04-A social gathering with partners.

In response to your questions,  I would like to talk about the content of an event.
I received questions from many of you about a partner (part-time job) social gathering that I had discussed in my second mail magazine. It described the importance of, not only how to manage part-timers, but how to be involve with them. Since the response surpassed my expectation, I would like to describe it in detail.

Q)Should head office executives not participate?
→Basically, it is a gathering between the president and the part-timers only.
Head office coordinates the events; however it is a gathering for the president and the part-timers only.  I remember that at the first meeting there were about eight part-timers. Those who participated were students and habitual part-timers whom the shop manager wanted to become their “right hand man”.
Q) Proceeding of the meeting, time and place.

→The first thing I talked about was myself, how I started the company and its meaning, what I want to do in the future, and so on.

 Then each participant introduced themselves, including the dreams for their future.
Later was the question and answer session.  It lasted about two hours but I remember it as being over in the blink of an eye.

It was not a formal meeting, so everyone wore casual clothing.
It was like having a picnic, drinking water from PET bottles and eating snacks.
In this kind of casual setting the part-timers’ true opinions come out.
Occasionally, facts such as the store manager’s habitual tardiness or various startling happenings at the shops are revealed …
This is also a good briefing on the shop. (I get to understand the real situation)

The gathering was held at the head office conference room.
Q)Meeting frequency and start time.
→ Once a month, about two hours, the shops open at 17:00, so we began around noon.  
Q) What is the topic? →The outline of the proceeding is as mentioned above, my introduction, then each participant introduces themselves, and frankly, I listen to their personal concerns as well:  about the school, the future, boyfriends, and girlfriends.    Those worries of the student part-timers were the ones I also had a long time ago, so I told them how I had dealt with them, including my mistakes.  Young people are seeking for a mentor. Though ultimately it’s their decision, they are looking for someone who will point out the direction.  It seems that my failures were most appreciated…
If we focus on shops, it would be a work only meeting, so we talked about the shop only 20% of the time. Even when we left shop related subjects, we would eventually end up talking about work anyways. 

Q) About visiting the shop, is it only the president who visits directly managed shops? Does upper management accompany you?
→ Basically I go alone.  I go as if I were a regular customer.
In fact, I wrote a memo on what I had noticed as a customer and sent it to the regional supervisor, not to the shop manager, for action at a later time.I only had a little chat with the shop manager and communicated with the part-timers during their free time. The people at the shops with participants in the part-timer gatherings were delighted to see me. 
The full-time employees are happy to see me, but I think the main reason I visit, perhaps, is for me. There are lots of stressful management issues that I have to deal with as the president.  Going to a shop and seeing part-timers working energetically makes me think that “I have to work even harder”. I think it is good in a sense that this inspires me.
Q)Visit frequency, shop selection, visit announcement?
→No announcement is ever made.
2 to 3 directly managed shops per month. I also visited franchise shops while on business trips.
There is no reason for selecting any particular shop, but shops which participated in a social gathering meeting were prioritized for a visit.
I recommend starting the social events even if the number of participants is small and then you can decide on your own company’s direction. 
For students, the number one concern is employment opportunity.
Which company is good?  What kind of work suits me?
They have not entered into the permanent job market yet, so it is natural to worry…
What I told them was that the “restaurant industry” (service industry) has all the required elements to provide any kind of career.
To became a cabin attendant?  A kindergarten teacher?  A business man?  A physician?
All the elements required by any occupation are nurtured in the restaurant industry.
What a person (a customer) is thinking now→nurtured in the restaurant industry
Numerical capability, such as profit & loss statement→nurtured in the restaurant industry.
Other elements can be nurtured.
In fact when I went to an alumni gathering party after 10 years of being employed, I noticed that there were many office employees who didn’t know how to read a profit & loss statement.
You obtain this knowledge immediately after managing shops in the restaurant industry.
Shop management has exactly the same management activities as running a small company.
It was this kind of talk.
How do part-timers link the current work in the restaurant industry to what they want to have in the future?
So I explained that work in the restaurant industry now is useful for everyone’s future.
That’s what I have preached.
As we became more relaxed in the meeting, they started to talk about family and love.

This social gathering was not a one-time event; there was a student who attended about three times.
He later became a full time employee. Currently he is working hard as a person responsible for business operations.  
I think that it was a good part of this meeting to understand each other and influence one another.
Ultimately this association became the “GYU-KAKU” partner forum,

Mr. Oshima who attended the event hosted the Izakaya olympiad ,,,
I think that was the origin of all that come after.

Other events held within the company are as below.
All contributed to have a smooth communication with the employees. ・ Monthly morning meeting at the beginning of the month. →All employees attend. From Sendai to Kyushu, held using Skype
 Speaking directly to employees every month has a significant meaning.・A letter is enclosed with the earning statement. 
  →I made a typed letter which describes the company’s direction with the earning statement every month.
・Employee’s birthday (every month)
 → Hold a once a month birthday party for the all employees whose birthday is in that month.
・Hand written birthday card is given to the birthday employees.
 → On the birthday of the employees, hand written birthday card is handed over with a word of appreciation.・Flowers were sent to the house for the employee’s spouse’s birthday.
 → Flowers were sent with thanks to the house on the employee’s spouse’s birthday

・   Wives’ club. Invite the wives of the male employees for the company orientation meeting.
  →The restaurant industry business has long working hours and would not be possible without the understanding of the family. This was done to promote understanding toward the company.

・   Basically the service industry is divided into headquarters and shops.The headquarters, shops, it is easy to have sectionalism.I did it because I thought that policies that would fill the gap were important.I would consider myself fortunate if this would be of use for everyone’s management.

Assentia Holdings , Inc.