Five Tips To Improve Teamwork from Pret A Manger



When you think about employees in the fast food industry, how often do these words come to mind?

  • Loyalty
  • Motivation
  • Engagement
  • Teamwork
  • Collaboration
  • Cheerfulness

In a terrific article about the business practices of up and coming fast food chain Pret A Manger, NY Times reporter Stephanie Clifford goes to Pret training camp, and comes out with specific practices that can help imrove teamwork and performance.

Here are 5 tips from Pret A Manger that apply across industries:

  1. Let the team have the final hiring say
  2. Bonus on Team Performance
  3. Motivate with Mystery Shoppers
  4. Pay It Forward
  5. Detailed Training Plans

Let the team have the final hiring say

New Hires are sent to a Pret a Manger shop for a 6 hour day, and the employees vote whether to keep them or not.  Those who are voted out are paid, and sent home.  After all, who better to judge how people gel with a team than the team themselves?

Bonus on Team Performance

Team members have an incentive to make sure that hires are a good fit.  Any bonuses awarded are based on team, not indiviudal performance.

Motivate with Mystery Shoppers

It’s not just for retail or people who deal with external customers.  Find ways to have your customers (internal or external) come in and visit staff and give a grade–including employee specific-feedback.  (A Pret example:  “Bill didn’t smile at the cash register.”)   If shopper scores are above a certain percentage, award a bonus.

Pay It Forward

At Pret A Manger, when employees are promoted or pass training levels, they receive a cash voucher bonus.  However, they don’t get to keep the bonus:  they have to give it to colleagues that helped them along the way.

Detailed Training Plans

Pret A Manger has very elaborate training materials.   Everything is spelled out to the nth degree.  This way, people are not confused, and they know exactly what’s expected of them at work.  This fits right into the first of the Gallup Organization’s G12 questions on workforce engagement:  “Do you know what’s expected of you at work?”

How can you take the 5 Pret A Manger Tips:

  • Let the team have the final hiring say
  • Bonus on Team Performance
  • Motivate with Mystery Shoppers
  • Pay It Forward
  • Detailed Training Plans
  • And apply them in your organization?


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