Why Digital Employee Recognition is critical for Quick Service Restaurants

23 August, 2019

Why Digital Employee Recognition is critical for Quick Service Restaurants

Quick Service Restaurants or QSRs, plainly referred to as fast food chains, is a massive and competitive industry. Along with standardized product quality, it is the quick and friendly customer service they provide that attracts a heavy footfall to their stores.

The employees in these restaurants work in a fast-paced, high stress environment where the company’s reputation and customer retention rate rests on their shoulders. They need to be alert, responsible and creative when it comes to customer service.

QSR giants have understood this and have adopted Rewards and Recognition (R&R) practices for keeping their employees motivated; these can range from awarding titles and badges to monetary incentives. However, given the scale of operations and the need to engage culture-sensitive Millennials and Generation Z, R&R needs to be more systematized and built into the heart of day-to-day operations.

In today’s era, youngsters are quite habituated to using online apps for all kinds of things- including connecting socially. This provides a great opportunity for restaurant managers and senior management at QSRs to setup an online Reward and Recognition ecosystem. Not only will this provide a unified platform for employee engagement, but also facilitate instant, seamless communication org-wide.

Platforms like Gratifi offer analytics for tracking employee recognition and workforce sentiment so the Human Resources department is able to identify data-driven solutions for increased engagement.

Before opting for a digital engagement solution, however, a number of things need to be considered. Most importantly, the digitization process needs to reflect the organization’s culture and policies. For example, having recognition categories for being well-dressed or working late-hour shifts, or even being the star performer of the shift- these must be integrated into the digital system.

Another concern when it comes to digital R&R for QSRs can be its usability. While digital solutions are effective in smoothly facilitating manager-to-reportee recognition, they may not be successful in getting peers to recognize each other-that is- unless the digital product is user-friendly and has accessible touchpoints. One can’t expect employees to navigate complicated apps to say thank you to a colleague during hectic shifts.

Another aspect of product customization is the Rewards system. Apart from being data-driven and unbiased, it should be designed keeping in mind the company culture and what employees want. There is a lot of scope for creativity in the digital reward space. The Rewards catalogue, in this case, can be youth oriented. Young employees enjoy shopping for clothes, electronics or beauty products on a budget, and the online reward point system should allow them to purchase the same. This would be more exciting than waiting for points to redeem an expensive dinner set or a wall hanging (yawn!).

All in all, the summary is this: it is critical for QSRs to adopt digital R&R solutions for employee engagement to maintain a competitive edge. However, technology needs to adapt to human processes, rather than making them impersonal and restrictive. Therefore it is equally important to ensure that the R&R product is customizable, user-friendly and relevant.

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