The pizza manager extraordinaire
Serving up trust

What are you doing to build trust in your business?

According to a recent article in Inc. Magazine, entitled “Lessons from a Blue- Collar Millionaire, this is a question Nick Sarillo asks himself nearly every day.  Sarillo, a former construction worker turned restaurateur, is the founder and CEO of Chicago-suburbs-based Nick’s Pizza and Pub.  Although he came into the business with no management philosophy to speak of, Sarillo clearly has implemented some highly-effective work systems for building trust — not always an easy task when the majority of his employees are high schoolers.

Here are a couple of his innovative trust-building practices:

A) Coach in the moment, not after the fact

Sarillo’s managers activitely employ three forms of feedback:

1) the feedback loop:  at the end of a shift, a trainer might ask someone, “So, what is the one thing you did well, and–if you could replay the tape–what is one thing you would do to enhance your peformance?”  It’s called a feedback “loop” because the employees and managers engage in a 2-way dialogue.

2) performance feedback:  Also at the end of a shift, after observiing someone’s performance, the manager or trainer will customarily mention one  thing the person did well and one thing he or she should try to improve.

3) direct feedback:  the manager or trainer intercedes/communicates immediately when noticing a specific behavior that needs improvement.

B) Create Safe Space:  At Nick’s Pizza & Pub, employees operate under specific, well-defined ground rules of communication.  For example,  in meetings and elsewhere, a statement must be based on data, not feelings or speculation.  Also, people should always strive to unearth and identify “the moose in the room”, something many people are aware of but no one is talking about. This allows you to nip gossip and rumors in the bud.

If good teamwork is based on trust, then trust arises from ground-rules, communication and regular, specific feedback.

For the whole Inc. Article, check out: