Amy’s Ice Creams’ workforce is made up primarily of millennials, most of which are seasonal employees. In the short time these younger workers are with Amy's, this Great Game All-Star company maximizes engagement in order to make a lasting impact on employees' futures, as well as the success of the business.
Take a look at what Marketing and Communications Director, Aaron Clay, has to say about the company's fun, fast-paced and positive Huddles combined with open-book management, and his four guidelines for enhancing engagement in your team's Huddles.
4 Guidelines to Engage Millennials in Huddles
"Millennials overwhelmingly look to connect their
work with something larger and meaningful
to the world around them.”
1. Teaching is Fundamental
Sharing the numbers alone is not enough. Take the time in this Huddle to teach nuggets of what the numbers mean and the story behind them.
- Amy’s Lesson Learned: When Kim Jordan, CEO of New Belgium Brewing Co., spoke at the 2012 Gathering of Games she sent a powerful message out to the crowd: “Repeat! Repeat! Repeat!” No matter what rally it is, we always repeat the basics of the numbers, the financial statements and the rules of The Game.
2. Visual Data-Telling
We all have different learning styles and we provide our visual learners with charts, graphs, financial statements, videos and more. We try to make an interesting story using data to help explain what the numbers truly mean to our young workforce.
- Amy’s Lesson Learned: To increase comprehension, we started using a pie metaphor when explaining the profit and loss statement. Our slideshow shows how a pie is divided up between labor, cost of goods, other operating expenses and net income. One of the best responses was, “Looks like we need to bake a bigger pie!” Yes!
3. Fun and Games
We play and have fun as much as possible in the Huddle. We create game-show-style learning activities inspired by The Price Is Right, Family Feud and The Match Game. We write humor (even dad jokes) into the Huddle, show fun videos, taste new products, and have a cocktail mixer 30 minutes before the Huddle begins so young employees can mingle and interact with the leadership team.
- Amy’s Lesson Learned: We have every attendee of the Huddle rallies give us a ‘Net Promoter Score’ at the end of the Huddle. We’ve noticed that if we don’t have “time” for a game or fun then our scores plummet. We have learned that to engage millennials we have to compete for their attention and the easiest way we’ve found is through games and entertainment.
4. Connect to the Larger Community
It doesn’t matter if you have Gen Xers, Baby Boomers or Millennials, you have to start with WHY! Jack Stack says, “Skip the praise; give the raise.” With our millennial workforce, we’ve found you have to do both. “Start with praise and follow up with the raise.” We want our employees to know this isn’t just about the bottom line or our bonus, but how Amy’s impacts the larger Austin, San Antonio and Houston communities. Every number, metric or activity has to have a clear line of sight to our mission statement: “Make People’s Day.”
- Amy’s Lesson Learned: We learned the hard way that we must create a safe environment for any skill level to learn what the numbers mean and how to affect them. The best ideas come from the front line and if that line feels intimidated then we all lose out. My favorite moment came this year when our net income fell way below our plan but through the Huddle rallies and store Huddles, we received great ideas to make up that money. We’re 85% to meeting or beating our plan thanks to our scoops (young employees)!
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