Americas

KFC invests in employee-facing technology

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The global quick-service chain has started a digital overhaul of training tools, as Tina Nielsen reports

Kentucky Fried Chicken has started to implement a wide-ranging intiative to overhaul back of the house training, which will see it invest heavily in employee-facing technology. At a time where most operators have had a firm focus on new technology for customers, the operator has decided to match back-of-house efforts with the technology that has already been implemented in the front-of-house.

This is expected to cut staff training from four to five weeks down to just one week. Using voice-activated training programmes has proven to be a more efficient way to esnure joining staff is equipped with the relevant skills and confidence as well as providing the fast food chain with considerable savings.

As an example of how the voice-activated training works in practice, consider a new member of staff learning how to correctly fry a piece of chicken to be served to customers. Where before they would ask a trainer or a colleague, with the new system they can ask the device the same question and instantly be shown a video of the correct way to execute a task.

According to William H. Bender FCSI, founder and principal at W.H. Bender & Associates, other employers would be wise to follow KFC’s lead. “Employees will not absorb antiquated training models and large brands need to update content, processes and employee-facing technology to keep staff engaged,” he says. “To stay relevant to staff, all employee-facing internal brand communication must be designed, formatted and distributed with the end user in mind, both in content and appearance. If it does not grab attention straight away, it will be ignored.”

Digital experience

KFC global chief digital officer Ryan Ostrom has been quoted saying that the company’s motto is that the customer experience is never more important than the employee experience.

The move makes financial sense and is in tune with younger generations who have had a genuine digital experience growing up. “The young workforce today has grown up looking at screens, mostly on their mobile phones. It is clearly an opportunity to provide training tips, incentives and express corporate culture by communicating via secure phone app,” says Arlene Spiegel FCSI, founder and president of Arlene Spiegel and Associates.

“It is actually much less expensive than face-to-face training and the company can monitor who is paying attention.”

The company plans to overhaul staff training worldwide and eventually all 300,000 employees across the world will benefit from the tech-based training.

Tina Nielsen