Why KFC prioritises life skills training

by L&D27 Jul 2016
All learning is crucial to the success of KFC, but it’s especially important to place a great deal of emphasis on developing employees’ life skills, according to Rob Phipps, chief people officer at KFC.

This approach stems from the view that all 30,000 or so staff across Australia deserves the opportunity to be the best people they can be, Phipps told L&D Professional.

In particular, KFC hires lots of young people (many of whom haven’t had jobs before) and it’s important to instil in them life skills such as punctuality, work ethic, high standards and teamwork.

“You have got to have a high degree of detail and excellence in what you do, and you have got to work well with other people,” he said.

“That just seems to build up and up over time in terms of the way that we approach looking at somebody’s development through our organisation.”

For Phipps, a key driver of KFC’s L&D program is how the company can put its people first so that they are not just learning from the company, but also from each other.

Additionally, it’s about equipping them with skills that they can use no matter what path they choose to follow.

“We want them to have the best possible experience while they are with us, and we want them to be able to take what they have learnt with us into their next generation of life,” he said.

“So if they are students studying at university then we want to target our L&D programs around areas that will help them as an individual be better at what they do once they leave us after three years or whatever length of time they stay with us.

“We certainly appreciate the 30,000 or so people that work for us. Not all of them are going to develop with us, but whether they do or not we want to help them.”

Phipps added that improving their employees’ development is crucial in terms of staff satisfaction and retention.

“If an individual goes into a workplace and doesn’t understand what they need to do technically then they get disengaged, they get nervous and they leave,” he said.