Crew Stories: Working smarter, not harder, at Baskin-Robbins
by Sean Oliver, on October 9, 2019
As part of our Crew Stories series, we recently had the opportunity to speak with Ike Woodard, a general manager at WF Donuts LLC in Texas, about how he rolled out Crew’s team communications and scheduling solution. After experimenting with the mobile platform in his role as assistant manager at one of the franchisee group’s Arby’s locations, Ike was promoted to manage a brand new Baskin-Robbins and Dunkin’ store. One of his first decisions, even before the restaurant opened, was to get his new team on Crew.
Ike explained how adopting Crew helped him speed new employee onboarding by 70%, save 24 hours of back-office work every month, and reach the company’s speed-of-service goals. Here are some details he shared during our conversation:
Crew: How do you and your team use Crew on a daily basis?
Ike: The main thing we use it for is group messaging and posting pictures of the schedule. This is helpful because certain people might be off on the day the schedule comes out, but if it’s sent right to their phone, they have their schedule for the week. It’s great being able to talk to the team all at one time because we can't really have team meetings due to the hours we work and it still feels like I'm keeping them in the loop one-on-one. For me, Crew is a huge stress reliever that lets me work smarter, not harder, and saves me around six hours a week.
Crew: Does Crew help with employee onboarding?
Ike: When I hire people, the four things I let them know are the job description, what I expect from them, and then how we use the Crew app to communicate with each other, and how to check the Dunkin’/Baskin-Robbins website for training. Whether this is their first job or not, having Crew to talk to people makes them feel comfortable from the get-go. They're not just thrown into the job, even if they don't post anything on Crew at first, they'll get to listen to who's talking on the app and get a feel for the job, which puts them at ease. Since everybody's into technology, especially the younger generation, there's definitely been an increase in just how quickly they're getting ramped up and becoming part of the team--that process is at least 70% faster.
Crew: Describe some other ways Crew helps get people on the same page.
Ike: The biggest way it helps is with limited time offers. Every month, we have something that changes for us, whether it's new ice cream flavors, new coffee drinks, or new donut styles. As soon as I get the materials in my email from corporate, I can let our frontline know, "Hey this is what's going to be going on. Be prepared." We’ll have little training videos that show how to make a new flavored coffee, and I can share those immediately just with a message on Crew.
Another thing is, I'm not the type of boss that just sits in the office and minds his business. If I'm not out there on the floor, I’m still relaying messages on Crew to tell the team what I notice in my morning walkthroughs, or if we had a really good day on sales or something, which shows that I'm paying attention. Crew lets me communicate with my night crew and overnight baking crew to let them know I'm still here, I still care.
Crew: How do you use Crew Gold Stars to highlight good work?
Ike: Employee satisfaction is one thing I definitely strive for since a lot of people feel like they may be underpaid. If you get a good word from a co-worker or a shift leader or the boss, that boosts morale. I absolutely love Crew Gold Stars, because you can have a hectic day and then when certain team members step up and do an excellent job, or something out of the ordinary, you can give them praise. If shift managers know their team had a rough day but they stuck it out and did a good job, they’ll recognize that. I even have front-line staff that give Gold Stars to other co-workers, which is so wonderful. And if a team member didn't work that day, but they see someone get a Gold Star, they often add a high five, thumbs up, or kudos to show that they're in agreeance.
Crew: What kind of impact does Crew make on the customer experience?
Ike: I definitely think customers sense employee morale, and Crew helps with that. We all joke and try to keep each other in a good mood so we can reflect that to our customers. I also use the Crew app to help motivate the team, remind them about our service goals, and teach them proper procedures. For instance, we have certain timeframes we're supposed to hit for our drive-through and front counter. With Crew, I point out the metrics on our monitors, saying, "This is the percentage that we're at now but we need to be closer to 100%." When we get to 100%, I'll post a picture of it on Crew and say, "Hey, this goal can be reached!" So when they see that the goal is attainable, it encourages them and I think it makes them work a little bit faster and better.
Crew: How does Crew help you, as a manager?
Ike: I'm a really happy and fun person but I do have a harsh side too. Sometimes as a boss, you get upset at different things. Like if I catch an employee on their phone when they're not supposed to be and have to reprimand them multiple times, I can hear the frustration come out in my voice. But with the Crew app, when I'm typing something, I curb how I say it and think about how I want them to receive that message. Now, I’m noticing that this kind of intentional communication is getting embedded in how I speak to my whole team. So, something that simple about Crew is helping me shape myself into a better person.
Big thanks go out to Ike at WF Donuts LLC for sharing how Crew helps his team enrich communications and training, promote employee recognition and engagement, and altogether improve the customer experience. Learn more in their customer story here.