedules, any changes in training or procedures, even their fellow employees’ birthdays - right in their pockets.


You can hear more from Cathy on how to then implement effective communication across your engaged team by tuning into the webinar recording.


We’ve got plans for more insightful events and content coming soon and you can access the recording to Staffing & retention in QSR with K-Mac at any time.


Let us know what you think of the webinar’s takeaways on Twitter!

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