29 min read

Podcast episode 2: It's not about the job, it's about the people!

Jul 12, 2022 6:00:00 PM

 
Intro:

You're listening to The goHappy Frontline Experience, the podcast giving employers the insight they need on best practices to engage and communicate with their frontline workers. These workers are the go getters serving Americans around the clock. They are your servers, your drivers, your cooks, your cashiers and so many others. They are the heart and soul of every organization. And with goHappy, they now have a voice. In each episode, we will speak with industry leaders and experts on the best ways to capture that voice, learn from it and implement actionable plans to increase employee engagement. Thank you for joining us. And here are your hosts, Shawn Boyer and Dane Schwartz.

Dane Schwartz:

Hello everyone. And thank you so much for listening in today. We are super excited for everyone to be here. We have what we think is a really great episode in store, and we're just really pumped to have everyone here joining us. My name's Dane Schwartz and I lead marketing here at goHappy. And I'm joined by our founder and CEO, Shawn Boyer. Shawn, how are you today?

Shawn Boyer:

Doing great. How could I be doing better if I get to hang out with you and Amy on the Thursday before the fourth?

Dane Schwartz:

That's right. And it's beautiful sunny day here. I think, hopefully, it's beautiful and sunny wherever you are listening in. So just want to jump in here and introduce our guest today. We have a very special guest with us. We're super excited and super grateful that she's here with us and taking the time out of her insanely busy schedule. And we're going to talk about what we think, Shawn, I think you'd probably agree, what is a pretty cool topic, very interesting. And something that I think everyone really needs to be thinking about, be aware of, especially considering today's hiring market. So that topic today is going to be building your employer brand and how it correlates to engagement, recruiting, and retention. And our guest today has lived and continues to navigate this exact initiative in her current role, our guest is the director of training and recruiting at Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe. For those of you have not had the pleasure of visiting Taziki's, one, it is delicious and amazing, and it was founded in 1998, has more than 90 locations spanning across 17 states nationally. They're an awesome company and they have a very unique mission statement, I think. I really like their mission statement. I think it actually aligns somewhat with goHappy's, selfishly. I really like that for that reason, but their mission is to create an environment that combines extraordinary food with meaningful human connection, which I think is just great. And our guest today is bringing that mission to life through the employer brand that she has helped build. So without further ado, please join me in welcoming Amy Parman from Taziki's to the podcast. Welcome, Amy.

Amy Parman:

Hello. It's so great to be here. Thank you, Dane. Thank you, Shawn.

Dane Schwartz:

Thank you. Yes, we are so happy to have you. Again, thank you for taking the time out of your day to come hang out with me and Shawn.

Amy Parman:

Absolutely.

Dane Schwartz

I'm very excited for the conversation.

Amy Parman:

Me too.

Dane Schwartz

Cool. So Amy.

Amy Parman:

Yes.

Dane Schwartz:

One of the first things that we ask everyone when they come on the podcast is they have to tell us what was your favorite frontline/hourly job and why?

Amy Parman:

Sure. Well, I certainly have many years of hourly hospitality work under my belt, but I think of all of those, my favorite would have to be the term affectionately known as cater waiters. So I've spent a lot of time, logged a lot of hours in the special events world, separate from the restaurant world and special events, especially weddings, there's just nothing like it, both because there are really fun stories to tell usually later involving grandma's dance moves and so and so's outfit and you name it. But also because for the most part, I was in weddings before Pinterest came in like a tidal wave and it was still a little bit less for show and a little bit more for heart in the wedding world. And so it was just so great to be with these groups of people who were most often so excited about seeing their families and being together and seeing this person in their family or their friend start this new journey in their life. So that is just such a fun environment to provide hospitality in, even beyond the restaurant space. So I would have to say that's my favorite. By the way, I don't know if you guys are Instagram or TikToker. I'm not a TikToker, but I am on Instagram. There is a comedian named Elyse Myers who recounts stories from her cater waiter days and it is the best. So there's some fun content for you to go seek out.

Dane Schwartz

Well, that is a nice plug for her and we'll check it out. Now Shawn, were you ever a server?

Shawn Boyer:

I never was a server.

Amy Parman:

Really.

Shawn Boyer:

Not a cater waiter. I worked retail for a long time, but yeah, never a server. You?

Amy Parman:

We're hiring, Shawn, if you're interested.

Shawn Boyer:

I need something to keep me occupied.

Dane Schwartz:

If this CEO thing doesn't work out, you can go try that out.

Shawn Boyer

That's right.

Amy Parman:

Yep, you got my number.

Dane Schwartz

Yeah. I was a server. I worked at a barbecue restaurant. Me and a couple of my friends were the people that helped open the restaurant, so that was pretty fun. And I remember many Sunday mornings when me and my buddy we'd run the whole restaurant as servers. It was crazy. We'd get in the weeds and it was just bonkers. It was nuts. And then I was also a bar back, so not really food service, but still in the service industry.

Amy Parman:

Bar backs are foundation of keeping things running. So don't discount yourself for sure. Did you smell like smoke 24/7 during that time of your life?

Dane Schwartz

Oh yeah, absolutely. Well, I smelled like barbecue or smoke. I actually worked at a place called The Tobacco Company and so they would sell cigars and cigarettes and all that at the time and the restaurant was an old tobacco house.

Shawn Boyer:

That's like where you have to hang your jacket outside overnight for it to air out.

Dane Schwartz:

That's exactly right. So cool. All right. Well, thanks for sharing that. That was awesome. I don't think I've ever heard the term cater waiter, so that was cool. I like that.

Amy Parman:

For those in the know.

Dane Schwartz:

There you go. I like it. Okay, so let's jump into our conversation for today. Talk a bit more with you about the topic specifically. So let's start, Amy, can you just talk a little bit about what it means to have an employer brand and why you feel that it's so important for folks to have that established and what it can do for their business?

Amy Parman:

Well, the simplest definition, I think, is your employer brand is anything a potential new hire or applicant can think or learn about you before you get the chance to talk to them yourself. So what is out there in the world about you, either of your own volition or what has been shared about you before you get a chance to speak for yourself? And I think a lot of companies, Taziki's included, this was a conversation we started having in the last few years was we had done some fantastic work around our brand when it's about the discussion we were having with our customers and what they thought of us and what they knew of us and what they knew we offered. But the aspect of how it related to the employee or potential employee was just never one of the cards on the table. I think at that point with a few exceptions, the industry was still thinking mainly about what's our internal perspective by our employees about who we are, but not really realizing that that message and that storytelling needed to happen outside of the four walls as well. So that's, I think, the broadest definition of employer brand, and certainly where now the brands that were smart restaurant are otherwise early were thinking about this and putting forward their culture, even before it became a necessity. But now we're certainly in a world where everything else being equal, what's going to make the difference is often how you're perceived culturally and your relevancy to the person who's considering working for you.

Dane Schwartz:

Yeah. I love that. I love the way you just said at the very end there, the relevancy, I think that's something that a lot of brands don't even think about from a recruiting standpoint. They're so concerned with how their image is perceived by like you said, the customer, but if the brand is not relevant to that employee, they're not going to feel connected. That's not a brand that I can see myself associated with.

Amy Parman:

Right and oftentimes those are two very different sets of criteria. Unless you are a brand that's lucky to have built-in potential employees among your customers, you're often needing to craft two different messages, one to your customers and one to your potential employees. And you can't necessarily rinse and repeat both approaches or both sets of content for the same thing. So I think that's where, for us, we've started paying attention to what are these missing elements that we need to put out in the world that we may know and touch and feel every day about ourselves and know about our success stories at Taziki's and all that, but realizing it hasn't made it outside the building yet.

Dane Schwartz:

Yeah. Let's continue that conversation. You said you realize it hasn't made it out of the building yet, but you have the stories there. The foundation is there, the information's there, so once you realized that there's essentially that gap that existed. You have the stuff, but no one knows about it. Where did you start? How did you even start revamping and building that employer brand?

Amy Parman:

Exactly like you said, we got lucky that we didn't have to invent it. It was there, our founder, Keith Richards and the leadership team that's grown up around him and our CEO, Dan Simpson, over the years, it's a naturally positive environment when it comes to development and celebrating people, that's in our DNA as a company. So there were already so many success stories, internal promotions, standout employees that you would hear these great stories from the field making them back to the home office of something awesome that they did or even guest feedback forms that we would get about someone. So we had a lot of that already to work with and it was a matter of accompanying that with videos and photos and quotations about them so that it could be a little bit more digestible in the world, in the media. And then also categorizing that, not to just tell stories on a random basis at random times of year, although we are always looking for great stories to share, but also realizing, hey, let's talk about these superstar moms and dads that we have working for us or these incredible college students who are juggling their studies and a job or this incredible immigrant story that we have about this person who came to us, totally not knowing English and started to learn English in the workplace and prove themselves and now they're working their way to management. So we had a lot of these categories that we realized we could put people in and share their stories at key times of year so that we could not just have a shotgun approach. So that was a great thing for us to just already have these great content, these great people to talk about. And then from there it was almost reverse engineering, realizing who our employees were, what different buckets of employees did we have and then how could we find those people in the world by sharing these stories? Because certainly one of the key things, I'm not making this up, we've all heard this, but people need to see themselves in what you're talking about. So if we don't have any photos of women managers, subconsciously, you don't think that's possible for you, most people don't, or different ethnicities or ages, especially in the restaurant industry. That was another place to become intentional is let's make sure that we're telling a diversity of stories and not just the ones that happen to pop up on our radar, let's seek out. Do we have any veteran employees? Do we have any refugee employees, anything like that want to tell their stories? Yeah. I think that combination of looking internally and using the channels we already had to collect information about amazing people and tell that to the world and then giving those different categories of folks a chance to shine and attract others like them through our branding.

Dane Schwartz:

I love that. So back to the original point you had made at the very beginning of this, you had said it has to be relatable, right? It has to be real too. These aren't made up stories. These are all real people, real employees and real scenarios that then somebody can say, "Hey, wow, I really do see myself working there." And Shawn, I remember in our Snagajob days, you'd have a lot of the job postings on the site. And it's if someone can't see themselves working at that organization, they're not going to apply.

Shawn Boyer:

Yeah, that's right.

Amy Parman:

Yep. Absolutely. And we've had to think about that not just in terms of the visual representation, but the way we talk about the jobs as well. Are we using the words from our company culture? If they only hear about our company values once they're in orientation, we've failed. We need to talk about that stuff way ahead of time so that we're attracting the right kind of folks. So it's amazing how many times we go back through our job descriptions or application forms and realize like, oh, we're not talking about this yet. We haven't added this yet because all of those elements are so second nature to us inside the company, especially those of us that have been here a long time, we forget that they don't land that way with the outside world or new hire or job applicants. So we have to keep going back through with a fine tooth comb and just getting more and more intentional every time.

Dane Schwartz:

Yep. Yeah. I mean, Shawn, I know as we're growing goHappy, I mean, that's something that we're continuously thinking about and how we can weave, like you said, our vision and values into who we are and how the world sees us.

Shawn Boyer:

Yep. That's right. And is there anything, Amy, that you all are doing so that you're discovering, okay, is this resonating with this diverse audience? Are you doing focus groups? Are you all talking to the people who've applied? How do you know if somebody looked at it and it didn't resonate with them so they didn't apply, but yet you would've loved for them to apply? Can you give us any insight on what y'all are doing there?

Amy Parman:

Yeah. I think that's a space that we still have a lot of room to grow. As you actually know about Shawn, I am a big lover of data, especially when it comes to what that data tells me about people. So I have a brand vision in mind for the kind of feedback I would love to get on are we getting through and what do our numbers say that we are accomplishing? But on the real human experiential side, I can say, our recruiting specialist, her name is Kelsey and she focuses specifically on our company markets and personally screens all of our incoming management candidates. So she's able to really see who is applying and who's making it to the interview stage, who's making it to hire and seeing some trends there. We have held some focus groups within our organization. We've had a gathering of female leaders. We've been specifically talking to our Spanish speaking demographic and finding out how we can support them better. I feel like we're on the edge of greatness there, but we're not yet where I hope we'll be.

Dane Schwartz:

Yeah. That's great and hopeful. Well, and having something to shoot for is good, right? So knowing that there's opportunity for improvement is exactly what you want to be striving for.

Amy Parman:

I think that's probably to our conversation of talking about how do you get started with employer branding? How do we get started? The more we think about it and talk about it. The more areas we discover for potential, just like this of, oh, now let's dig in this next layer of finding out how much this message is getting through or let's see what the demographics of our applicants are shaping up to be. So the further we weigh it in, the more opportunities we find.

Dane Schwartz:

Yeah, no, I love that. Speaking of opportunities that you've uncovered, there are things there that are maybe easily accessible, like you said, the things you already have built, but it hasn't all been easy, I don't imagine. Can you talk a little bit about some of the challenges that you've encountered? Were the mostly external, internal, combination of both? How'd you navigate those?

Amy Parman:

What do we have 2, 3, 4 hours? How long did we have?

Shawn Boyer:

Yeah. Three part series.

Amy Parman:

Yeah. Three part series. There you go. Lord of the Rings version one.

Dane Schwartz:

Yes, there you go.

Amy Parman:

Episode one. So yeah, there's been a lot of challenges. Most of them, I will classify as exciting challenges, but both internal and external. So let me start with the external first. I would say the biggest barrier here is just really breaking through the noise. And part of that is because we are pretty reliant on potential applicants finding our content, meaning coming to our website or coming to our social media or going to our Indeed profile page or whatever it is. There's not a ton of ways that we can reach out and push our content to them where they are. And some of that's just the limitation of the way the job posting world works today. There's not a lot of outlets to share your culture and your environment in the job posting and job search experience, not something that I've been talking with our partners at Workstream about, hey guys, what are some ways that we can innovate this that I can get video content or photo content or social media pushed onto my careers page? So that folks can interact with that hopefully a little bit easier, but as long as titans like Zip Recruiter and Indeed have a vice grip on job postings, it's going to be difficult to get them to realize, I think, how much more successful they'll be as providers of these listings if they can help companies communicate their culture better. So I hope that that's a change that we'll see in the future and in the coming years. So certainly just breaking through the noise. I'll put it under external, which is because we currently don't draw a large population of our employees from our existing guests. We have the attention of a lot of guests and we need to translate that into that careers message, even if it's not them themselves. How can we win over our guests and our customers to help us build a great employee team? So that's food for thought for us as well. We're still working on that. So those are some of the external things I would say. Now that everyone in the world is fighting for employees, it's much harder to break through in media and PR when it comes to employer stories or rolling out a new benefit or celebrating an employee day, something like that just doesn't land as loudly now with some of the larger companies offering huge, huge, huge benefits, giant scholarships and things like that, so that's some of the external challenges. On the internal side, I would say what we spoke about earlier, specifically that the employer brand message needs equal footing with everything else we're talking about in the public. So we do a great job at Taziki's at talking about our fresh food, talking about the origination story of our company, our founder, Keith and Amy, going to Greece on a delayed honeymoon, early baby moon type trip, and just falling in love with the community environment that they felt at these small town Greek cafes and wanting to bring that home. We do a great job talking about our catering, just so many things, but if you were to stack our employment message next to any of those, it would just be fractional. So I think it's taken us some time and we're still continuing to wake up internally that this has to be on equal footing with these other things that we do. We can prioritize sales, all we like and growth, but if we don't have the human beings to help us accomplish it, we were already behind the curve, so that has been a challenge. And then I think also just over these last, what are we at now two years now post COVID or since the beginning of COVID? Realizing this is not going away, this is not about just a crisis, this is not something that's going to go back to normal, even those of us that are realistic, we know normal was never good. The industry was always headed for a reckoning, I think, when it comes to labor. So realizing that this is not a bandaid situation, and it's not just pour some gas on the fire. It's like, hey, we need to build a strategy for the long-term. And to weave this into part of our company story, our company budget, our hiring, all of this needs to have this new priority embedded into everything that we do from now on. Those have been some uphill battles.

Dane Schwartz:

I think there are a lot of employers probably share those exact same challenges that you just outlined. I think that the constant struggle of budget and resource allocation is a real one that a lot of folks face and being in your role to have to fight the good fight, to get those resources reapplied, to your area of focus. That's a key element of it. And that's the internal side. That's not even thinking on the external side.

Amy Parman:

I think that has been a really good conversation, though, with some of our internal folks, whether it be regional supervisors or the team at the home office is there are so many free outlets for us to share that message that don't come with a lot of cost, but do come with a lot of intention. So anything as simple as social media can be free, but also community support. How well known are you 20 minutes within the front door of your store? Does your community know that you're there? Is there buzz in the community that you're a great place to work. Those are things that you can build for free that don't take spending hundreds of dollars on a job board. They take more time and they take more attention, but they don't always take more money.

Shawn Boyer:

Amy, when you think about your current employees as part of that employment brand and the embodiment of that employment brand, are there different things that you all do to take advantage of that, to leverage that as they go out and hopefully are ambassadors in the community? I mean, similarly to what you're describing in terms of going out and making sure everybody knows, any specific things you guys do with your current employees to get them to help with that?

Amy Parman:

Yeah. We definitely have an employee referral program. We encourage employees at all levels to make recommendations for employees and gain some financial footing because of that. We want to reward them for that, of course, so that's been one of our more traditional approaches. In the coming months, we are going to be testing a new idea, kind of like a Taziki street team is what we're going to try to call it. So recruiting volunteers from our current staff and rewarding them with some great swag and some great company feedback and asking them to rep us at job fairs or rep us at community festivals and have a booth with some delicious Taziki's food and some hummus and some yummy whipped feta, all that good stuff. And just be there to share the message of how much they love where they work. I'm making you hungry, right?

Dane Schwartz:

That's right. It's about snack time.

Amy Parman:

And so getting their enthusiasm wrangled because there are just so many wonderful Taziki employees who love what they do. They love being part of the family. They're so proud of the food that they make. They love their coworkers. And so providing opportunities for them to share their platform and their experiences is so much more powerful than anything I can do from behind a computer. So we're going to try some old school approaches. We're excited.

Shawn Boyer:

I love it. I mean, that's one of the things that's always struck me about Taziki's is just there is a different feeling that you get from the employees there where there's an engagement level. There's this connection. They just seem to be more joyful than what the typical employee is that you interact with at a restaurant.

Amy Parman:

Yeah. I definitely think many of our employees... We talk about that so much that I think it does get into their brain, but I also think it's part of the interview process. I think our managers often do a good job of looking for someone that has that spark, I guess we could call it. It doesn't mean that they're going to be the most advanced hospitality professional ever or be the best salesman in the world every time they're at the register, but a lot of times you're going to feel like that person's glad to see you and glad you're there. And that is priceless.

Dane Schwartz:

I would totally say a smile and a nice friendly hello can go so far to people, which is interesting to say, but I think nowadays a lot of folks, back to your whole thing about there was a reckoning that needed to happen in labor market, people are unhappy in places that weren't treating them well,` but Taziki's is on the other end of that. That is reflected in your staff.

Amy Parman:

We appreciate that. That treatment, it's not even always on the employer side, sometimes it's the guest.

Dane Schwartz:

A hundred percent. Oh yeah.

Amy Parman:

And so I think we get lucky there as well because we've been a brand from day one that's talked about connection and creating meaningful connection. I do think that a lot of our guests come in with a slightly more friendly warmer vibe to them as well and have sought that out in this neighborhood cafe feel. We're lucky that we benefit from it in a couple different ways.

Dane Schwartz:

With that, what advice would you give? If someone was getting ready to say our employer brand is not well-known. We don't have a lot of resources allocated to it, what advice would you give someone who's starting down this path of revitalization of their employer brand or even just starting from scratch even? Some folks aren't doing anything.

Amy Parman:

Yeah. The number one thing I would start with is don't manufacture it. If it's not real, don't share it because I think that lack of a genuine feel and buy in, if you're trying to get your employees to read a script on camera so you can post something on Instagram, that's not going to benefit you. So seek out the real stories, start talking to your supervisors, start talking to your managers. Go into the stores and observe the employees and pick out somebody who's doing a great job and ask if you can do a social media post on them and tell their story. And really that is a win, win, win. It's not just a win-win because now not only are you getting the message that you want to get out there and you're doing it in a low cost or free way, you're also recognizing that employee and giving them a sense of pride and giving them the recognition that they deserve just for doing their job well. So not only have you tackled some things on the recruiting side, you've now tackled some things on the retention side. So I would say, start with real stories, get face-to-face with some employees and start digging up these stories that are there. You just need to ask

Shawn Boyer:

Any practical thoughts there, Amy, on how do you identify who those people are who you want to go talk to or who may be wanting to talk to you and share those?

Amy Parman:

Yeah, for us, we've always been focused on trying to build a good culture of development and mentorship. Creating a mentoring program is something that's high on my list and happens naturally a lot in our markets, but we want to formalize. So I think starting with the supervisor level and the manager level and saying, "Hey, who do you think is special?" Not only gets me the content I'm looking for, but also requires that supervisor or their manager to do an inventory of their people and to do those assessments and think about those standout people. They may be recognizing them there in the store with a thank you or a gift card, but if it's not making it all the way up to us, then they're still an opportunity to recognize that person. So I would start with the supervisors and then the reason I'm in hospitality is because I love people and love helping people and appreciating people. So for me, it's just a joy and it's refreshing and rewarding to get back into the store and talk to the employees personally and ask them why they do what they do and why they're still with us and what they like about their job, so that, to me, that's not work. That's just a joy.

Dane Schwartz:

Yeah. And is that something, again, I may be over hammering on this one, but is that something that you're asking those supervisors to send to you, hey, I need one a month or I need one a quarter or is it more just, hey, as you come across them or identify them, then shoot me a note kind of thing?

Amy Parman:

Yeah. I would say it's a both and. I would say we're always reinforcing that message of tell us about your great people. Then we've tried to categorize it of, hey, it's May and everyone's graduating. Do you have an amazing high school student that you want to share with us? Or it's June it's Father's Day, do you have a fantastic dad on your staff that you want to share with us? So giving them some parameters certainly helps them think through who they've got, but anytime there's a standout, we always want to know about it.

Shawn Boyer:

Yeah. Love it.

Dane Schwartz:

What I would tack on to that that the other benefit here is that these employees that are being recognized, like you said, outside of just the store level, it's one thing to be like, "Oh yeah, my friends and some of my peers know about something great I did, but now like the whole world, quotation marks, knows about something I did that's great." And it makes them feel proud of what they do every day. It's recognizing those seemingly unsung heroes. Like you said, it's that high school student, it's the dad, it's the mom, it's the whoever it might be highlighting them at a larger scale just makes them feel so much more engaged. Hence, that's what goHappy does, right? Engagement. And it helps them be happier employees, which correlates, then, to you having better attention and all the other pieces.

Amy Parman:

Yeah, definitely. As we know in service most people just want to be heard and just want to be seen. And these are opportunities for us to do this. I love when I have someone's post pending and they're texting me or emailing, "When is my post go up? I want to send it to my mom." And they get all excited about it.

Shawn Boyer:

Well, and what a great referral tool potentially too for them, if they're then sharing it out and it's like, "Oh my gosh, look, Amy just got recognized for X, Y, Z. And maybe I should go check it out."

Amy Parman:

I wouldn't even say that I started off consciously thinking about it this way, but it's definitely become how I think about it, which is to talk more about the people in the job and less about the job. It's important to be clear with the description of the job responsibilities and try to paint a day in the life. We certainly do that, but I have found much greater success in sharing content and talking about the person doing the job and how they're doing it well than doing a social media post of now hiring cashiers and here's all the great benefits and here's why you'll like it. It's so much more powerful to talk about the person doing the job than the job.

Dane Schwartz:

I love that quote. It's not about the job. It's about the people.

Amy Parman:

They bring it to life.

Dane Schwartz:

There you go. Shawn, jotted it down. I can see it.

Shawn Boyer:

I'm not going to steal it. I'm going to put dot dot Amy in front of it.

Amy Parman:

That's okay. One of my best friends, Whitney, she has a running note on her iPhone, which is just quotes from me, which cracks me up because I don't think I'm that quotable, but she'll show me. It's just this running screenshot of all these quotes.

Shawn Boyer:

I need her to shoot me those because we send out a quote of the day, every day to all the people on the team. Every day we get quotes from someone whether you want them or not, but they're great. They're great. Exactly. Maybe you should make a book out of it someday.

Amy Parman:

Yeah. Little coffee table book. I like it.

Shawn Boyer:

There you go. Yeah. Thoughts with Amy. All right. So let's shift gears for one second before we close out and you may already have answered this question, but let's see what your answer is. Since you all have a ton of frontline workers, you are interacting with them day in and day out. What would you say is the single most important thing to keeping those employees happy and feeling connected to the organization?

Amy Parman:

Oh, I'm so bad at answering single questions. Don't ask me what my favorite movie is. I'm so bad at this, but I would say the one that I'll choose and then I'll throw in a backup one because it's also important to me is I think a sense of pride in what they do because that's self-motivation and not us motivating them. So I think the more that we can build an environment where they can feel pride and they feel respected, that is a self growing reality. So the more they experience of that, the more connected they get to us and working with us. So rather than me trying to enforce anything on them, I want to create a place where they can feel that about themselves and for themselves. The second one that I'll throw in, which is not something that I would give us an A plus on today, but is very much my dream for the future back to data is especially these generations working now and coming into the workforce, they need crystal clear demonstration of what their work is accomplishing. Why is what I'm working on why does it matter? What is it doing? Whether it's as simple as, hey, how many lamb burgers did we sell today? That was a team effort or if it is teaching them about the bigger business model or whatever it is. But I see how, even if they're proud of their work and they're proud of the food that we sell, I currently see a disconnect in how much we're able to show them what they're accomplishing. The manager can see it. They can log in and look at their sales data and see what they're accomplishing week to week, but I'm recognizing that we are not pushing that down to the employee level. And I totally understand why it would be easy to feel disconnected from how hard you're working and what you're proud of. And then other than the guest smile on their face, which is going away more and more as we have takeout and we don't get to interact with our guests as much, we've got to find ways to keep them plugged into what they're accomplishing.

Dane Schwartz:

Would you say that, I know you kind of framed it as two different ones, but to me they almost seem relatable in the sense that you have folks that are proud of the work they do, and you guys already showcasing how you're highlighting that in the recognition, more broadly for those individuals, but as a younger demographic comes in their measurement of pride or how they feel proud could be in the accomplishments and the results that they see from their work, almost like a motivator for pride to some degree.

Amy Parman:

Yeah. These generations are so experiencing on a day-to-day basis from waking up to going to sleep that the world is pushing back feedback at them, likes and comments and all these things. And so to go to work and then experience crickets, that's such a friction-filled experience for them because it doesn't match the way the rest of their life works. And so that's a big lift for us, but it's one that I'm excited about.

Dane Schwartz:
That's interesting. Yeah. It's almost like that, I don't want to call it instant gratification, but to some degree it's almost like instant feedback. There you go.
Amy Parman:

Instant feedback, instant connection to the bigger picture.

Shawn Boyer:

And I know you mentioned that, again, with more and more of the sales going through takeout and delivery, there may be less in person guest interaction, but do you all have any kind of systems in place where when there is this positive guest interaction or feedback from the guest to be shared back out to the team where it's like, hey, here's how we're living out our mission here, here's the feedback that we just got or whatever it might be?

Amy Parman:

Yeah, definitely at the unit level when we have positive guest feedback come in, whether it's through the third party delivery reviews or whether it's through our own website portal, I know that at the unit level, they're good about sharing that back with their staff and celebrating people. For us internally, we have company webinars and we always like to highlight at the beginning of every Taz Cast, as we call them, we highlight a story that goes with one of our company values. Our five company values are connection, collaboration, challenge, fresh ,and details. And so I find a story from the field of how a real employee really lived that out. So we're definitely doing that on a manual level. But as I said, I want to harness the power of data and technology to make that really powerful. And there's a lot of options out there for that, a lot of them can feel kind of noisy. And so I'm looking for the one that's going to connect with our culture the best. But yeah, it's a project I'm excited about.

Shawn Boyer:

Very cool.

Dane Schwartz: 

Cool. Love it. All right. Shawn, did you have any other questions for our wonderful guest?

Shawn Boyer: 

I'm sure we could have at least 15 more questions, but no, I think this for today, at least, hit on all of the ones that we had talked about.

Dane Schwartz:

Well, Amy, I just wanted to say thank you. This has been a great conversation. I've loved all the insight you shared. I think you gave some awesome practical advice to people that are just getting started. And some of the takeaways and little quotes here that are just super powerful. I have to add them to the Amy quote book when it gets published.

Amy Parman:

Yep. I'll definitely add you guys as co-writers. It'll be great. This has been awesome. I could talk about this all day long. I never get tired of talking about our people. So yeah, have me back anytime. I'd be glad to come back.

Shawn Boyer: 

Awesome. And all of this makes me know hungry to go get the Family Feast for Six.

Amy Parman:

Yes.

Shawn Boyer:

Or the lamb burger that you mentioned. I have not had the lamb burger.

Amy Parman:

Yep. Lamb burger is our summer special and got a lot of good stuff coming later this year and next year too, so keep hitting up your local Taziki's. We've got good stuff coming. For anyone who likes what they're hearing about Taziki's and would like to be on our team, they can text Tazjobs to 31063 or visit taz.jobs and they can see the jobs open closest to home. So give us a call. Give us an email. Give us a text. We'd love to have you.

Dane Schwartz

There you go. Love it. All right. Well with that, we're going to go ahead and close out. Thank you for joining us today for listening in. Definitely keep an eye out for our next episode. Amy, thank you again so much. It was great having you on.

Amy Parman:

You're Welcome.

Dane Schwartz:

With that, we'll go ahead and say goodbye until next time and in the meantime, we hope you all goHappy.

Topics: goHappy Podcast
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