One of the best ways to make job training bearable is to make it fun. What's more, a training period that's enjoyable can foster carmaraderie and introduce newcomers to a corporate culture. Ask Joe Crugnale, who claims to accomplish all of the above every time he opens a Bertucci's restaurant.
Since 1985, CEO Crugnale's company, based in Woburn, Mass., has opened eight eateries, with five more coming soon. For the first two weeks of each launch, he and his top seven corporate managers work side by side with the waiters, bartenders, and dishwashers. After the weeks of tedious paperwork and negotiations, Crugnale claims, the prospect of manual labor is actually appealing. "We kid around a lot with the new hires, and it breaks up the monotony of the legal stuff for the managers. It's the fun part of opening a restaurant."
Managers of the new restaurants love the arrangement. "We know they need help, so we just fill in wherever we can for 15 hours a day," Crugnale says. Then there's the message it sends to employees: "The new hires see us go, go, go, and they work a little harder."