Manager Interview- Jamba Juice Company Business and HR Strategy Jamba Juice’s company strategy focuses on the customer experience, optimizing store performance and developing a people pipeline. Jamba believes that each team member and manager contributes to the profitability of his or her respective store and that each store makes a difference. Therefore human capital is their main priority and greatest asset. Jamba Juice’s HR strategies are highly in line with meeting their performance goals as well as their objectives to develop people into the future leaders of the company.
Hiring The managers and team members of each store make an impact on sales, customer service and the overall Jamba Juice experience for the consumer. This means that having the wrong manager or team member in place will affect the store as a whole and ultimately drive down sales. When hiring Jamba Juice looks for people who are “passionate about Jamba and the culture and values of FIBER: fun, integrity, balance, empowerment and respect. ” The company culture is an important aspect of hiring because they must find the right match between the company and the new employee.
Since it is customer based, Jamba Juice looks for energy and passion along with the ability to lead and demonstrate fairness. There are two types of employee hires, general manager hires and team member hires. General managers (GM) run the entire store from ordering inventory to cleaning. They also act as the main human resource department for his or her store. The success of the store and overall business lies within the GM’s hands. In order to find the right people for the general manager positions, Jamba Juice tries to first promote from within.
If a store is looking for a new GM, all of the surrounding stores in the area are contacted and asked if any team member could be a potential candidate. Jamba Juice encourages promoting from within to increase motivation as well as to ensure that the candidate already has a firm understanding of the organization and is committed to the Jamba culture and experience. Jamba Juice has also started to find new ways to attract and reach a new talent pool through their employees. If an employee uggests a general manager candidate to the company and they are hired, that employee will receive a $1000 reward. Jamba believes that if they can get the right people in place today, the future of the company will thrive and each store, team member and customer will benefit. The next process is hiring the team member. Team member have the most face time with the customer, are the ones behind the register up-selling products, the ones making the smoothies and the ones responsible for having the customer leave happy.
Although team members do not hold as much responsibility as the general manager it is important that Jamba Juice finds the right people that will be passionate about their job and excel at customer engagement and selling products. Sample questions for an interview include “what are your customer standards towards customer service” and “tell me about a product you have sold. Sell it to me” (see attached). When answering these questions Jamba Juice’s general managers look for energy, the ability to be a productive team member and someone that will fit with the culture of the organization.
It is crucial that the team members and managers that they are hire also demonstrate leadership as they plan for leadership succession in thinking of the future profitability and success of the company. Training Once hired and seen as a good fit, training begins right away. Jamba Juice has an extensive training program that continues on throughout the entire time they are employed. When a team member is first hired the initial training process occurs 3-4 days a week for a month and then weekly thereafter.
New employees are given an “employee training manual” in which each part entails a reading section, answering question section and a practice section. Each employee must fill out the book and after each part must meet with the general manager or shift manager in charge to demonstrate what they have learned. New team members are also given “training mentors” to help them adapt to the initial environment, making their first smoothie, ringing up at their first purchase, and ect. These training mentors help ease the process of learning new material and provide them with a sense of instant support and a teamwork feel.
Upon training, new team members also receive a “bingo” card (see attached) that must be signed off every time a new objective is learned. Throughout the bingo card there are practices and evaluations, and at the end there is a “whirl pinning ceremony. ” At this ceremony the new team member receives their whirl to wear on their apron signifying that they made it and are an officially “informed” Jamba employee. This bingo card and “reward” at the end is motivating and provides a visual and tangible appeal to finishing the training process.
During training is when Jamba focuses on their key strategies of great customer service, “wowing” the customer and always leaving the customer with a smile. Training does not stop after the first month but continues throughout the course of employment. Roughly every month a new project or initiative comes out and each team member and manager must take a “product knowledge test” to see how well they understand the product and to ensure that they will be able to communicate the benefits to the customer.
Being tested on material reinforces the importance of understanding the new material and keeps everyone on the same knowledge page. Jamba’s thorough training process sets team members up for success and creates a bridge of trust between management and the team member because the managers know that each employee is equip with the proper skills and guidance of how they should be performing and executing tasks. Motivation In order to motivate their employees Jamba Juice uses many forms of competition, rewards and recognition.
One of Jamba Juice’s monthly competitions is “Employee of the Month” who is voted on by the team members themselves. With this award comes a gift card, and his or her picture and bio posted in the front of the store for every employee and customer to see. This competition was newly enacted and has proven to drive up performance levels in some employees. Team members want to be recognized on the board and are continually finding ways to see what they can do to be the next “Employee of the Month. ” Other competitions that Jamba Juice engages in are selling competitions.
Whenever Jamba comes out with a new product or batch of items there is a competition on whom can “up-sell” the most products after the customer has order the original smoothie. This competition technique reinforces and reminds the team members to up-sell other products whenever at the register so that they can reap the rewards of being recognized to other employees as the “best” and receive a bonus gift card. With these rewards they feel that their hard work is being paid off and it is something to strive for rather than merely “doing their job. This competition technique though has recently seen some flaws. The people who are winning “Employee of the Month” are the ones also winning the competitions. The same three employees are winning the sales competitions because they are usually the ones that work the most and have the most register time as well as the most experience. This outcome was beginning to cancel out the motivation that it was originally intended for because the same three people were winning, and everyone else knew that they didn’t have a chance because they didn’t work as often.
In order to help reverse this back to it’s intended motivational purpose, Jamba is going to start having the managers choose the “Employee of the Month” and give it to the people that they have seen grow in the company and that are trying to better themselves and the company. Once managers start voting instead of team members the competition won’t be about how many hours they worked, it will be about the quality of work they give when they are at work.
Hopefully this tactic makes things at a more even playing field because receiving awards is a great motivational strategy to help build performance. Another motivational technique at Jamba Juice is how they utilize their back room. Most Jamba stores are very small which creates a tight knit atmosphere. Many of the stations (the register, fruit and yogurt and blenders) are close together which promotes teamwork and communication on the forefront and keeps the culture neatly ingrained.
It is very similar in the back room of the store. This is where employees go when they first check in and the last place they go where they check out. In the back room there are profiles of all of the employees, a shift board with everyone working that day, positive emails that have been sent in by customers and posters of the company’s mission statement. In the backroom there is also a board that communicates sales for the day, sales forecast, and a daily void report to see what products they are wasting daily.
This form of openness and sharing managerial information with team members makes them feel a bigger part of the company and allows them to see that their hard work is paying off in the day-to-day sales. Keeping team members “in the know” is an empowering tool and forces them to understand the company and how each member can make a difference. Compensation & Performance Measures New team member hires are paid a base pay of $8. 50 hourly. Shift managers are paid $12 and general managers are paid on salary with an average 50/hr workweek.
Every six months team members and shift managers are given a performance review that determines the pay raise that they will receive, the highest raise being $0. 35 per six months. The performance review is done by the general manager of the store and looks at how well they demonstrate “FIBER,” customer engagement, their product knowledge, teamwork abilities and how they keep the store clean. The results of these reviews are given face to face and comments of what they are doing well and how they can do better are expressed.
Tying pay to performance is another way to boost motivation in employees. It gives them goals to work towards and know that they will be rewarded in the end if they perform well. All of Jamba’s performance measures tie back to their core mission of optimizing store performance and customer engagement. People are Jamba’s greatest asset and they like to treat them so by rewarding them with recognition and benefits. Retaining Employees Jamba Juice maintains their employees through their strong company culture.
They treat their employees as equals and provide them with benefits and an overall experience not a merely a job to make money. Employees at Jamba Juice know that they are important and therefore are enticed to treat their customers with the same amount of respect and good customer service. In the past year turnover has decreased by 15% at the store management level because of the strong investment in finding the right people and ones that can fit the culture and provide excellent customer service skills, selling skills and overall high performance levels.
It is seen that there is a correlation between a manager’s tenure and the stores overall performance. Instead of moving top performing managers to open new stores, Jamba’s head human resource department has been excelling at succession planning and promoting talent and leaders from within to build up new stores where their strong culture and high performance levels can be maintained.