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The Value of Recognition

Baudville products reinforce corporate priority for Taco Bell franchisee

As Arizona’s largest Taco Bell franchisee, Desert de Oro Foods, Inc. knows a thing or two about customer service.  However, leaders of the Kingman-based company also know a few things about how to treat its internal customers, the 1,600 people that work for the company.  It’s the company’s long-time commitment to recognizing employees that brought them to Baudville’s wide array of recognition products.

 

Desert de Oro Foods, Inc. was established in 1982 when it opened the doors of its first Taco Bell restaurant. Twenty five years later, the company is the largest franchisee in Arizona employing 1,600 individuals between 53 Taco Bell establishments and 6 full service restaurants. Desert de Oro Foods is especially proud of the positive, family atmosphere it provides for its customers. Jo Adams, Director of Human Resources, attributes the friendly restaurant ambience to the practice of genuine recognition. “When you walk in, you can tell the difference in the team and the energy,” she says.

 

Recognition is an important part of the Taco Bell and Desert de Oro Foods culture. “Recognition is a learned behavior with orientation,” says Adams. That’s why recognition is celebrated on a regular basis with the thoughtful presentation of awards and motivational gifts. Employees celebrate the first day on the job, first paycheck and milestones. They are encouraged to partake in recognition as well, through the peer-to-peer CHAMPS program where employees can take note of a co-worker’s exceptional job well done.

 

Desert de Oro Foods’ recognition culture led it to Baudville’s unique, high-quality products. When asked what attracted her to Baudville, Adams was drawn to the value of recognition portrayed by the items was consistent with the corporate culture. It was important that the recognition tools used by management reflected the internalized priorities of employees and recognition.

 

Recognition is reinforced at the management level through annual leadership and training conferences. The 2007 conference theme, You Make a World of Difference, was supported by themed badge reels, gourmet mints and gifts. Attendees could win prizes by entering a hand written note of recognition and praise for a colleague in a drawing. Frequently throughout the conference, individual winners were announced and awarded Travel Mugskey chains, and leatherette journals – all reinforcing the theme and empowering managers to conduct recognition in the field.

 

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Recognition is regularly performed by management, further communicating its value to employees. The district managers, owners, operations directors and human resource directors have each pre-selected a lapel pin of their choice. The Essential Piece and Making a Difference Starfish lapel pins were adopted by the managers as their signature pins. Managers carry a small inventory with them and award employees with a pin when they witness above and beyond behavior in the workplace. “You feel really proud when you’re wearing this pin,” Adams explains. Employees strive to collect pins from each participating manager.

 

The on-the-spot administering of recognition doesn’t go without festivity. Each time an employee is caught for above and beyond behavior, “it’s a big deal,” says Adams. An announcement is made and often the entire team is brought together for the event.

 

Desert de Oro Foods continues to use Baudville for lapel pins, management conference prizes, and motivational tools. “Everything I’ve purchased from Baudville has been excellent,” says Adams.


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