Today the focus will be on the value of a long term commitment to a career within the restaurant industry. Check out a few of the facts:
Lifelong careers in the restaurant industry are not uncommon. 70% of restaurant employees plan to stay in industry until they retire.
This is shown in the fact that the median tenure of restaurant management and business operations employees is 20 years in the industry.
A job in the restaurant industry pays off: 71% of salaried restaurant managers, 50% of salaried shift/crew supervisors and 47% of salaried chefs/cooks earned a bonus in the past year.
In a time when many are worried about long term job stability, I think it’s a powerful testament to the long term value of these professions for 7 out of 10 employees to want to remain in the industry until retirement.
In addition, when many corporate employees are facing limited (if any) bonuses, the fact that 47-71% of restaurant employees received some bonus in recognition of their efforts is pretty astounding. The one that most stuck out from my point of view is the manager group receiving more bonuses than other staff–that’s yet another inspiration for the other employees to aspire to a higher level of leadership.
In the infograpic below titled “Dedication Pays Off,” you can see these and other statistics that prove the long term value of a career within the restaurant field.
This will be a long post and possibly only of interest to those who attended or follow the HRevolution happenings. If you think this will not be interesting or applicable to you, I’d read some before you bail. :-) And this certainly won’t be the last thing I share, either. As with past years, the concepts, ideas, and questions raised at HRevolution have a way of percolating to the surface on a regular basis. Some of what I write might be obviously tied in, but other pieces will not be. I definitely want to make time to further explore some of the sessions I sat in on, from HR Improv and Half Baked HR Ideas to Creativity/Innovation and the Reality-Based Live HR Case Study and more.
When we get together for HRevolution, it’s a funny paradox. The combined social media following of the room numbers in the hundreds of thousands, and yet we don’t share nearly as much at HRev as we might at other events. Why? Because the engagement and dialogue are just that good. It’s the only explanation I can think of after seeing this phenomenon repeat itself over and over again. We’re more interested in learning, sharing ideas, and hearing the other participants share than we are in kicking out sound bytes via Twitter, Facebook, or insert-the-latest-social-media-tool-here.
So, what do we talk about? Here’s the briefest of snippets:
HR is broken.
No, it’s not.
We need to disrupt it.
Things can’t keep going the way they have.
Why aren’t other functions broken? Finance doesn’t have these discussions.
We are killing the future competitiveness of our workforce by training the creativity out of them.
And on and on. Some things funny, some things enlightening, and some things just plain amazing.
Those were a few of the comments that filtered through the event throughout the day, and those were just the ones that I actually heard–I know there were additional conversations going on about similar topics during the event.
When I get to the end of this event each year I have to stop and take a breath. This is not a lecture. This is not a seminar. This is a high energy, participatory event that makes you think. It challenges you to stop thinking “we can’t change that” and start thinking, “What if I stop/start/change that? What would happen?”
And, as usual, I heard this more than once:
This is my favorite event all year.
This event is different. It always has been and always will be. One person I was particularly excited about meeting for the first time is a long time reader of this blog: Kellee Webb. Kellee is an in-the-trenches HR pro, but she doesn’t let that stop her from innovating, growing her knowledge, and taking business challenges head on. It was an honor to meet her, and I hope to meet more of you in the future at this and other events. It is one of the highlights of getting to do this kind of work! It also shows that this isn’t some closed group or clique–this is wide open and available to anyone willing to put in a few hours to make it happen.
One of the other great things about this specific event was having some of my fellow Brandon Hall Group folks in attendance. Madeline Laurano and Rachel Cooke were able to see firsthand the great discussions, networking, and value that comes from a relatively small event like HRevolution. Trish and I have talked about the event’s nuances in the past, but it’s not quite the same as living it!
An observation about HRevolution
Other than people asking me how soon the baby is due (within a few weeks), :-) the second most discussed topic is the return to the HRevolution roots of crowdsourcing the location, the non-conference space, and the small group feel.
One of the ideas that kept fluttering around throughout the event was this: we wanted this fifth anniversary of HRevolution to be special. We wanted it to feel like a homecoming. A reunion. A celebration.
And that it did.
But it also helped me to see how far many of us have come since that first year. Many of us are in more senior roles or have stepped out of HR to run companies, be industry analysts, etc. My conclusion as to why that is the case: people who are drawn to HRevolution are not interested in the status quo. They don’t want to show up to work a year from now doing the same thing they are doing now. We still have plenty of practitioners (I’m still helping out my old company and advising others on an occasional basis just to keep me grounded, so I get a percentage of that at least!), and that makes me very excited about the future of this industry. This definitely bears more analysis, but that will have to wait for another time.
A brief synopsis of HRevolution 2014
Below you will find an incomplete, but hopefully helpful, timeline of tweets, pictures, and other memorable moments from HRevolution 2014. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it follows my journey through the event and I’ve noted some of my observations where appropriate.
As we continue the discussion about the restaurant industry, we’ve seen some great content as far as jobs and career tracks. One of the first things people consider when looking at career options is the compensation. A few of the more common questions:
What will I make? Can I provide for my family? What about growth of pay over time?
As you can tell from the information below, the responses to those questions are definitely positive. The infographic below looks at some key areas around these questions, but the following points are especially pertinent:
The numbers are clear – there are very competitive wages available to employees of the restaurant industry. Chefs and cooks make a median base salary of $50,000, while restaurant managers make a median base salary of $47,000.
Salaries in the industry are not stagnant. Entry-level employees receive a pay raise, on average, within six months of hire. About 70% of managers and shift/crew supervisors have received a raise within the past year.
The industry goes beyond hourly pay; by mid-career, 57% of restaurant employees are salaried.
One of the stats that I’m particularly surprised by is the growth of wages over time, particularly the 70% figure for managers and supervisors. That is a prime example of the type of growth and opportunity available within the industry that might otherwise not be obvious to those unfamiliar with the restaurant field.
In the infographic titled “Do The Math” you can find some of the key areas that people want to learn about regarding restaurant career compensation.
So, what are your thoughts regarding compensation in the restaurant industry? Did anything in here surprise you?
HR is always a day late and a dollar short.
-Chris Powell, CEO BlackbookHR
That comment from Chris Powell has stuck with me since our initial conversation, and I think it’s a reality we all need to be aware of and try to mitigate. Think of it this way — when someone asks finance, sales, or operations about specific facts, figures, and projections, they can typically throw out a ballpark answer within moments.
But for some reason, HR has always taken the “let me get back to you on that” approach. And that, my friends, is not a winning strategy.
One of the things I was taught early in my HR career is to always have the trusty response of “let me get back to you” ready for when someone asks you a question you don’t know. Over time, I have seen the use of that grow until it’s used on an almost daily basis as a way for HR pros to get out of conversations they are not comfortable with (discussions of revenue, sales, productivity or other hard numbers).
We can’t let that be a crutch any more. It’s time to start learning the business, having some insights ready to go, and being able to share information as quickly as other organizational leaders.
For instance, if someone asks the VP of sales how his numbers are looking, he can (more often than not) immediately respond with a good approximation of the current status. Think for a moment about how that compares credibility-wise when someone asks HR a similar question and we say, “Um, I’ll have to check and let you know.”
I am testing out something new this week and have been publishing short, 1-2 minute videos on YouTube daily as a way to get some quick thoughts out there on a variety of topics. I’m rounding up this week’s content here. Let me know what you think about the topics, format, etc.
\Subscribers will need to click through to view the videos below)
HR: it’s not about finding a seat at the table, it’s about finding the food truck
Today we’re looking at how HR isn’t necessarily about finding a “seat at the table,” but it’s more like “finding the food truck.” It’s often a moving target and to be strategically relevant we need to put some effort into the process to make it work.
Credit to Chris Powell, CEO of BlackbookHR for the great quote!
Innovation, HR Conferences, and HRevolution
Talking about how to drive innovation and innovative thinking when the traditional training and conference events are created to help us continue doing things as they have always been done. In addition, events like HRevolution (http://thehrevolution.org) DO create those types of thinking.
Making the workplace better: micro and macro views
How can we make the workplace better? Some people look at a massive innovation across the board, while others seek out how to make one-on-one relationships better and build out from there. Good discussion.
Have something you’d like to see me discuss? Let me know!
This topic is a bit controversial, but it’s something that I believe and stand by. Why? Because I’m a fan of reading, for one, but also because I have personally seen this work as a tool in the world of work.
I’ve used books within performance discussions, both positive (succession/development oriented) and negative (performance improvement/problem-focused) with varying degrees of results.
I have helped to establish a library for employees to help them have access to some of the books that mattered not only to our industry, but also to the type of culture we wanted to have.
I have read books that have made me better at work in a variety of ways. Knowledge really is powerful stuff.
Last week I was quoted in the Chicago Tribune talking about this very topic. The article is a good one and worth a read. Here’s a snipped:
It dawned on me recently that reading is not an activity that’s often associated with work. It’s more of a leisure-time endeavor, which is fine — but if it’s so darn good for us to read, why shouldn’t reading be a part of the working world?
I’m not talking about co-workers starting a book club, but rather companies encouraging all employees to read certain books. Maybe even launching discussions about those books or using them to drive home aspects of the company’s culture.
“I think it really applies to the workplace and the kind of environments we want to create,” said Ben Eubanks, a human resources analyst at Brandon Hall Group and an advocate for workplace reading. “One of the things that I like best is when you read it and I read it, and then we get together and talk about it. The discussion that happens afterward. If you’re sitting in a PowerPoint presentation, I’m telling you things and you’re taking things in but there’s really no discussion.”
He thinks reading should be an expected part of any employee’s performance. It could range from books that management picks for all workers to read — ones that get at the company’s core philosophies — to books that managers suggest for specific employees, with an eye toward helping make the employee better.
“I’ve worked with managers in the past to assign them a book that we think will help them learn the things they need to learn or develop a skill they’re not being exposed to,” Eubanks said. “People who are successful are often crazy about reading. They make time for that because they understand how important it is, and it’s kind of like a secret weapon.”
Let’s replay that last part again:
People who are successful are often crazy about reading. They make time for that because they understand how important it is, and it’s kind of like a secret weapon.
Simply put, leaders read. And people at all levels of our organizations can be extraordinary leaders, if we help give them the keys to learn and grow.
I can’t determine causation without some hefty research, so I can’t speak to whether reading makes us successful, or successful people naturally read more. What I can say is that there is correlation there and we can certainly attempt to exploit that for the betterment of our employees and their families.
That’s why I have published dozens of book reviews over the years. That’s why I continue to accept the ridiculous number of pitches from publishers trying to get me to read and review books about HR, leadership, talent, learning, etc. I want to get better, but I also want to share with you so you can get better, too.
I can still remember the first book review I ever did. As I read The Pursuit of Something Better something changed and I really saw how the ideas I picked up from the book could impact my day to day HR practices. This is powerful stuff, and if you learn only one idea from a book that you can use on a regular basis, then it’s worth your time and money to invest.
Thanks for letting me rant a bit. Some of you will take this to heart, pick up a book (maybe one I have suggested), and commit to being better at this HR thing. Others will finish reading this article and move on, making no changes to their own professional growth. I hope I’ve reached you, dear reader, as one of the former.