January 11, 2017

What’s it like to work at Clover?

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We do employee surveys periodically, but this was different.

The other day I was sitting at CloverLMA scribbling away plans for 2017. And as I was writing ideas of how we can make Clover a better place to work I looked around and thought: I should just talk to some of the folks working here and see what they have to say.

Sometimes really simple stuff like that, just asking people directly, goes overlooked. I almost screwed up and made the 2017 plan based on my ideas and assumptions rather than talking to people.

Those interviews were so awesome that I repeated the process across a bunch of our restaurants. All in all I talked to 15 employees. A couple I knew pretty well, some I had met but didn’t really know, and a few I’d never met. The longest tenure was just over 3 years. The newest was less than 10 days.

The results were just amazing. Not what I expected at all.

People are SO HAPPY at Clover. I mean, it just floored me. I heard the nicest things. And these are folks I don’t even know in some cases. So I can’t claim any direct influence. We just have amazing stuff happening everyday in our restaurants. Really. I was stunned. And I’m just so proud of everybody that’s part of making this happen.

I also got some really great ideas for things we can do to make Clover a better place to work. Specifically, I think there are some really simple things we can do to improve communication with our staff. This was something that came up a few times and I think there are some really tangible things we can do to improve. Some of our GMs seem to do an amazing job educating staff about what they are a part of, while others might have more opportunity there. We can work to provide support to help everybody learn from those doing this most successfully. There is some training stuff I think we need to focus on too. Specifically in the early days at Clover. I also heard thoughts about how to improve scheduling and payroll. Thanks to everybody who took time to talk to me!!!

A couple of quotes:

I really love our customers, regulars are the best. Some people I see 4 or 5 days a week, sometimes even more than once a day. And we’ll talk. And sometimes they’ll give me things. Like this one customer gave me a documentary.

This is my way to know I’m making a difference everyday.

I worked with a pastry chef [before coming to Clover], trying to learn. I’d ask “how do you do this?” And she just yelled at me. It makes you feel like you don’t want to do something. But at Clover everybody works as a team to get things done. It feels like family.

I’ve started eating more healthy. And we’ll talk about it. You see the difference. People that come here regular, you see the difference. Like this one customer Matt. And even our General Manager of this restaurant has lost weight. It’s because it’s good food.

This is a good step forward for civilization. We can work together to keep moving forward.

Other jobs I’ve worked there was back of house and front of house and they didn’t like each other. Here we all just work together. And we talk to customers. I love it when a customer is laughing at a joke we’re making.

These are the questions I asked:

  • What’s you name?
  • Where do you work?
  • When did you start?
  • What’s your role?
  • Have you taken any classes at Clover?
  • What brought you to Clover?
  • What keeps you at Clover?
  • Have you ever thought of leaving Clover?
  • What makes you look forward to coming to work?
  • When you’re having fun at Clover what is happening?
  • When things are frustrating at work what is happening?
  • Was there a recent event that made you angry or frustrated?
  • How does this compare to other places you have worked?
  • How has your experience with training at Clover been?
  • Ideas to make life better for employees?

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