It’s winter, which at St. Pierre’s means it’s conference season!
After the second day of our 2020 manager conference was called off due to a COVID-19 lockdown, 2021 brought our first full conferences in two years. It has been great to get everyone together!
Tuesday 3 August was the big day for the assistant managers, with about 70 people attending, including many head office staff, area managers and most shop assistant managers. The venue was the beautiful Allely Estate in Auckland’s north west. Unlike the manager conference, the sun was shining, but the atmosphere was just as warm!
Many assistant managers travelled a long way to the conference, but everyone was engaged right from the start!
Like the manager conference, the theme was “Setting Challenging Goals”, inspiring the managers to aim high. The morning session began with a presentation about one of our store managers taking up Muay Thai kickboxing – at age 41 – for a live fight with an opponent 20 years younger! The powerful emotions continued to flow as Perry, Nick and Costa talked about their family history, from a small Greek island, to Romania, surviving World War II, to Athens, and on to NZ. Their journey provided further moving inspiration to everyone present, as well as laughter from anecdotes about the many characters who made life in Wellington so colourful.
The day also featured presentations from head office team members about the new developments and challenges ahead in their fields, showcasing the dynamism and creativity which drives the company. From menu development to marketing and people development, everyone is focused on improving the customer experience, and providing opportunities for growth to our people.
A particular highlight was the prizegiving, recognising assistant managers who have achieved outstanding results as well as those who have shown promise and great initiative in such difficult times. Despite lockdown closures, an amazing 34 shops beat their previous year’s sales figures. That means they sold more despite far fewer trading days – well done all! Such results can only be achieved through amazing service and dedication every day on the front line – congratulation guys!
The afternoon session was all about creativity. The managers worked in small groups (with colleagues from around NZ) to generate solutions to everyday issues on the themes of our guiding principles. For example, how can we apply the principle “We grow our people & teamwork” to keep staff engaged and making improvements? By encouraging staff to think deeply about routine actions, these workshops meant questioning what staff take for granted, which is never easy! In fact, it’s another way in which we set ourselves challenging tasks and goals!
So many fantastic – and practical – ideas! Well done everyone! Group work and presenting is never easy!
The day ended with a – mostly! – fun quiz, testing our knowledge of the company history and products. But too many staff got 100%, so we needed a tiebreaker through a different challenge – creating new slogans for the popular Sunfed Chicken-Free Chicken! Look out for some creative new promotions in your shop soon!
Our photographer was busily buzzing around capturing the scene, so enjoy the pics in this post as well. And as we always say, great things happen when we work together! We can’t wait to see what’s next – see you soon everyone!
Such a beautiful venue! Full of local history, such as the famous NZ Brick Company in West Auckland. Love it!