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Dre Beaudoin was recently honored with the Manager of the Quarter Award at the Howley Bread Group’s Leadership Meeting held recently at the Sheraton Providence Airport in Warwick. The Howley Bread Group is a local franchisee of Panera Bread.
The event recognized a number of employees for excellence and leadership. The Howley Bread Group owns and operates 28 Panera Bread bakery-cafes in the Greater Hartford/eastern Connecticut, Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island markets.
Beaudoin, who was recognized for her professionalism and enthusiasm in the management of the North Attleboro bakery-café, has been with the company for eight years.
PBN: How would you define your management style?
BEAUDOIN: I lead by being a mentor. Growing within the company from associate to manager has given me an ability to be compassionate as well as understanding of how to motivate. I engage my associates by working with them side-by-side and as a team working towards our ultimate goal of guest satisfaction. My associates feel empowered and included in the successes of our team.
PBN: Do you see employee turnover as a problem in your industry?
BEAUDOIN: In my experience, associate turnover is not an issue if you hire the right people to fit in with the culture of your business. Having a clear outline of what your culture is and your goals are set the road map to finding successful additions to your team. The type of restaurant that we are at Panera Bread does guarantee some healthy turnover. The average age of our applicants is between 18 [and] 22 [years old]. [They are] looking for a position to help them through school or in the interim [while] they are deciding their own career paths. This usually guarantees our associates to stay with us anywhere from one to four years. Selecting the associates that are correct for our culture helps their longevity and happiness in their positions.
PBN: What personality traits do you think are most important for someone in your role?
BEAUDOIN: Confidence, knowledge and optimism are my best attributes to manage my cafe to its fullest potential. Being able to create a calm and positive work environment helps my team achieve our goals without feeling stressed or defeated. Engagement and recognition create a positive work environment. Working for a company that inspires growth and promotion helps create optimism. I find when you feel optimistic about your possibilities for expanding your career you are able to spread that optimism to others and achieve your own great potential. •