When a CEO is faced with challenges, they can do several things. For some, the answer is to do little, hoping the crisis fades away. However, others do the opposite. Instead, they go to their employees and customers, explain the situation, and lay out a plan for making positive changes. This was the case recently with Papa John’s Pizza CEO Steve Ritchie, who chose to write an open letter to the company’s customers, employees, and franchisees.
According to Investopedia, rather than let people reach conclusions without knowing the facts, Steve Ritchie chose to write a letter that put his leadership abilities on the line immediately. In his letter, Ritchie stated that despite recent issues regarding diversity, inclusion, and company culture, he and senior executives are committed to solving any problems that exist as quickly as possible. To do so, his letter laid out several goals that will be implemented. To begin with, independent auditors will be hired to do an in-depth evaluation of various practices involving cultural aspects, inclusion, diversity, and other related areas. Along with this, there will be a variety of meetings held at certain points in time, allowing those employees and franchise owners who have concerns to express their thoughts to senior-level executives.
To further demonstrate the company’s commitment to solving these important issues, Steve Ritchie revealed that a number of the company’s top executives will be making their way to various parts of the United States, where they will meet with a wide range of franchisees, employees, and customers to discuss recent events. By doing so, they can see what occurs in a typical franchise each day, how employees and customers react to certain situations, and gather key details from these individuals as to how the company can work to improve upon its diversity and inclusion.
By offering an apology, showing empathy, and a willingness to admit mistakes have been made through the years, Steve Ritchie Papa John’s is counting upon the loyalty of Papa John’s customers to continue in the months and years ahead. In doing so, he takes a calculated risk that will likely pay off in the end. View Ritchie’s work history on LinkedIn.