Switch Lifestyle Success Story

Switch Lifestyle Watergardens success story

Debbie Fox - Finance and Administration Manager at Switch Lifestyle has three large restaurants to run, and over 90 employees to manage. So she needs her staff to have the capabilities to deliver her business model consistently across those venues.

'Initially the management team identified some major skills gaps. Particularly in communication and customer service. The lack of communication, especially between front-of-house staff, was having a negative impact on efficiency and productivity. We wanted to address this immediately.’ said Debbie.

A Workforce Action Plan

Switch Lifestyle undertook the Skills for Growth Program with AVTES in 2011. As part of the program an AVTES Specialist worked with Debbie to assess the organisation and the areas of operations that needed improvement. They found that staff workloads were excessively high and development opportunities were missed due to lack of time and resources.

‘In short, we were just too busy running the day to day operations. Forward thinking and future planning was a luxury we just couldn’t afford.’ Debbie said. ‘Having a specialist reviewing our business was invaluable. They take the time to see the potential of staff and look for ways you can maximise their contribution to the organisation.’

A Workforce Action Plan was developed. It helped to identify the employees who were committed to growing with the organisation. An induction manual was also created and rolled out across all three venues. This meant more consistent information and processes.

The Outcomes

‘Motivation levels among staff were helped by having clear documentation of strategic actions. Most surprisingly the managers are feeling more positive and energised,’ said Debbie. 

A total of 55 employees took up the training recommendations – almost 50% of the organisation. The training consisted of hospitality and business administration traineeships that provided clearer career paths for staff. It has also improved staff retention.

'The restaurants that undertook training recently recorded high scores in a mystery shopper rating, averaging 95%. This sends a clear message to our management team about the value of investing in our staff,’ Debbie said.‘The trained staff are more involved and a greater asset to the business.’

‘Our organisation will definitely continue our involvement with further training of current and new staff. It has provided an excellent foundation for us to keep building our skilled and motivated workforce.’

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