Communicating with your “steak” holders

In 2006, two Britons – Huw Gott and Will Beckett had a vision for a new restaurant. They wanted to offer the very highest quality of meat, fabulous wines in beautiful venues. Their first opening, in Commercial Street in London, took its name from the architect of the nearby church – one Nicholas Hawksmoor and so was born a London institution: Hawksmoor Restaurants.

THE AUTHOR

Jonathan Phillips, Head of Consulting at simplycommunicate

Jonathan is a 25-year veteran of digital and internal communications, having worked client-side at Coca-Cola European Partners (where he was Head of Digital Communications). Jonathan now leads a team of brilliant consultants at simply, helping global clients meet their employee and business needs. In addition, he is an advisor to the UK government and an experienced non-exec director.

Now expanded to include 5 others restaurants in London, Edinburgh, Manchester and New York, Hawksmoor Group now employ 660 staff and we caught up with one of them – Madeleine Geach, Head of Culture.

Restaurant workforces are particularly hard to reach, with distinct communication, engagement and training challenges. The 660 are distributed across a wide geography, they keep odd hours and their hours in work are all extremely busy, so how does Geach deliver and maintain the culture that’s so important to the Hawksmoor brand.

Technology is key to their success. They recently deployed Workplace by Facebook to their workforce to allow them to deliver training and communications. Madeleine reflects “I think the introduction of Workplace did two things. It has allowed us to communicate much more effectively about all the training we have and make it more visible. But it is also an engaging platform. Not everything we do can be a face-to-face session, so we are increasingly using Workplace to promote quick how-to videos”

With impressive uptake and use, Workplace is now the home to the official materials that the central team needed to disseminate, but also home to the social, user generated content that makes the community come to life, including, predictably maybe, recipes!

Workplace has been instrumental in connecting employees with each other and the wider business. With only 20% of the workforce having email – all of them, management – Workplace has been invaluable in driving communication, culture and change…

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