Marissa Andrada is the Chief People Officer at Chipotle, a very popular restaurant chain with 2,500 restaurants and 80,000 employees. Prior to Chipotle Marissa had led HR for companies such as Starbucks, Kate Spade, GameStop, Red Bull, and Universal Studios.
Marissa has seen quite a few changes in HR over the past 10-20 years. One of the biggest changes she mentioned is a shift in leadership. Purpose, vision, and values have been around in theory for awhile, but it wasn’t until recently that companies took these words from something on a poster in the hallway to something that companies actually live out through leadership. And employees can tell when leaders are actually living out what they talk about in company meetings or if it is all just talk.
When it comes to tenure in restaurants, a lot of times employees are coming and going frequently. Although Marissa shares that tenure at Chipotle has increased, she also says they understand that not everyone will stay at the company long term, and that’s OK.
Marissa says, “We’ve introduced so many new things that I believe are just leading edge for restaurant and retail, and we believe that, for example, debt-free degrees, we believe that first and foremost, that we are investing in and creating future leaders for Chipotle and for our restaurants, and ultimately the company. And if not, we’re creating future leaders for the world. I think there’s a responsibility that companies have especially one as large as ours is not only to do well, but also to do good in the world. And so that’s how I answer that question like that’s why we do it.”
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Chipotle has also moved away from the traditional annual performance review. They now have what they call a 4×4 conversation, which is a meeting that happens four times a year (at least) where managers ask employees four questions. The four questions are:
What are your most significant accomplishments since we last met?
What are the most important things you will focus on before we meet next?
What obstacles are you encountering right now?
What can I do better or differently as your manager to support you?
Marissa shares, “It’s interesting when we first introduced the first 4×4 conversation, we just said, “Have a conversation,” and people were freaking out going, “Where’s the form? What do I fill out?” And then at the year-end, they’re like, “Where’s my form? What do I fill out?” And we just kind of said, “Hey, we’re all learning this together. At minimum, we want you to have this conversation. If you feel like documenting it, do it.” And so that was what we did at the Restaurant Support Center. But then for our crew members, what we created was just kind of a template to walk through those four questions. But it also helped people to understand, “Hey, here’s what I’m held accountable for,” but it’s not a traditional performance review form. It’s really highly customized for that employee. And so that we have a different spin on that and that it’s in a very Chipotle way and not a traditional performance review.”
What you will learn:
What first drew Marissa to HR
How they scale their values and culture across 80,000 people
What Marissa is most excited about regarding People Experience at Chipotle in 2020
The unique way they approach performance reviews
Some specific mindsets and skills they look for in potential leaders
How new employees get onboarded at Chipotle