How KFC gets the L&D balance right

by John Hilton29 Jan 2016
For KFC, it’s essential to look at how to get structured learning that’s right for an individual, said Rob Phipps, Chief People Officer of KFC. 

In particular, a big challenge is that KFC have employees from many different walks of life, added Phipps.

“Different people approach things in different ways, so if we were to create a program that was one-size fits all – it wouldn’t work,” he told L&D Professional.

“We have very high standards around food management, but at the same time we give people flexibility to learn in a way that’s best for them.”

In particular, Phipps said that e-learning is very important to KFC, and the company has been through several different approaches over the last seven or so years to get it right.

However, Phipps emphasises that e-learning by itself is not a solution.

“Nothing can take away from sitting down with somebody in our environment and being coached on the job,” he said.

Phipps said it’s handy to use technology to make learning more interactive, but that KFC will always need humans involved.

Moreover, one of the biggest challenges which KFC is facing on the L&D front is grappling with technology, said Phipps. Namely, the problem is that it’s moving too fast.

“Do you hold on and skip a step? Or do you stay with the times and it costs a lot of money in investment, time, change and all those sorts of things,” he said.

“Certainly where technology sits for us is an ongoing question.

 “It needs to be something that’s flexible and can be consumed in different ways.”

Indeed, Phipps added that having a teacher-led program that gets cascaded down by itself has become a thing of the past.

Further, to help KFC gets its messages of high standards across all the restaurants, it needs to be engaging, Phipps said.

“You can make a difference and you can have a bit of fun along the way as well,” he added.