You’re in line at a busy Culver’s Restaurant. There’s an assortment of tempting choices.
Tasty ButterBurger? Creamy frozen custard? While you’re debating what to order, team members are busy. They’re counting change at the registers. Distributing sacks of hot food at the drive-through. Clearing tables.
Ever given much thought to their ages? Scan the room and you’ll likely see more than one generation at work.
Owner and operator Jeff Meyer shares management methods at his nine locations (six in the Indianapolis area).
“The biggest key is, our customers are not all 50-year-olds. They’re not all 30-year-olds. Some days, it’s two or three years old clear up to – I’ve met a customer who was 99 years old at one of our stores. If your customer base is multi-generational, why isn’t your workforce?
“We’ve always had a focus on treating our employees well and going above and beyond in creating an atmosphere where people want to be there. But about three years ago, when the unemployment rate started dropping a little bit, we thought, ‘We better be thinking about this. If we’re not, we could find ourselves on the bottom side of the barrel here with not enough employees and team members.’ ”
Keeping with the servant leadership theme, Culver’s employees are considered family.
“You remember the old saying, ‘Leave your problems at the door when you come in?’ ” Meyer inquires. “We’ve taken a different approach. We tell you to bring your problems to work with you. Let us sit down with you and figure out a way to help make today a good day and make tomorrow an even better day.”
Through educational seminars, personality assessments and an emphasis on servant leadership, team morale began to soar.
“By adding all of this, we actually created a very diverse workforce – from the ages of 15 to almost 89. They (workers) bought into the idea that, ‘Wow, they actually really do care about us.’ ”