High turnover in the restaurant industry can be quite costly to owners and operators. The average cost of replacing hourly staff can be anywhere between $3,000 to $7,000 per lost employee and that number can add up quickly! So reducing turnover is the only way to keep your employee costs low. But that’s easier said than done, given the challenges of issues including legislated minimum wage increases.
Annual and bi-annual performance reviews for the nation’s frontline workforce like those in the restaurant niche are failing. They’re either inconsistent or have no formalized process. Also, the feedback for front and back of the house workers isn’t inciting improvement and change, with workers feeling criticized more than inspired and motivated.
However, CEO Steven Kramer and his team at WorkJam aim to change that. The company offers an employee engagement application that is perfect for today’s hourly workforce. As a digital workplace platform, Kramer focuses on organizations that employ many non-desk workers. These organizations have very little innovation for structured communication due to the fact that these types of workers don’t have dedicated email addresses and aren’t always on the same schedule.
“We created a platform that features very strong workforce management capabilities,” Kramer says. “But we couple that with engagement tools, such as channels to create a community and disseminates, important information, messaging, training, recognition and more. It’s this all-in-one platform that engages your workforce to create operational efficiencies.”
Only four years old, WorkJam was originated by Kramer when he came up with the idea for the platform as an executive at Hybris, one of the nation’s leading e-commerce platform companies. He took his knowledge of the digital space and created a unique organizational app that greatly helped companies with hourly employees who needed more than structure than what’s implemented.
“Biannual or annual reviews for hourly workers don’t work,” he commented. “For fast food, there’s a 150% attrition rate last year in the U.S., and the restaurant industry probably had about 70%. These sorts of jobs went from temporary jobs for teenagers or for those out of school to full-time jobs. So somewhere along the line things changed.” Kramer also describes how hourly employees are looking for more frequent feedback, which keeps them more engaged in their position. Couple that with a younger generation that relies on digital tools and the need for WorkJam’s solution increases.
Kramer sees a significant shift in priorities. “Today’s employee sees no value in an annual review or feedback for something they did months ago. They would rather have the real-time recognition of something as simple and incredibly powerful as a digital badge. This also increases their ability to provide superior customer service because now feedback and recognition can come instantly thanks to the platform. Employees are more motivated to excel at their position when they know they’ll get feedback and praise instantly. Our customers are seeing that by building more brand awareness, loyalty and capabilities that let employees service their schedules, they’re seeing decreased attrition rates. They’re saving a lot of money as well from an operations perspective, but also starting to increase the customer experience and customer loyalty as well.”
According to Kramer, WorkJam is more than just a tool for an HR department. “It can enable a CEO or the owner of the restaurant chain to update their company’s culture to reflect the needs of today’s employee by changing how they speak to and interact with employees. It becomes more of a company platform than a department forum. It’s just a tool for more effective communication for hourly employees.” The platform can be used simply as a way of communication or more in depth as a way to streamline operations. We’ve integrated this concept of constant feedback in the application because it really keeps everybody engaged, which is so valuable for the organization from the hourly employees up to a higher level.”
WorkJam is great at simplifying and optimizing the communication and management of a restaurant’s hourly workforce with modern technology integrated with existing systems through a single employee application.
To learn more about WorkJam, visit their website.