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Going mobile helps M Culinary connect with staff

Photograph: Shutterstock

Seasonal employees make up most of the staff at M Culinary Concepts, a Phoenix-based catering company with 300 full-time and 1,200 seasonal employees. To help keep its ever-changing team connected, M Culinary made the transition to a mobile platform that acts as an all-in-one resource for staff.

“The idea was having that one system that employees and managers can go to, to handle timesheets, paychecks, schedules, benefits and reviews,” says Director of Human Resources BrandyJo Guzman.

About a year and a half into using the digital platform, which is offered through a workforce management software company, M Culinary has seen staff buy-in and team organization increase.

Phoning it in

Guzman originally tried to engage her young staff through a website, but found that it was much easier to connect with employees through their preferred mode of communication, their phones.

“Everything being driven off of a smartphone is so important for us,” Guzman says. “[Employees] have one place for a social feed, where they can go in and find out all the information from HR, from a payroll calendar to our next event that we're having.”

The mobile platform also allows workers to personalize their schedules.

“We push out a schedule of events and then [employees] communicate back and let us know if they're available or not,” Guzman says. “It allows [employees] to have a schedule that they're interested in, and they know that if they’re going on vacation and they're not interested in working on a certain weekend, they don’t have to tell us—they just have to not accept a certain shift.”

Giving props

M Culinary is also using the platform to help with its heightened focus on employee performance. Employees are able to enter quarterly or yearly goals, which they and their manager can access at any time to assess progress. Staff can also give “fist bumps” to their peers on the platform’s social feed for a job well done.

“We give out a lot of fist bumps,” Guzman says, noting that the ability to give and receive recognition boosts staff morale.

And employee happiness is something Guzman and her team have been placing extra emphasis on. Through the system’s analytics, Guzman and other company leaders can check the happiness score of each individual employee, which is derived from statistics such as how much personal time an employee has taken and how many fist bumps they’ve received.

While moving to the platform took time, it’s been well worth the wait, Guzman says, adding that incorporating a device that [employees] spend a lot of time using into the company’s HR initiatives has proven to be an effective way of keeping them informed.

“If we can communicate on a regular basis through a smartphone, then [employees] are just that much more engaged,” she says.

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