1. We often hear that KFC is a people first brand. Can you explain what that means?
Caro: Our people make our organization successful and are the 12th, but most important ingredient, to our secret recipe. We know that if they grow, our business will grow. We are a people first brand because we stay true to our Purpose: Feeding People’s Potential by showing our commitment to develop our people’s heart and mind. We focus on the whole person and bring our people first mindset to create a heart-led culture in which the expectation is to show up with humility and passion to develop others. That’s the engine that drives our high-performance.
2. 2020 was a year of changes for the entire world. How would you say the year impacted our focus on people and what does that mean for KFC?
Kat: Our fundamental belief that our people are 12th and most important ingredient in our secret recipe ensured that we had a really solid foundation to support us through the change that 2020 brought. When you look across our industry (and others) through 2020, there is no way that you can deny the impact that the pandemic has had on people, especially those working in front line roles. For us, our primary concern from a people perspective was to ensure that we cared for and kept our employees safe; physically, financially & emotionally. Across the world, our incredible leaders & teams rallied to put care front and center of our approach through programs such as financial relief support for those restaurant employees impacted by COVID-19 and wellbeing & mental health support services. Alongside this, we are so proud of our distinctive, heart led culture which continued to thrive. Our sense of community and family is stronger than ever, and we intend to keep building on this to truly make KFC a place where people can be their best selves, make a difference and have fun.
This year also saw the world heighten the focus on inequality and create positive momentum to move from words to action. Diversity, Inclusion and Equity is core to our purpose as an organization and we have made good progress in areas such as gender diversity, but we know we need to do more. We have widened and deepened our focus to ensure our teams are as diverse as the customers that love our brand, and that our culture is as inclusive as it is fun so that everyone can fulfil their unique & full potential here.
3. At the beginning of 2020 KFC Global employees were asked to create a D&I goal. What was the thinking around this?
Caro: We are placing inclusion at the heart of our business by asking each employee to make a personal commitment that will help us create a diverse and inclusive workplace. We truly believe that inclusion is about all people, because everyone benefits from it. The response from our people was breath-taking. We had employees who pushed our thinking to offer more inclusive benefits, others are leading change through ERGs, and others are being their true, authentic self., just to name a few. All those commitments together are what is going to help us create transformational change in this area.
4. What are a few qualities you look for in people when recruiting for open positions in our office?
Kat: Well, of course a love for KFC and passion about the brand goes without saying as the starting point. Aside from that, when we look for people to join our family we look for smart, heart and courage. Our teams are high performing & heart led, so there is magic in the combination between high capability, compassion and having the courage to push boundaries and speak your truth. We look for people hungry (pun intended) for growth, to make a difference and who truly care about the people that they work with from Senior Leadership to our most important people who work in our restaurants. To us, everyone is Original and welcome at our table, so we look for people who lead authentically and see the strength in vulnerability. Whilst we take our Brand and our work seriously, we try not to take ourselves too seriously so it’s important that people who join us like to have fun with their work family as well!
5. In your own words, how would you describe KFC’s culture?
Kat: To me, KFC culture is truly about family;
We care deeply about each other, and that care means that we’re also willing to speak the truth to each other
We believe in everyone’s intentions and to quote the Colonel we see failures as “a stepping stone to something better”
We hold high standards for ourselves and those around us because we see the potential in everyone
We recognize that we are all Original, and that embracing and celebrating these differences is what makes us stronger
We have fun, we recognize people, and we enjoy what we do
Caro: Our culture is as real and unique as our delicious chicken. It’s a culture that inspires you to be your best, so you can make a difference in everything you touch. It welcomes you with open arms and invites you to leave your fears and ego aside to fully enjoy the ride.