How to Empower employees and Create

0 Comments from the smoked Whiskey River BBQ to the spicy Burnin ‘Love, a well-made burger is the claim of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers fame. But there is more on the menu in the restaurants of this chain of informal meals and much more for the company. Their core belief is that enthusiastic and empowered employees hold the key to customer satisfaction and a healthy bottom line. One of the main ways in which Red Robin builds the cohesion of the people that drives success is its Yammer social network.

Based in Greenwood Village, Colorado, Red Robin has more than 450 restaurants in the United States and Canada. “We had many informal communication channels in the past, and that meant a lot of information silos,” says CEO Steve Carley. “When I took this job, one of my main goals was to improve communication across geographic and organizational boundaries, we wanted to give everyone a voice, from management to team members serving guests entering our restaurants.” . .

Although the management of the company knew that the communication had to change, it took a while to discover how. “Our quarterly focus group told us we were not communicating enough,” says Chris Laping, CIO and senior vice president of business transformation. “Initially, we thought that meant that the staff wanted more from the management: more memos and meetings, then we realized that what people said was not so much ‘we want to hear more’ but ‘we want to be heard'”.

“Offering employees a business-oriented social network like Yammer, which is aligned with the way they work and communicate in their personal lives, is intuitive, simple and makes good business sense,” he adds. “We want the members of our team to take care of the guests, without delving into the training materials.”




“Yammer encourages team members to feel connected to each other and connected to the heart of the business,” Laping observes. “When people care about their jobs, they go beyond their wildest dreams.”

While Carley and Laping were waiting, Red Robin’s active work force used Yammer as a commercial transformation that drives the engine. For example, when the company introduced the Pig Out burger loaded with bacon, management was disappointed by the lack of customer feedback on the Red Robin Facebook page, but learned a lot from the considerable buzz in Yammer. “The managers started talking about how to adjust the Pig Out recipe, and four weeks later, we had an improved version, tested in the kitchen to throw it into restaurants,” Laping reports. “That is a process that would have taken 12 to 18 months before.” office

Last year, the Red Robin CFO led Yammer to pose a challenge to the entire company: the employee who presented the best idea of ​​cost savings would get $ 1,000. “Yammer left us a very rich dialogue with team members and managers about all the cost savings opportunities we have in the company,” says Laping. “The winning idea, a reusable children’s cup, is a great way to give our environmentally conscious customers exactly what they want, while saving us enormous costs, and I am convinced that the idea would never have come up. we had social network. ”

Not only the restaurant staff feels more connected to the operations thanks to Yammer’s corporate executives, too. CEO Carley uses the network for everything from the publication of videos on business results to the successes of employees who are highlighted by the Yammer’s Praise function. “But the first thing that Yammer uses is to feel the pulse of the business from the perspective of the frontline team members,” he says. “That’s invaluable to me.”

Social learning is the next step in Red Robin’s drive to involve its workforce more thoroughly. In late 2012, he began implementing a new Yammer network called “Yummerversity”, which uses collaboration to reinforce the training of new team members. “Traditional training does not really encourage people to work together,” says Laping. “Yummerversity is not only compatible with the lessons learned during training, but it also fosters connection and collaboration.”

One of the commitments assumed by Carley when he assumed the position of CEO was to reduce costs by two percent without compromising guests, team members or quality. In the last two years, the company has saved twice that amount.

Part of the credit goes to the network s