How Huck’s Marketplace Develops High-Impact Leaders that Employees Trust

Stephanie Massart
Published On:
Dec 05, 2022

Most managers are promoted from the ground up in the service industry, meaning that many who find themselves in leadership positions do not have formal training in leadership or management. 

To help their managers be more effective leaders, Huck’s Marketplace works hard to provide their managers with training to help them meet their personal goals, which will help their store succeed. Alisha Black, the VP of Human Resources at Huck’s Marketplace, describes how their leadership approach is focused around their mantra, “One team, one goal.” Below, we’ve captured three key areas that restaurant operators can focus on to develop high-impact leaders that employees trust.


Alisha Black, VP Human Resources at Huck's Marketplace


1. Acknowledge Individuals 


Black explains that a team member's sense of purpose and belonging is one of the critical factors in Huck’s success. One example is when leadership communicates with team members,  they acknowledge who they are as individuals saying, “You matter. You're not just a person filling a shift, but you're a human being with a family with dreams and aspirations, and what can we do on the job to make those things [happen]?” When employees feel they belong, they are much more likely to work harder for the business, both for their success and that of their team and company. 

This recognition seems to be paying off. When Huck’s team members were surveyed on their favorite thing about Huck’s, over 90% said it felt like a family. Black explains that even upper management isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty sometimes, saying that leadership helps the teams when needed, even if that means they are doing something below their pay grade. This support and willingness to step in to help makes Huck’s feel even more like one big family. 


Employees working together


2. Better Leaders


Black explains that Huck’s team uses the SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis method both individually and storewide, trying to create better leaders and teams. Huck’s Market has their store-level managers conduct personal SWOT analyses, which allows them to reflect on who they are as a manager and how they can grow into better leaders. Meanwhile, Huck’s management conducts SWOT analyses across its organization to understand its operations. During a company-wide analysis, Huck’s leadership will evaluate: “What things do we have that are good natural abilities? What things do we have that are gonna be a barrier to that success?”

The SWOT analysis at the individual level and across the company can be more effective by using technology insights to better understand the situation. Through data collected, technology can be vital to finding the most accurate information about the current status of the business. Meanwhile, evaluations conducted through technology can be instantly updated company-wide as new focuses take priority. Black explains that leaders consider, “How do we need to adjust that evaluation to make it better and help us get the information we need to make great leadership decisions.”


Using Zenput for performance evaluations


3. Impactful Training


Even with different leadership styles, Huck’s aims to have consistency across the organization. Black mentions that leadership practices should be consistent across departments and leaders within the organization. Huck’s achieves this because when a new store opens, the new managers get to work alongside seasoned leaders from the company, helping to build consistent leadership and management throughout the organization. 

One way that Huck’s ensures that their training sessions will have an impact is by asking managers from across the company what they would most like to learn. By using technology to survey managers, Black is able to quickly determine what focus areas would be most helpful to provide training on and what managers most want to learn. Huck.\’s also believes in continuous training, as everyone can always learn more and grow as a leader or team member. 

By being vigilant in evaluating their people and processes, Huck’s Marketplace ensures that each store is filled with high-impact leaders who can help Huck’s continuously improve. To learn more about how Huck’s is creating strong leaders, watch their full OpsX’22 session here


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