Submitted by: Chandler Schexnayder, Sr. Manager, Systems and Analytics
The Talent Team took their quarterly training event to a new level with a “virtual road trip” two weeks ago. Check out what Chandler Schexnayder, Sr. Manager of Systems and Analytics, had to say about the experience!
Well, “Mom,” aka Kristina Johnson, Director of Talent Programs, had us all loaded up and ready for the road trip on Friday, September 29th. The rest of the Talent Team was so excited because now that the trip had started, we could open up our goody bags, which were filled with wonderful treats! Upon starting our trip, Lindsey Reed-Smith, SVP of Talent, welcomed the team to Talent Takeover and ensured us that this was going to be a fun trip. We were all “strapped in” as we hit the open roads, ready for the day.
First stop, The Grand Ole Opry. Here, we met up with our Company President Otto Bielss, and EVP of Store Operations Ted Helgesen. These guys are nothing but motivating! We got to hear about “Getting Back to Basics” and the “BIG ROCKS” theory, along with the direction in which the Company is currently heading. It is always refreshing and inspiring to hear their thoughts and discuss their vision for the future.
We next detoured from our original itinerary, where we stopped and had a filling meal. “Back on the roads,” “Mom” said with excitement. After lunch, we were allowed to choose our own adventures! The decision was difficult; we could either choose to head over to Aunt Edna’s (aka Corporate Recruiting manager Kate Robertson) to learn about how to reach out to Indeed candidates more effectively in order to get higher response rates; or we could head over to Uncle Eddie’s (aka Assistant Director of Store Recruiting Amanda Barnes) and learn about Leadership & Employee Engagement.
Some of us went over to Aunt Edna’s, but I went on over to Cousin Eddie’s – boy do I miss that guy. The group discussion kept us truly engaged – for example, we all pulled rubber ducks from a bag and had to share different facts about ourselves based on the number on the bottom of the ducky. After that, it was Quiet Time for all as Recruiting Manager Gina Nichols discussed Taking Responsibility for Your Own Engagement. I learned that in order to keep myself truly engaged, I sometimes have to break away, make myself go on a walk, and get some fresh air.
Speaking of fresh air, we were now able to stretch our legs on a small break at The Texas Rest Stop. We then all loaded back up and headed to the Four Corners Monument where we attended a panel on Employee Engagement on Talent from SVP Lindsey Reed, Workforce Planning Analyst Caitlin Buttimer, and Recruiting Manager Andrew McCray in-house, as well as Senior Recruiting Manager Kaitlyn McCormack who joined us on the phone.
Next was the Nevada Rest Stop, just a quick break before we headed on our next adventure. We were again allowed to choose our own adventure! I have always been fascinated with Artificial Intelligence and Sci-Fi so I chose Area 51 with Director of Corporate Recruiting Shannon Beasley. The other adventures were to visit the Mirage Casino, Strategic Networking and Collaboration with Area Recruiting Manager Jennifer Franklin; or the Hollywood Walk of Fame, The Vision of Strategic Workforce Planning in Action, with Sr. Director of Talent Management Daria Levin. Shannon explained so much about Artificial Intelligence “AI” and how some things can be automated with AI, but others still need that human touch and interaction. She also introduced us to some AI games that could assess our strengths and weaknesses. Afterward, we rerouted back to the St. Louis Arch and heard from New Hire Program Manager Emily Lorch on Connecting New Hires and the strides we’ve taken toward engaging new hires in the beginning in order to present them with a better experience when starting a new job.
At the end of the trip, we were truly ready for some tunes. “Mom” allowed us to name the songs on the radio in a quick-fire game of Radio Roulette. I was doing well but with 29 of us playing, I eventually tanked the game. As the anticipation for our final destination grew we again heard from Lindsey Reed, who thanked all the presenters and people who joined the trip, and then closed out with more information and motivation for the year. After leaving, we soon saw the glow of the best sign in the world… “WELCOME to WALLY WORLD!” Here at B&D Burgers we enjoyed a good time and fellowship with our colleagues and talked about what excitement might come up on our next group adventure.