Fuelling Productivity and Purpose

Food Service has a central role to help companies build new world-class workplaces

Although many have felt frustrated and disappointed by Lockdown 3, there is no doubt that food service has a central role to play in the recovery but it will need companies to allow for different thinking towards food service. It was Sir Clive Woodward who would often talk that becoming world class is about improving by 1% advantages. Food service can be part of that process in creating greater performance.

Research has indicated that great support services could see a 3% increase in revenue generation over the competitor which does not have great services for their teams. This can be significant and help solve many of the issues that boards all across the country are concerned about. Too often food service has been seen as a cost rather than as a competitive advantage in building work-class teams and mind-sets.

Research tells us that:

· 75% of boards are concerned over productivity and 65% believe that productivity has fallen during lockdowns.

· Many companies are concerned about a fall in creativity and innovation as their teams have been unable to collaborate effectively.

· 60% of companies believe that they have had to invest into both redefining their values and purpose far better in order to keep employees and customers engaged. Purpose is seen to be becoming one of the key “phrases” of this time and which will help re-engagement.

· Research in the US has shown a direct correlation between the fall in productivity and the decline in social interaction at work.

· 76% of those aged under 35 want to get back to offices and teams. The number declines with those aged over 50 to around 41%.

· 47% of employees believe that well-being and support will be key in their return to work

· 63% believe that social behaviours have declined over the past year and there will be a need to get people thinking once again more deeply about their colleagues, teams and clients.

· It is well noted that what has been accepted over the past year will need to change as will be less tolerated post-pandemic.

The argument for workspaces is clear but it will be hard for companies to demand or dictate a return to work from employees and it is more complex as the desire not to return is often from more senior players.

It has to be natural and desired but this can only happen with a change of behaviours from what did exist before. There needs to be a balance; if companies want employees to return, then there needs to be greater openness, care, communication, purpose, flexibility and services. Food service really can have a major role to play in helping cities, businesses, teams and the economy recover.

One senior player talks about the “humanising” of work once again; where work is not just about how many fee hours have been billed, or how much profit is being generated but also what the company stands for, what it does for its people, and how people once again do grow with one company rather than constantly move on.

Food Service can sit right at the heart of achieving this objective as it can bring people together, break down barriers and build communication. As the opening paragraph noted, this is not a cost but potentially a good way of gaining a stronger culture and that extra 3% in performance.