In this discussion, we talk about Coaching Skills with Phil Orazi, Dean of Chick-fil-A University and Scott Mayson, Business Consultant with Chick-fil-A in Atlanta, Georgia. Q – What is role of an Operator at Chick-fil-A, and what are some of challenges that an Operator faces?
Phil – Operators are selected and are independent contractors for Chick-fil-A. We have some leverage with what they do, but they operate very independent from us. Growth opportunities for operator can be an additional restaurant. Opportunities come as performance is monitored and Operators are counseled and supported by Business Consultants.
Scott – As independent contractors, they are CEOs of their organizations. The contractor is president of marketing, president of human resources, and president of operations. They are responsible wholly for their restaurant. You can imagine, being in position, they have to deal with a lot of different people; they have to delegate a lot of responsibilities out. They have to provide insights and direction for all types of people. They are dealing with folks from high school aged team members on up to senior citizens. When you’re in a fast paced environment, dealing with 30 or 40 employees at a time, there are limited time constraints for being able to have some real effective opportunities to coach and counsel their team members. Q – What are some specific coaching skills issues that your Operators face?
Phil – It’s a challenge to ease off some focus on present, and be more responsible for future. As that relates to coaching skills, it allows Operators to work on development of their own people to be more responsible for what is going on in present so that they can focus more of their time on what is going on in future.
Scott – One [issue] is always lack of performance. We have quality requirements, so there’s an opportunity to work through. People may not follow procedures for a lot of different reasons. I think that coaching model allows an Operator to work through each situation by defining task or issue. There are a lot of opportunities to help a team member understand value of requirements and why they’re there. CMOE’s coaching skills model allows great opportunity for dialog. The person who is being coached feels more that it’s an opportunity for learning and development rather than punishment. Q – Can you give me a specific example of Coaching Skills model working?
Phil – I think as a manager and director of people, you need everything you can get. Certain steps of Coaching Skills model affect people differently. I think what is does is it gives you a lot of different behaviors, some of which will work more successfully with some people than others. I found overall I’m more effective when I use Coaching Skills model completely because one of steps in model will generally have an impact on most everyone.