Why KFC is nurturing young employees with ‘employability skills’

The fast-food giant has developed a framework to engage team members in self-reflection and self-evaluation

Why KFC is nurturing young employees with ‘employability skills’
KFC prides itself on giving employees the best career opportunities, whether within KFC or beyond, according to Rob Phipps, KFC Australia’s chief people officer.
Consequently, #myplan was developed to improve employee engagement and retention, and to identify a distinct talent pipeline.

Phipps said the development of #myplan involved looking at the reasons why their employees love working there. 

“One of those insights was that we’re very good at developing people,” Phipps told HRD

Input was sourced from the Career Industry Council of Australia, the National Retailers Association and the Department of Education to build a base for the #myplan program and ensure that the initiative was “industry best practice”.
The aim of #myplan is to provide a framework to engage team members in self-reflection, self-evaluation and SMART goal setting. 

This helps them understand the employability skills obtained while working at KFC, as well as recognise career opportunities both within and outside the company.
The completed plan then forms the base for discussion and collaboration with their manager, parents and career advisors to encourage commitment in achieving their goals.
To support managers throughout this process, a manager component was also developed.
“What we didn’t want to do was replace the job of a career counsellor at school because our people aren’t trained to do that,” said Phipps. 

“We wanted to start a conversation and then get team members to go home and talk to their parents, carers, schools or career counsellors to go further.” 

Phipps added that the average age of the employees is anywhere between 15 and 20. 

The program consists of two modules:

Employee module – The online module is activity based and auto populates a goals form with the short and long-term goals. It provides information on career options within KFC and steps to take to help achieve their goals.

Manager module – This assists the manager in preparing for a goal-centric discussion with the employee. It also provides coaching and mentoring skills, and a guide for how they can assist the employee in achieving their goals. 

Although the program is not compulsory, KFC has seen some very positive results, particularly from the management team. 

Over 80% of all managers have been through the manager’s module and over 95% of these managers have found the module useful in preparing them to assist their employees in developing and achieving their goals.

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