Ep 48 – Shake Shack Tests 4 Day Work Week

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Here are today’s HR and workplace news headlines from Workology Go Podcast. I’m Jessica Miller-Merrell. The Workology Go Podcast is sponsored by Workology.

Ep 48 – Shake Shack Tests 4 Day Work Week for Managers

We all want flexibility, to be valued, and respected for our accomplishments at work. It’s such a natural thing to want as a human being and often so rare to receive.

I mention flexibility because it continues to be the single most important perk that employees want. In fact, many employees are willing to make less money in order to have flexible schedules and work from home. As the talent market tightens companies are getting creative to retain their workers and keep them focused and excited to be working at your company.

Today’s featured article comes from Nation’s Restaurant News and is titled, “Shake Shack tests four-day workweek for managers.

Shake Shack, began testing a four-day workweek earlier this year to help recruit and retain qualified store-level supervisors. The pilot program has been deployed the chain’s Las Vegas market, where it operates a handful of locations including a store on The Strip.“It has never been harder to find great people to lead great restaurants,” CEO Randy Garutti said.

Now Shake Shack’s test isn’t something new. At an employer in 2007, our top sales team members were offered to participate in a 4 day work week program. Our top performing inside sales reps worked 4 tens for a pilot program of 6 months and since sales offer a very easy way to track performance, it was a great test program for us. During the pilot period, performance increased and all but one employee decided to stay working in the 4 10 programs. More top performers were invited to participate and we had lower turnover because of it. This helped retain our best workers, give them autonomy and reward them for their performance. This was a huge win for our culture in a position that was historically high turnover not unlike Shake Shake with their managers.

One of my favorite podcast interviews is with Greg Hawkes and he talks about the idea that to create more engagement and happiness with our workforce, we need to give them more autonomy to make their own decisions. It’s called ownership culture.

So I think establishing that, having this idea of we’re gonna have a environment where we develop trust enough, where we can say hard, direct things. So we let each other have the freedom to be who they need to be and how they need to be to do that.

And then with unlocked locking and ownership culture, you know, I shift to well, I own investment properties. All this came out of in Oklahoma where we live is I own several single family homes. And I noticed it with renters. People who rent my homes act different than I do in the home that I own. And I see that in the workplace all the times that. The trick is, though, when you drive down the street or you see these people who live in the homes that rent for me, they act like it’s their home.

And you wouldn’t know if you went there because they have barbecues, they celebrate kids birthdays and church groups over that Fourth of July.

And so when you see from the outside, it looks like like the person who lives right next to him, who owns a home, they look very similar. And so I discovered the same is true at work that people can work cubed. Q Office to office and by the outside it kind of looks like they’re all the same.

While I’m not saying that all flexible work leads to a culture of ownership, it certainly is a great way to differentiate yourself from the competition and help retain your best people. A Mercer study found, that 51% of employees wish their company offered more flexible work options. No matter the industry, flexibility is incredibly important to employees and job seekers across the nation. Companies that offer employees flexibility in the form of telecommuting, flexible schedules, and unlimited PTO help employees maintain a positive work-life balance. Flexibility has also been shown to reduce workplace stress, boost mental well-being and encourage productivity. As employers, we have options for what flexibility looks like, but it’s up to us to talk to our employees to understand what flexible options will work at our companies and business models.

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Shake Shack tests four-day workweek for managers.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.


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