Denny's turns to tech, Magic Johnson for new leadership training program
- Denny's has launched a Breakthrough Leadership Training and Development Program with the help of Earvin "Magic" Johnson, according to a press release.
- The program provides exclusive access to creative and interactive employee engagement curricula, leadership workshops, simulations, games and mobile learning and educational training videos. The casual dining chain will also roll out a complementary recruiting site featuring job and career-long opportunities in April.
- "Recruiting needs to be easily available across current technologies that today's job seekers are using," John Dillon, chief brand officer and SVP of Denny's, told HR Dive's sister publication Restaurant Dive in an email. "Our Breakthrough leadership programs and training are geared to develop essential skills and experience to provide career long growth and job satisfaction."
Giving employees more out of their first jobs and beyond in the restaurant industry is quickly becoming a focus for restaurant brands as they struggle with retention. Denny's is focusing on recruiting a younger workforce looking for careers with a company that invests in its team members while also giving back to the community it serves, Dillon said. A focus on tech and mobile platforms for learning could be a significant benefit.
The program will help develop skills in leadership and people management, financial acumen, guest service, inventory management, food preparation and food safety, among others, Dillon said. These skills will help workers develop the talent needed to operate in the industry, he said.
"Collectively we believe there's a leader in each and every one of our team members, and our partnership with Magic Johnson bring his entrepreneurial experience and passion to the table to help us attract the best talent, and his business savvy to help us promote our breakthrough leadership programs that will build strong leaders," Dillon said.
While Denny's is providing different ways for employees to learn and develop, it isn't the only brand helping with staff members' educational aspirations. Papa John's is offering to pay for employee's online tuition through a partnership with Purdue University. Starbucks, Taco Bell and Chick-fil-A also offer educational assistance programs. Chick-fil-A's scholarship program, which the company added over $15 million to in February, has increased employee retention.
McDonald's is working on increasing representation of women at all levels through a program that will include education and development programs focused on women. As part of this platform, it will roll out a Women in Tech initiative beginning in spring, which is part of the company's education and tuition assistance program Archways to Opportunity. The program, which will provide college credits and eventually a credential upon completion, will provide the opportunity to learn additional skills such as data science, cyber security and artificial intelligence.
While many of these programs are new, it will be interesting to see how exactly they impact retention levels, as they have at Chick-fil-A.
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