Q12 – Training Through Engagement

The traditional  “4 P’s of marketing” , the mix of attributes you need to succeed,  product, price, promotion and place  have, in the last few years expanded to five by the addition of a  fifth P – people .

Successful businesses are run and staffed by teams of  engaged, committed  and  focussed  people and if you want your pub business to be a success you have to know how to  engage, train  and  develop  your team. Whilst there are many theories of HR management and many different schemes out there I believe one of the easiest to implement and monitor is Gallup’s Q12.

Most of you will be familiar with Gallup from their long history in the survey business and their reputation as one of the leading organisations in the market research industry. What you may not realise is that they have developed a concise and focussed questionnaire to aid businesses in engaging with their employees to  maximise the outcomes of the business .

What’s that in plain English please?   It means that by making your  staff feel included and valued  by you and your business will mean they work in a better way to make your business more successful. According to research by training company People1st in their 2011 State of the Nation Report “87% of employees were likely to stay with a company if they felt engaged with it” … so with one of the highest staff turnover rates in the UK economy (23%) perhaps getting a return on investment for all the training and personal staff development we undertake as businesses might become just a little bit easier.

The Q12 survey has been researched, tested and used with major organisations and there is  compelling evidence  that suggests this survey tool makes a great tool when you are thinking about your own team’s development. Gallup have made tangible links to improved financial performance  for those organisations that do well in the Q12 areas.

Whilst you may not implement the full survey amongst your staff the points Q12 raises are all valid questions you should be asking about what your pub team’s answers would be if you asked them.

So what is the Q12?

Gallup’s Q12 is a set of  core statements  that, if an organisation works on and does well in, will be really effective in improving financial performance.

Below are the 12 statements and some notes on their importance to a pub:

1.Do you know what is expected of you at work? For instance all the aspects of an employee’s duties such as health and safety, customer service, up-selling and promotional support, not just the actual task at hand such as pouring pints or cooking a steak or waiting on tables.

2.Do you have the materials and equipment you need to do your work right? If your staff don’t have the right tools for the job, such as the correct utensils in a kitchen, they will never perform to the maximum.

3.At work, do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day? All of us like to think that we have skills that we excel in, so make sure that you recognise what your team’s skills are and let them show you (and your customers) just how good they are at what they do. For instance, letting a barperson take care of the back bar display or allowing a cook to garnish meals with their own flair.

4.In the last seven days, have you received recognition or praise for doing good work? We often forget to tell our staff “good job” so make sure that you let your team know how well they are doing, that’s why big companies have “employee of the month” schemes.

5.Does your supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about you as a person? Whilst I believe that a certain “distance” must be kept between employer and employee, we work in what is, after all, a social environment and our industry is focused on people. Take the time for personal interaction with your team, be interested in what’s going on in their lives and “be there” for them when they need you. If you have a team that is at odds with itself you may have team members that feel that no-one cares about them and they will be less effective.

6.Is there someone at work who encourages your development? Just as plants wither, unless they are tended and watered, so will your staff become less effective if there is no encouragement for them to develop their skills or progress their career. With all the training opportunities available (both in house and elsewhere) it makes good management sense to encourage your employees to “take ownership” of their personal development and training. Not only do they gain valuable skills and training for their own benefit, but your business will benefit from better informed and well trained staff.

7.At work, do your opinions seem to count? I was taught by one of my first managers that there is no such thing as a bad idea, so listen to the suggestions your staff make. Some of them may be practicable, some may not, the important thing is to be open to your team’s views, you never know, the next big idea for your business may well come from them.

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