Hungry Jack's launches their College of Executive Development
Hungry Jack's has recently launched its College of Executive Development (CED). This is one of the initiatives that is promoted through JEDI, their internal platform for engagement, training and communications. QSR Media has a closer look at JEDI and particularly the College of Executive Development in this Q&A with their CEO, Aaron McKie.
QSR Media: JEDI was launched in 2009, how has it changed the culture of Hungry Jack's?
Aaron McKie: Since launching JEDI back in 2009, we have noticed a significant improvement in the way our business communicates with our employees. In fact JEDI has revolutionised the way Hungry Jack’s communicates and engages with its employees.
As a business, we have undergone significant changes over the past 12 months – from our new marketing tagline and new-look restaurants, to the nutritional improvements within our entire menu – and it is only through transparent and timely communication that these changes can filter through the organisation and be effective at the front line.
QSR Media: Hungry Jack's recently launched its CED, tell us about it?
Aaron McKie: The Hungry Jack’s College of Executive Development (CED) is a new training and development program designed to improve the skills of our future business leaders. Ten students are selected to complete an 18-month program involving a wide range of theoretical and workplace assessments.
To kick-start the program, all students are flown into Sydney for a three-day session, focusing on leadership and participating in mentoring sessions with business leaders from both inside and outside of our organisation.
Graduating students receive a nationally recognised Diploma of Management. The inaugural program has just commenced, with the second round of students due to start in January 2013.
QSR Media: Why are you doing this?
Aaron McKie: We’re proud of the fact that so many of our best managers start their careers at crew level. What we have found is that through working in Hungry Jack’s restaurants, our employees develop the practical managerial skills yet often lack the formal theoretical education.
The Hungry Jack’s CED program will bridge this gap and equip our future business leaders with the skills and knowledge needed to better themselves as individuals and further improve their restaurants, regions and in turn, overall company performance.
QSR Media: How do you select the students?
Aaron McKie: At this stage, CED is open to district managers and multi-unit managers. There is a multi-staged process whereby each applicant is asked to tell us what they would like to learn and take away from the program as well as their goals and business objectives. Following this written application, a shortlist of applicants are invited to a panel interview with myself and our national operations manager and national training manager.
QSR Media: What are your expectations of the college, what impact do you think it will have?
Aaron McKie: Investing in the development of managers and educating our future business leaders at a whole new level is important to us. We see these managers as the future leaders of our business.
QSR Media: Do you have any plans to extend or add more managerial courses in addition to the CED?
Aaron McKie: Yes, expansion is certainly on the cards. We view this as phase one, and see only growth ahead for the program, including the introduction of additional modules and a larger intake in future years.