Bryan Badger is THE honcho at Hot Pockets. For two years he has been the CEO in Colorado. In our conversation he pointed out that his sales track the economy. As it goes south, his sales go north.
The really cool stuff he is doing has to do with the culture there at Hot Pockets. The average age of his employees is about 32 years of age, so he had to change the culture to cater to the younger audience. Some of his ideas are so simple that they are brilliant.
Guitar Hero for lunch. That’s right. There are times when they break out this popular video game and have contest between employees. Ever one to be at the center of a party Bryan and his folks are known even to fire up the BBQ and feed the employees during these kind of times.
Volunteer Day. The whole facility shuts down and they divide up the employees, with groups going to various local organizations, to volunteer and serve. It was at one of the locations that Bryan noticed a group that had divided a task into two parts with two group members on each of the tasks. When one group fell behind one member on the other team quietly moved over to help his comrades catch up. Not a big deal. . . but the magic of self directing teams that doesnt always need verbal communications is very synergistic.
No Bitch with out a Pitch. When several individuals in a team meeting were commenting on the length and complexity of their mission statement they found themselves recruited to the team that needs to create a new mission statement in 5 words or less.
The 10 Minute Bio. At his team meetings he has one or two people take 10 minutes to do a brief Bio on their life . . . complete with baby pictures, trophies, family backgrounds. “These people seem to really like finding out about each other” says Bryan.
The Jim Gaffigan Promotion. You may be familiar with the comedy of Jim Gaffigan, more especially the ribbing he doles out to Hot Pockets. Since the humor tends to not only make fun of the product, it also makes us laugh at ourselves.
So . . . .Bryan put together the Jim Gaffigan promotional tour. As Gaffigan criss crosses the country in his latest tour, there are the Hot Pocket folks stationed at various strategic locations to give out coupons, shirts, hats and the works. So now Gaffigan looks out at his audience and THEY have on all this product promotional attire that is now hitch hiking on Jim’s humor.