Two Problems, One Solution
The executives at Checkers & Rally's have long placed a high premium on engagement. The company had expanded at a steady clip, and management saw the importance of cultivating an engaged workforce and strong professional network so they could continue to flourish. The problem was that there was no reliable system in place to help management collect employee feedback or manage their events to drive engagement throughout the organization.
Their huge national convention draws employees, stakeholders, and potential contacts from around the world. While their company grew, so did their large-scale events. Attendees soon started asking for a better way to navigate the space, connect with other users, and find more information about the convention as a whole. That's when execs realized they had to upgrade their feedback and event process altogether.
Although the company had tried paper collateral in the past, with over 7,000 employees and a limited human resources department, they realized they needed a survey technology provider that could assist with the full feedback cycle. They had also never used a mobile event app and were skeptical that attendees would actually forego paper programs in favor of a new native mobile event app.
After the event organizer used a CrowdCompass mobile event app at another company's conference, Checkers & Rally's took the first step toward going paperless. They decided to ease in by creating a mobile event app that complemented their existing printed materials. The app was so easy to use and provided so much valuable information for attendees that it quickly became a must-have.
A Booming Success
Since the Checkers & Rally's team had never built an app before, they relied on the Cvent support team. Joe Ventimiglia, Operations Services at Checkers & Rally's, said that event organizers loved how attendees were able to register for the convention through Cvent and have their personal schedule automatically synced and accessible in the CrowdCompass app.
CrowdCompass provided push notifications that saved time and resources when last-minute changes needed to be communicated to attendees, like when rain started to fall on 550 attendees who hadn't checked in yet. "The push notification was a huge hit. You could see it go out and then quickly they all started to move, staring at their phones," said Ventimiglia. Push notifications were also used to alert attendees when speakers were running long, when breakfast was being served, and even when special taste tests were being offered.
Customized survey functionality also played a big role in the event's success. It allowed organizers to streamline the Executive Q&A program, which meant more time for executives to prepare, and more questions could be asked and answered.
Earning Better Feedback
For their employee engagement program, decision makers at Checkers & Rally's liked how the Inquisium Professional Services Group (PSG) could manage all aspects of the feedback process from start to finish. This was necessary since the company's HR department was busy and strapped for time. With PSG's help, Checkers & Rally's began distributing an annual survey in English and Spanish to its 7,000 employees across its corporate headquarters, support center, and 800 franchises. The PSG team handled design and creation of the survey, so the look and feel reflected the company's brand. Once the survey was created and distributed, the PSG team generated an executive summary and several separate reports, so district managers, restaurant GM's, and corporate management could all see key employee insights.
In addition to the annual engagement survey, they also started using Inquisium to collect mid-year feedback and to gather field employees' votes and opinions on who should be recognized at the support center award ceremony. Some of their favorite features of the tool were easy survey creation, fast distribution, and report generation in a user-friendly interface.
Winning a Huge Payoff
Checkers & Rally's reached out to vendors and suppliers prior to their convention to find out if they wanted to be part of the app. Ventimiglia showcased CrowdCompass' customizable sponsorship presentation to help potential sponsors get excited about the benefits. Sponsors were able to engage deeper with attendees through banner ads located at the top of the app, which linked attendees to information on products and services, coupons, and sponsor websites. In the end, banner ads received more than 26,000 views during that convention.
The app sponsorships proved so strong that the cost of the app was recovered. At the end of the convention, vendors who had opted out made commitments to take part in future sponsorship opportunities. Attendees, vendors, suppliers, and the Checkers & Rally's team all benefited from the event app, and its success made future use a no-brainer. Since the mobile event app was such a big win, Ventimiglia was given additional resources for the next convention.
With Inquisium, prioritizing engagement also paid off for Checkers & Rally's. Once the company noticed a trend in the number of employees who were dissatisfied with their compensation, Checkers & Rally's conducted an industry pay scale analysis and created more transparent career paths with corresponding increases in compensation. The leadership team also launched learning opportunities to help employees understand how to be successful in their current roles and in the future.
As a result of Checkers & Rally's commitment to acting on employee feedback, engagement has improved each year. From 40 percent in 2011 to 50 percent in 2013, they outdid Gallup's industry average by three percentage points. Thanks to their dedication, they continue to see improvements within the organization and externally. Through careful planning and seamless tools, Checkers & Rally's is increasingly successful and more thoughtfully engaged.
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