By Emily Ard WFF 2014: "Engaging" As a first time attendee at the WFF Conference I didn’t know what to expect, though I had heard through the grapevine how inspiring this event truly is not only for women but also for Foodservice professionals. The event was filled with passionate speakers inspiring us to go against the grain, and to forge ahead in our careers no matter the obstacles that lay before us. One session in particular titled "Engaged!" by speaker Gregg Lederman, truly spoke to me on a professional level and inspired me to use this forum to share insights on how to drive results and build high performing teams. Live the brand and drive customer satisfaction So how do you get your employees to be ambassadors for your brand and to genuinely care about making customers happy? "Define" what you do! Help your employees define the why behind their jobs and in turn they can see the value in their day to day activities. A great example of this concept in action is the Starbucks baristas. I recently went in for my morning coffee and the woman helping me was not only pleasant but in the midst of the morning meal chaos she went the extra mile. My Tall Soy Caramel Macchiato displayed my name and was served with a smile, but then she asked if I wanted a water along with my coffee. As I glanced over at the reusable Starbucks cups she took notice, came from behind the counter, grabbed one and said “I can rinse and fill it for you, would you like ice in that also?” And just with that I had added a $13 reusable cup to my order because she picked up on my signals and made the whole experience feel like “Emily’s morning out at Starbucks”. This barista understood that one of the “whys” in her job is to make each guest feel special! In turn she lives the brand even in the most chaotic of circumstances when she could choose to concentrate solely on speed of service. The key takeaway is that this type of treatment makes guests feel appreciated; it encourages guests to spend more and to be more likely to return while creating positive word of mouth. Look I’m doing it right now! So the question you have to ask yourselves is what is the why behind each and every employee position no matter what area of your business!