Every industry goes through a rough patch once in a while, and 2009 was one of those years in our industry. As often happens in challenging times, someone emerges to re-define the challenge and helps us all to remember what’s really important and to see the underlying opportunity. G.J. Hart, CEO of Texas Roadhouse, was that person for many of us that year.
At a time when most companies were cancelling recognition programs and incentive award trips, G.J. held firm to his beliefs and moved forward with his annual company recognition event. In an interview with CNBC, he told the world why recognizing and rewarding Texas Roadhouse employees was so important.
For taking such a public stance about the value of taking good care of employees and keeping them engaged, G.J. won the Motivation Show’s 2011 Employee Engagement Award. The award is one of the highest honors in the industry and “recognizes individuals who understand engagement, and demonstrate that understanding through their personal leadership skills and their ability to integrate the various elements critical to engagement within their organization. These elements include leadership, recognition & incentive programs, training, communications, technology and more.”
An interview with G.J. during the Motivation Show, features clips from Texas Roadhouse events and his Keynote speech that afternoon. It’s well-worth the 5 minutes to view the video clip as G.J. makes it clear that investing in people is what directly enables corporate success and encourages all leaders to embrace the phenomenal power of recognition.
G.J. is now CEO of California Pizza Kitchens, where he intends to continue celebrating his great people.