Dismissed fast food employee trashes store in front of customers – how to avoid this by building a high performance culture

Workplace cultures can range from the sublime to the ridiculous.
At one end of the spectrum is the workplace where a recently dismissed fast food worker trashed the store in front of customers on film, shouting:
‘You treat me like s***, I get treated like s***!

‘B**** give me my f****** pay! I was nice to you b****!’

Another man, who appears to be the manager, can be heard telling the furious man: ‘You need to leave. Please. Just leave.’



Ignoring the restaurant’s shocked customers, the man proceeds to smash glasses, throw drinks and even appliances to the floor, all the while unleashing a foul-mouthed tirade at the other employees. The employee left a trail of destruction in his wake, including trays, drinks cups, a can of whipped cream, straws, trays, broken glass and even ketchup.

At the other end of the spectrum are workplaces that are highly strategic in how they empower staff to contribute to overall team goals.

One of these is a Sydney-based IT company founded in 2002 and worth over $3.3 billion. The company’s innovative induction program includes a 24-hour challenge, where the recent recruits are charged with developing an innovative product idea and presenting it to the company’s entire 1000 staff, who vote on the winner.

“They are living, cooking and eating together in this house, and get a whole bunch of interactions with very senior leaders…,” observes the company’s the chief people officer. “We really try to indoctrinate them into our culture, specifically about how we play and collaborate as a team to build software. At a typical on-site event you are lucky to have a senior leader come by for an hour, but here we have senior leaders coming for hours and sometimes days, coaching the graduates through their ideas.”

Eight teams competed in last year’s challenge; three of those projects have since been incorporated into the company’s products.

The company is also tweaking its approach to recruitment. At its recent 10-day Pop-Up Tour, potential candidates were interviewed at vacant storefronts that had been set up to look like company offices, visiting the major Australian capital cities and New Zealand and moving away from just concentrating on Sydney for talent.

The company’s success in luring top level talent is well known among the tech and business sector, with BRW naming it the best place to work in 2014. The graduates say while the company’s brand played a part in their decision to join the company, the recruitment process was an equally important factor, with a rigorous selection process consisting of online applications, preliminary testing, phone interviews and finally face-to-face interviews with further testing. Each of 2015’s recruits received and accepted their offer by the end of April 2014 – before they had graduated – which allowed the graduates to begin to building a relationship with the company from last year. This included attending a major function last October.

Work also comprises a number of tangible benefits, including a competitive salary with shares in the company, relocation expenses, a new Apple MacBook, gym and yoga classes and extensive free food provided in the office. Staff are also given $500 to spend on a “pre-cation” to enjoy a break before they officially start work, and the level of annual leave is not set.

The company also brings together software development and design graduates who are normally worlds apart, allowing the different disciplines to form a professional empathy from an early stage, something which can be missing from more traditional tech environments. It’s this type of external support and preparation, combined with the extensive, informative and modern recruitment process that enables this company to remain one of the country’s most in-demand employers.

“It’s obviously a combination of the culture and the learning, and then being provided the support, that once you arrive they don’t just say ‘cool see you at work’ sort of thing,” observes one of the new graduates.

iHR believes that leadership behaviours are essential to fostering a high performance culture, as well as management approaches for under-performance. iHR offers training to build the confidence and competence to effectively manage everyday staff performance in the workplace.


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