I believe that as a service industry, what concerns human resource departments concerns us. With the new vending equipment, micro markets and sophisticated coffee brewers being placed, this industry offers the high-caliber convenient refreshment that makes a company stand out in the break room. To continue growth from this area, operators need to know how to best answer the call of HR professionals, who ask for a different solution than most facility managers. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), released a 2018 report that covers the top concerns of HR today. Matching services to each challenge is a win-win.
The war for talent continues
According to SHRM, the challenge top of mind for HR is retaining and even finding talented employees. Medium and large sized companies are struggling with job hoppers, gig workers and more job openings to fill than last year.
The opportunity for the convenience services industry is to assist HR in reducing turnover rates and to create an inviting place for employees within the office. Five Star Food Service is one example where this has worked well. Greg McCall reported at the 2017 CTW that the turnover rate dropped at his location with a micro market lounge, providing data-driven evidence that creating a better break room space benefits employee retention.
Operators need to consider what they can offer in terms of better-looking break rooms, pantry service, micro markets, market and pantry hybrids, etc.
Breakrooms improve culture
The SHRM research also stated that 34 percent of HR professionals are looking for help in culture management, which was ranked third this year, a jump from fifth place the year before. This appears to be a result of increased social media use, which shows a more inside look at a company through the eyes of employees. The CIMS’s Modern Job Search Report is cited in the report supporting this with findings that one in three full-time workers saw negative reviews of a company and therefore declined the job offer.
Operators are a in a prime position to help with at least one aspect of company culture – the breakroom. With the right product and service mix, this is the place employees congregate, eat snacks and beverages, engage each other and form connections to co-workers. Without the right products and services, the breakroom does not assist with attracting employees or improving the culture.
The concern over employee engagement, a buzz word last year, has declined somewhat, although it still ranks in the top five concerns. The SHRM report indicates this is due to a "more holistic approach" to the employee experience at work -- making the experience more human. With creative thinking, there are ways operators can assist in providing a more human experience. It could be through their own social media efforts, such as running content for consumers and showing the winners. It could be adding the ability for HR to recognize employees on micro market screens. It requires a creative look at your offerings and how to better leverage them.
Important area of expansion
It is important to find ways to partner with these businesses. They are existing customers that you don't want to lose and getting them to increase their spending each month with you is ideal, as you already go to the location. However, the most powerful reason to assist HR is that it strengthens their preference for your company, turning them into an advocate. An HR manager that loves your services is in a position to tell peers about your company, in essence selling your services. There is no marketing more powerful than that.