Picture this. It’s March 2020 and you’re a new recruit at a regional quick-serve restaurant. Your manager told you there would be a training session next week to cover dining room etiquette, table bussing, and how to work the POS system, but we’re going to close the doors for a few days for this ‘coronavirus scare’ to blow over.
It’s been a few weeks. You learned the POS on the fly and with your other team members, created an ingenious but ad-lib curbside system in order to keep the restaurant running. This stopgap held it together until a more streamlined curbside system came down from corporate in April.
Over the course of 2020, new employees were hired, mobile apps got better, and customers started embracing the new normal of online ordering and curbside pickup. You and the team became QSR experts in the time of COVID-19. But now it’s nearing the end of 2021. Vaccines are rolling out everywhere, mask mandates are dropped, and customers return to the dining room while restaurants across the country suffer from staffing issues.
All of the sudden, you’re overwhelmed; unsure of how to engage with customers in the dining room, stressed out balancing mobile orders with drive-thru and counter orders, and questioning if you’re ever going to get that training that COVID so rudely interrupted.
This scenario is common. Whether it’s employees hired at the onset or during the year of COVID, company reboarding and refreshing training is a priority for HR leaders across the country. This isn’t isolated to the quick-serve industry either. B2B and B2C companies around the globe pivoted to serve a WFH lifestyle. Restaurants now must go back and teach aspects of the job that haven’t been relevant for the last 18 months, like managing a dining room. Retailers need to remind employees about company culture while reinstating expectations and protocols both new and old. Finance and software companies need to strategically design hybrid workforces and consider how the commute, or lack thereof, will play into employee expectations.
Sounds like a tangled mess, right? This is where an experience audit can help. Experience audits aren’t just for getting a new vantage point on your customer experiences; they are also helpful for examining the internal workings of your organization. Part of being successful is knowing where you are now and where to focus your efforts.
Where are you making your employees feel good, and where are you losing them? Where is the experience hard and where is it easy? Where is friction causing employees to negatively impact customer experiences?
An experience audit is an opportunity to engage in conversations with your people and observe how your brand communicates internally and externally. Our experience with these audits shows there are countless areas for operational improvements that will reduce friction points and refine your employee experience.
Some common examples ripe for improvement we’ve seen in the field include:
Bridge the Gaps in Employee Training
In QSR restaurants, training typically follows a particular sequence that includes hospitality in the dining rooms and builds on those lessons. Employees hired during COVID, while dining rooms were closed, skipped those steps. Employees need to go back and learn these aspects of their jobs that haven’t been relevant.
Refresh Culture and Protocols
Employees who were hired before COVID closures need refresher courses for company culture and protocols. Many HR leaders have had to pivot during the shutdowns or relax certain expectations and now must reinstitute long-standing protocols while enforcing new hybrid protocols.
Determine New Working Accommodations
Working from home reduces commute times to “zero.” We’ve all managed to work from home successfully – how will the future workplace accommodate commutes? If employees are now required to be in the office, does commute time become part of their expected workday, or is it in addition to?
Design Hybrid Workforces
If organizations decide to allow for hybrid working environments, what new protocols will be needed for meetings or projects requiring teamwork? New communication protocols may be necessary, even new technology to maintain the COVID pivots as a permanent adjustment to the work environment
Notice any of these issues in your organization? Don’t have the bandwidth to do it yourself? Start the conversation with our team to understand how your employee experience is impacting your business.