I worked at Mark of Excellence Pizza full-time (More than 5 years)
I had been with the company for over 5 years, and in that time I had been promoted to over 5 entirely different positions. Started off as CSR making pizzas, lead to being a GM running my own store, then Company Trainer for over 40 stores, and lastly Director of Technology for the same franchise. With hard work and determination you can make anything happen. You need to be willing to fight and speak up for what you are capable of and you’ll get there.
During my time of employment I had seen many, many great people come and go. Some that I personally hired on as a Trainer (hired over a 1000 ppl). Unfortunately a lot of this has to do with upper management. Plain and simple, some only care about the bigger picture, when the reality is every team member in the stores are a huge part of that big picture. Too many people are termed for ridiculous reasons, but then there is a lot of favoritism that also plays a role into whether an employee is allowed to stay when they should be let go.
Advice to Management
The solution starts at the top. We’ve tried time and time again to get this right, but we keep failing. I can’t tell you why, but there are reasons. I just hope it’s not too late to save this company. The strength of the brand can only save us for so long, before our sales are crushed because of what actually goes on in our stores. I know you talk to your people, but REALLY talk to them. Find out the truth of how your TMs feel about working for your company. When I visited stores, I heard more bad than good, more hardship than success. I refused to believe it for a long time, but I opened my eyes.
There’s this thing I use to teach in my classes, of what NOT to do, it’s called “The Customer Service Robot”. Customers don’t want a fake, overdone interaction with someone who doesn’t really care, who pretends to care, or reads from a script. They want to talk to a real person and have a real conversation. Genuine. This is the same interaction you should strive for when communicating with your employees, including management. They are people too, they want a real interaction as well. I have seen way too much fakeness throughout my time here. The big problem here though is that our TMs are accustomed to this kind of work relationship and will answer your falsely. If you try to have a real conversation with them, they’ll cover up how they truely feel about the question.
The company needs a culture shock. From head to toe. MOE spirit needs to be revitalized. WIIFM needs to be reinstated, understood, and enforced. Individual Store spirit needs to be addressed. Hint hint: frequent contest! Not area vs area because stores tend to get heat from their supervisors on why they aren’t performing well in it.
TMs like to know what’s going on at the top. The more they are involved the more loyal they are. I am most definitely a prime example of that. I was as loyal as they came. Find better ways to reduce that communication barrier, all the way down to new and tenured TMs. Utilize technology.
Pay fairly. Make sure TMs are WELL aware of how to up that pay. If you’re not willing to pay, they will not perform. Continuous, regular reviews and raise evaluations are critical for a happy TM (ALL TMs). This also ties into all benefit programs. TMs need to know and be made aware of constantly about all the WIIFM. Help them strive to perform better by paying better.
Hire smarter. We have a huge turnover rate. Why? Read above. The biggest problem though is our people are not properly vetted. We lose some of the good ones and get a lot of crappy ones during interviews. Simply put, hire the right people. Teach our management crews how to properly conduct an interview and scan for potential problems. Having a “How to Hire” class should be the first step, but FOLLOW UP. They need hands on training in this scenario. The management teams need to see the WIIFM on why proper vetting is important. I believe if TMs that were new to the management team had to go through a rigurous hiring-only training course where they are directly involved with onboarding process,we’d all benefit greatly from it.
Lastly, once upon a time we did a follow up call on all terminations to make sure/check if they were justified. This needs to be mandatory and reinstated ASAP. Many people are termed for very unjustifiable reasons. Some of them are worth keeping. Same goes for anyone who put in a two weeks notice. As soon as that notice goes in, an upper management TM should be there the next day or so to here them out or see what the company can do for them. Try your hardest to stop losing people.
I applied online. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at Mark of Excellence Pizza in October 2012.
Was not very difficult, was offered the position at the interview. However, I hired in as a "delivery expert" not a pizza maker, which was never disclosed to me at the interview that I would be expected to make pizzas. Location of interview was hard to find, when I called my contact for directions, she could give me correct directions, and she was a former delivery expert.
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