Human Resources Awards Blog

5 Ways HR Awards Winner Achieved $2 Million in Savings

Posted by Liz Dean on Wed, Feb 06, 2013 @ 01:03 PM

Fazoli's Italian Restaurants of Lexington, Kentucky, USA, won the 2012 Gold Stevie® Award for Human Resources Department of the Year in the HR awards categories of The 2012 American Business Awards, the premier business awards competition in the U.S.A. (The entry deadline for the 2013 ABAs is March 27, request your entry kit here and it will be emailed to you right away.) Here we look at the human resources awards winner's progressive and innovative practices which helped lead to an annualized savings of $2,192,000.

Dave Craig, Fazoli's Italian Restaurants Fazoli’s is one of the largest quick-service Italian restaurant chains in the United States, and because catering is such a people-driven industry, its HR department plays a vital role in the company’s success.  Its four Associates have a combined 51 years’ experience with the company, and 59 years of total HR experience. The department provides HR support to nearly 5,000 Associates in 127 company-owned and 93 franchised locations in 26 states.

In 2011, Fazoli’s HR department, led by Vice President of HR Dave Craig, was instrumental in propelling the brand to its best sales and profit performance in over a decade. A 39% reduction in Associate turnover resulted in annualized savings of $2,192,000, while a relentless focus on “Right People, Right Places, Right Now!” contributed to an 18-month streak of same-store sales growth, despite challenging economic conditions.

Tools of the Trade

According to Craig, there were five elements that contributed to this success:

  1. Implementation of PeopleAnswers®, an automated pre-employment application, assessment, and background check solution. Said Craig: “The PeopleAnswers (PA) program raises the bar on the quality of new Associates and provides our hiring managers with insight on whether to deploy new Associates in service or non-service positions. The hospitality industry is heavily dependent on the ability of front-line service workers—usually paid at or near minimum wage in a high stress, high turnover environment —to win and keep customers. Managers needed a reliable and predictive instrument to ensure top quality Associates are hired and deployed according to their unique talents and abilities.”  According to Craig, the PA system also enhances the efficiency of hiring and selection processes, saving hiring managers an average of eight hours per month, per restaurant.

  2. Implementation of SilkRoad’s RedCarpet program, featuring automated on-boarding, orientation, and electronic employment records archiving. According to Craig: “As a company that regularly acquires new talent, this solution standardized new Associate on-boarding and orientation processes, and automated the new hire administrative workflow. I calculate that ROI has exceeded 3:1.”

  3. Implementation of EBix®, an employee benefits and claims processing solution. Commented Craig: “EBix has eliminated paper enrollment and shifted our HR focus from manual benefits administration to proactive marketing and educating on essential benefits information.”

  4. Development of a best-in-class GREAT GUEST SERVICE index, combining several workforce matrixes to create one combined customer service metric.  Says Craig: “This Index is used by Operations to predict customer service levels by location and to prioritize management focus accordingly. As a result, customer complaints have decreased by 39%. The Index has also revealed that our higher-scoring restaurants achieved 54% more incremental sales than lower-scoring restaurants.”

  5. Completion of a 3-year Associate Engagement study.  According to Craig, this study revealed a direct correlation between engagement, sales, and profit. Every point of enhanced Associate engagement equals $12,539 incremental sales and $21,446 additional profit annually per location.

Delivering an Outstanding Customer Experience
These HR results were all part of the department’s 5-year plan, which was developed when Fazoli’s was acquired by Sun Capital Partners in 2006. The plan centered on adding enterprise value through enhanced customer service, and increased sales and profits via measurable enhancements to human capital.

“Fazoli’s pursuit of excellence is more than a slogan, it’s a mandate. The Stevie Award recognizes the critical role human resources management plays in our success,” said Carl Howard, president and CEO. “Recruiting and retaining the right people for both restaurants and support departments enables Fazoli’s to deliver our guests an outstanding experience. I am very proud that our human resources department, led by Dave Craig, was selected for this prestigious award.”

About Dave Craig:
Vice President of HR Dave Craig has been an HR practitioner in the restaurant industry since 1986, including the past 17 years with Fazoli's. Craig’s HR team has been nationally recognized for excellence in human resources programs and practices, and in addition to the Stevie Award was a Finalist in the 2010 National Restaurant Association's SPIRIT Awards

Craig is a graduate of Ohio University. He has also earned certifications as a Senior Professional, Human Resources and a Certified Fraud Examiner.

About Fazoli’s:
An American family favorite for more than 20 years, Fazoli’s is a leading, next generation QSR franchise opportunity. With a premium menu of freshly prepared Italian entrees, Submarinos sandwiches, and salads; a new service style featuring table service; and a contemporary new restaurant design, Fazoli’s is well positioned for growth. Already America’s largest Italian quick-service chain with more than 220 restaurants, Fazoli’s is expanding in select markets throughout the country. Founded in Lexington, Ky. in 1988, Fazoli’s was acquired by Sun Capital Partners in 2006.

Tags: human resources awards, hr awards, American business awards, hr department of the year, Fazoli's, Dave Craig

3 Ways to Win HR Awards in The 2013 American Business Awards

Posted by Liz Dean on Tue, Nov 06, 2012 @ 12:10 PM

The first early-bird entry deadline for 2013 American Business Awards, the premier business awards program in the U.S.A., is Friday, November 16. If you haven't already done so, you can request your entry kit here and you will receive it right away.

The Stevie AwardsTo help you recognize your organization's achievements, we want to highlight our HR awards categories.

The 2013 ABA HR award categories are:

Information to be submitted online for entries in these categories include:

  • An essay of up to 525 words describing the nominee's accomplishments since January 1 2012,
  • A biography of the nominee or the leader of the nominated department or team of up to 125 words, and
  • Optional (but highly recommended), a collection of supporting files and web addresses that you may upload to our server to support your entry and provide more background information to the judges.

In order to make the most out of your submissions, we recommend reviewing our 2012 Gold human resources award winning entries:

Want more ways to showcase your organization's HR professionals? We have several awards categories that may be of interest including: app awards, live event awards, video awards, and website awards.

Tags: hr awards, website awards, American business awards, hr award, business awards, app awards, Human Resources Department of the Year, Human Resources Team of the Year, Human Resources Executive of the Year

3 Tips on Best HR Practices, From a Stevie Awards Judge

Posted by Liz Dean on Fri, May 18, 2012 @ 10:19 AM

John Hovnanian, Senior Vice President of Human Resources & Chief Talent Officer at Williams Lea Americas, will Chair the final judging committee for the HR awards categories of The 2012 American Business Awards, the premier business awards program in the U.S.A. (Final judging is now underway for the 2012 ABAs. 2012 winners will be announced at one of our two awards banquets: June 18th at the Marriott Marquis in New York City or September 17th at the Julia Morgan Ballroom in San Francisco. Click here to order tickets.) Here we speak to human resource awards judge, John Hovnanian, about his top three tips for best practices in human resources.

HR Awards JudgeWhat are your top 3 tips on best practices in HR?

  1. HR is a business of people and should hold a significant place within an organization. At Williams Lea, we are not in the business of making widgets, we are a people business, and so HR plays a strategic role in the company.

  2. One of the most important functions of an HR department is to ensure that the company is a great place to work.   It should provide opportunities for employees—and therefore the organization—to grow.

  3. An HR department should have a set of values and goals that everyone can believe in and commit to. At Williams Lea, we have established five guiding principles:
  • We are one integrated, aligned team
  • We are students of the business
  • We foster a strong customer-service culture
  • We value our diversity and are respectful of each other
  • We balance the need to think things through and have a consensus as a department with the pace of the business

Do you have a favorite app?
I read The New York Times online every morning on my phone, which keeps me abreast of everything that’s happening in the world.  Apart from that, I use Map My Run, as I run at least three times a week. I bring my phone with me on the run and it plots my course and my time. It also records my workouts and is a great app for helping me keep fit.

Who inspires you as a leader and why?
John F. Kennedy set a vision in place that had a lasting effect. He put a stake in the ground at the beginning of a decade and declared that we would land a man on the moon—something that had never been done before—and he inspired an entire generation to achieve that goal.

When you’re not at the office, what are you up to?
My wife, Marylou, and I were married in November. At the weekend, we like to take my Harley-Davidson out for a long Sunday-afternoon ride through the country and find a nice place to stop for lunch. Or we’ll go for a hike with our dog, Phin. Marylou is a professional photographer, so she takes amazing pictures of our adventures.

If you could choose another profession, what would it be?
Musician. In fact, I’ve been both a professional and semi-professional musician for 30 years. I play bass, rhythm, and lead guitar, and I sing. I’ve played in R&B bands, big horn bands, and rock bands. I’ve opened for bands like Blue Öyster Cult and The Marshall Tucker Band, and even played Woodstock in 1999. Currently, I’m in the process of recording a rock ’n’ roll jam album with a friend of mine. Our sound is along the lines of The Allman Brothers Band.

As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
The people. It’s the people who make a company and at Williams Lea everyone is working towards a common goal. There is an inherent lack of selfishness in everyone who works here that’s both exciting and infectious. The company works as a team.

About John Hovnanian:
John Hovnanian leads the Human Resources Department of Williams Lea Americas in New York. Prior to his current role, John spent several years at DHL serving as the Americas Region Vice President of Human Resources for DHL Global Forwarding (DGF), Vice President of Human Resources for North America, and as the Director of Human Resources for DHL Express. In addition to DHL, John has worked as an HR executive for several other major U.S. corporations, including The Hartford and Pitney Bowes. John holds a Master's degree in labor relations and HR management from the University of New Haven in Connecticut, and a Bachelor's degree in political science from the State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz.

About Williams Lea:
The Williams Lea Group is a leading global business-process outsourcing (BPO) organization specializing in corporate-information solutions that re-engineer end-to-end business processes. By combining its expertise with the latest integrated technology, Williams Lea is able to develop solutions that transform the way organizations communicate and exchange their printed and electronic information. The Williams Lea Group employs approximately 10,500 staff around the globe, with key centers in EMEA, the Americas, and Asia Pacific. Williams Lea works with many of the world’s most respected brands in sectors such as financial services, retail, FMCG, telecoms, investment banking, automotive, pharmaceutical, professional services, and public sectors. For more information, visit www.williamslea.com.

Tags: hr awards, American business awards, human resource awards, John Hovnanian, Williams Lea, judging

3 HR Awards Categories in The 10th Annual American Business Awards

Posted by Liz Dean on Thu, Apr 12, 2012 @ 03:44 PM

The entry deadline for 2012 (10th Annual) American Business Awards, the premier business awards program in the U.S.A., is Wednesday, April 25. If you haven't already done so, you can request your entry kit here and you will receive it right away.

To help you recognize your organization's achievements, we want to highlight our HR awards categories.

The 2012 ABA HR award categories are:The American Business Awards

In order to make the most out of your submissions, we recommend reviewing our 2011 human resources award winning entries:

Information to be submitted online for entries in these categories include:

  • An essay of up to 500 words describing the nominee's accomplishments since January 1 2011,
  • A biography of the nominee or the leader of the nominated department or team of up to 100 words, and
  • Optional (but highly recommended), a collection of supporting files and web addresses that you may upload to our server to support your entry and provide more background information to the judges.

Want more ways to showcase your organization's HR professionals? We have several awards categories that may be of interest including: app awards, live event awards, video awards, and website awards.

Tags: hr awards, website awards, American business awards, hr award, business awards, app awards, live event awards, video awards, Human Resources Department of the Year, Human Resources Team of the Year, Human Resources Executive of the Year

Five Tips for Winning HR Awards in The 2012 American Business Awards

Posted by Liz Dean on Mon, Mar 26, 2012 @ 09:28 AM

The entry deadline for 2012 (10th Annual) American Business Awards, the premier business awards program in the U.S.A., is this Wednesday, March 28. If you haven't already done so, you can request your entry kit here and you will receive it right away.

To make the most out of your HR awards entries, we suggest the following five tips:

The Stevie Awards1. Review the business awards categories.
There are three award categories that are specifically labeled as human resource awards:

We have several other human resources award categories including:

  • App Awards categories include Professional Education and Training
  • Live Event Awards categories include Best Internal Recognition/Motivational Event and Best Sales Meeting
  • Video Awards categories include Internal/Employee Communications, Motivational, Orientation, and Training, among others
  • Website Awards categories include Best Training Site and Best Video Site

2. Review the entry submission criteria.
Make sure your HR award entries include all required submission information.

3. Download our 10 Tips for Winning HR Awards in the 2012 Stevie® Awards tipsheet.
Our tipsheet will provide helpful tips and tools for making the most out of your entries.  

4.  Watch our video, How to Enter The 2012 American Business Awards.
Get step-by-step instruction on how to submit your 2012 entries.

5. Contact us!
We love to answer your last minute questions. Contact us at help@stevieawards.com and we'll help direct you to categories that are right for your organization.

Looking for more ways to connect with the Stevies?
Join us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn for the latest ABA updates.

Tags: hr awards, website awards, American business awards, hr award, human resource awards, hr department of the year, human resource award, business awards, app awards, live event awards, video awards

How to Win HR Awards in The 2012 American Business Awards

Posted by Liz Dean on Mon, Dec 12, 2011 @ 06:30 PM

HR awardsThere are several human resources awards categories for organizations and individuals to choose from in The 2012 American Business Awards. (Request your entry kit for the 2012 ABAs and it will be emailed to you right away. The second early-bird entry deadline is December 14.)

Here are three award categories that are specifically labeled as HR awards:

Submissions to the HR awards categories require:

  • An essay of up to 500 words describing the nominee's accomplishments since January 1, 2011.
  •  A biography of the nominee or the leader of the nominated department or team of up to 100 words.
  • Optional (but highly recommended):  a collection of supporting files and web addresses.  These materials can be uploaded to our server to support your entry and provide more background information to the judges.

Other human resources awards categories include:

  • App Awards categories include Professional Education and Training
  • Live Event Awards categories include Best Internal Recognition/Motivational Event and Best Sales Meeting
  • Video Awards categories include Internal/Employee Communications, Motivational, Orientation, and Training, among others
  • Web Site Awards categories include Best Training Site and Best Video Site

Improve your chances of winning an HR award:

  • Download our newly updated 10 Tips for Winning HR Awards in the 2012 Stevie® Awards tipsheet.

Looking for more human resources awards? Contact us at help@stevieawards.com and we will help direct you to more categories!

Tags: hr department of the year, hr awards, ABAs, American business awards