Inside KFC – the secret to building a successful company culture

KFCRecently I visited KFC’s UK and Ireland headquarters, based in Woking, to discover how quality is embedded into every facet of the business.

Having interviewed some big brands before, such as Coca-Cola and Sony, I’m not afraid to admit that I had a certain preconception of how I thought the organisation was going to be – ie efficient, quiet and heavily process-driven. However, KFC’s unique organisational culture and mission to improve its people took me somewhat by surprise.

Its headquarters is lined with photographs of everyone who works at one of its 885 stores and staff are encouraged to share their thoughts on the ‘culture’ on the (very public) reception chalkboard – this month using the hashtag #whyiworkhere as a conversation starter.

But that’s not all. Each department shares its knowledge daily and team members showed me handwritten letters they had received from the CEO for doing a good job. This level of recognition has resulted in a strong, family-like culture and an environment where people want to improve continually in order to maintain the business’ reputation as the go-to chicken shop.

And the effect of that culture is clear. The organisation has won numerous employer awards and has a successful quality management system and internal auditing programme. Although there’s always room for improvement, KFC’s recipe for creating a healthy organisational culture can’t be denied.

Amanda Pauley is Content Creator at the CQI and writes for Quality World magazine. CQI members can read her KFC feature in the October issue, here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *