L&D must go hand in hand with engagement: KFC

by John Hilton27 Jan 2016
The days of just having a fantastic L&D program by itself without any engagement (and vice versa) have come to an end, according to Rob Phipps, Chief People Officer at KFC.

In particular, there needs to be a series of things which engages a team member and ensures that they are feeling comfortable, he added. 

“The way people feel about a message is as important as the facts of the message, Phipps told L&D Professional.

As part of KFC’s engagement plan they have spent the past year connecting their team members and restaurants with a social media app called Yammer.

“It’s like Facebook, but it’s for work and it basically allows people to participate in a conversation,” he said.

“If we are rolling out a program to our team members we wouldn’t just say ‘This is what you should do step by step on this program’.

Instead, KFC would think about how to engage their employees so they can jump on and hashtag something or ‘Like’ something to let them know what they think.

“This involves getting the input of staff and starting a conversation around even the design about the way we put something together,” he said.

“When we do a product launch we will make sure that our team members know about that launch before our customers do.

“Some of our team members might skip a shift here and there so the launches might not match up.

“So it’s about how do we engage them to do something rather than just how do we instruct them to do something.”

For Phipps, it’s that partnership between HR and marketing that’s so significant to L&D success.

He added that in the L&D and HR function there is a lot of time spent on the substance of what they do and he cannot stress enough how important that is.

“But how do we spend time on the engagement on that substance? How do we spend time ensuring that our internal team members are actually understanding the big picture? How do we make sure they understand what the programs that they are entering into look like?" he said. 

 “It certainly is a growing part of the way that we are running our business now in terms of communication and engagement."