Engaging Employees

Open Door Approach

As our people and restaurants are widespread, we take a structured approach to communication to keep everyone well informed. Each month, we repeat a different set of key messages across the business through channels including briefings by senior managers that cascade down through team meetings in restaurants.

We operate an open-door policy where managers are always available to give help and support, making a particular effort for senior managers to be accessible to people outside head office. Our CEO, Martin Shuker, and the rest of our management team generally spend 2-3 days per week visiting restaurants. During a twice yearly, four-day senior management roadshow, the whole team travels up and down the country to meet restaurant managers, offer coaching, and receive feedback on anything relevant to the business.

The senior management team shares the plan for the forthcoming year with restaurant managers at their annual conference, where over 1,000 restaurant managers gather for a day to discuss the strategic direction of the business.


Coaching is a fundamental part of KFC’s management approach and is a skill we encourage from the first level of management training we provide. Our Leadership & Coaching for Excellence course helps team leaders learn how to coach and support their teams, and to offer constructive feedback. Salaried restaurant management and non-restaurant teams receive additional coaching training delivered by a member of the Management Team. In November 2013, we launched a new coaching programme called Breakthrough Conversation, initially for employees outside restaurants but with a plan to also include restaurant managers.

Region Rallies

The region rally is a twice yearly forum planned and delivered by area coaches (this is what we call our area managers). It’s an engaging, full-on, energetic day where our restaurant management teams come together to build their know-how, generate ideas and commit to actions. The day is also used to publicly welcome new restaurant managers to the business, celebrate successes from the previous quarter and focus our efforts on delivering great results. It serves as a tremendous platform for communication and leadership development and is popular among restaurant managers.

HR Excellence Awards

In 2013, we won HR Magazine’s HR Excellence Gold Award, which is given to the company considered to be the best across all categories. We also won the award for Best Employee Engagement Strategy and were Highly Commended in the HR Team of the Year category.

Encouraging feedback

Speaking out is encouraged at KFC. There are a number of ways for employees to make suggestions, be more involved in decisions that affect their jobs or work, or seek to redress perceived problems.

Great Place To Work Action Groups and Roundtables

Great Place To Work winners

The Great Place To Work (GPTW) survey is our main employee survey in the UK. Each year, we create project teams responsible for planning actions in response to the results. For example, our new flexible benefit programme was a direct result of feedback from the 2012 survey. In 2013, we also held roundtable discussions run by external facilitators, for restaurant managers to give honest feedback about their work-life balance. Our head office functions have also created GPTW Action Groups to improve areas in the survey such as reward and strengthening our fun and friendly workplace.

We provide a GPTW Evaluation Model for our people to use to check engagement levels in their team. Restaurant managers use this to talk to their employees about team culture, recognise successes, and review feedback with their area coach and management team to look for possible improvements.

Grievance Policy

Employees can resolve any grievance formally or informally. Our formal appeal process ensures employees can challenge initial decisions and that their grievance receives a fair evaluation.

Ethics Line

Our Ethics Line is an independently-run, confidential service and is available to all employees. People are encouraged to use this service if they need advice about a workplace issue. Once an issue has been reported, it is forwarded on to a local member of human resources, who is tasked with responding to the issue and reporting progress back to the Ethics Line.