Specialty Food Magazine

MAR 2012

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Page 39 of 63

The first "One" in the equation is the staff member's core job—the role that taps into a significant part of her skill set. The "+ One" is work she does outside her core, day-to-day activities. Welbourne's call for leaders to create "non-core roles" is right on, and it's the basis for Zingerman's One + One program. How One + One Works at Zingerman's As we see it, the first "One" in the equation is the employee's core job—the role that taps into a significant part of her skill set. The "+ One" is work she does outside her core, day-to-day activities. The + One could be a staff member joining one of our company-wide work groups that focus on areas such as service, training or benefits. Or he may teach a class about our products, food safety, merchan- dising, management, service, sales or sanitation. Or he might take responsibility for leading a project. There are numerous opportuni- ties to define the + One because we have a lot going on at all times and most anything of consequence is done collaboratively. The point of + One is that it's a different activity than what the staff member does with the bulk of her week. Because it draws on skills other than those she uses every day, it puts her into a new role in the organization—one in which she interacts with people outside her regular daily orbit, and in which others start to see her in a new light. It's not hard to see how such an activity starts to change things up. This concept helps explain why people become so bonded while working on a start-up business, in which the One + One program happens almost unwittingly every day. In the craziness of those early months and years of getting going, almost everyone takes on a bit of everything because that's the only way to keep the business afloat. While getting through those times is undeniably stressful, the employees who do survive usually end up with great memories, a strong sense of camaraderie and a lifelong commitment to the business, even if they go on to do other things. In a way, One + One is replicating parts of the experience during Zingerman's own early years as a start-up. One + One creates opportunities for out-of-the-box activities and professional growth to happen. Someone who might be baking 40 hours a week gets to assess health care proposals as a side proj- ect. Someone who's making sandwiches at the Deli by day might be working on our Training Engineers work group by night. A server might wait tables most of the week, but every Wednesday she might take responsibility for reporting and forecasting sales, and also delivering on her forecasts with great results. As Welbourne wrote, getting people engaged in another element of the organization makes for a far richer and more rewarding work experience. What's In It for Your Employees You don't have to be an HR expert to know that everyone has a wide range of skills and abilities that would otherwise go unused without a One + One program. Few jobs call equally upon all the abilities people have to offer. By getting involved in another area of work, employees maximize the odds of using more of their full selves at work—which means that they feel more fulfilled, more appreciated and more valuable. Here are some staff benefits of One + One: Getting more variety. Even if we like what we do, it still starts to get old after a while. It doesn't matter if you're the business manager or a busboy—most jobs are largely made up of repetitive tasks. One + One work gives staff a way to break out of their regular routine and keep up energy and engagement, without abandoning the work that they're particularly good at in the first place. Contributing more. Everyone likes to know that his or her work makes a positive difference, and everyone likes to be on a winning team. One + One work offers both in one convenient organizational package. Because the work is new, employees get to contribute more profoundly. And as the organization does better due to the process, staff becomes more content for being part of a successful group. Meeting new people. This one's pretty straightforward: new work equals new coworkers. One + One gives staff members new peer groups to be a part of, new people to learn from, new friends to con- nect with, and new coworkers to commiserate with. Don't write this one off just because your organization is small: One + One work might well put staff members into contact with a different group of customers or suppliers than ones with which they usually interact. The program builds their support group: they learn things from peers that they might not be ready to hear from their boss, and they add to their network of friends, colleagues and clients. Everyone does better when they're learning and their minds are moving. Getting employees involved in new projects will make it far more likely that they're learning regularly and consistently. MARCH 2012 37

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