At Pagliacci, every general manager started as an hourly crew member. From top to bottom, we’re an organization that promotes from within. That includes Hannah Dinan, our General Manager of Training and Development, the person responsible for ensuring our crew has the skills and tools they need to meet the moment and developing future leaders.
Hannah was a student at UW, just back from a year studying abroad in Italy, Austria, and the Czech Republic, when she applied to Pagliacci. She started as a cook at Stone Way, excelled, and was promoted to an assistant manager. When we promoted Hannah to her new position, we did so because she was an excellent manager and a good people person. And with four years of experience in the store, she knew our operations from the inside out.
Developing a well-designed, consistent training platform for employees at all levels has been a central focus of Hannah’s. She helped implement a learning management system called Wisetail, not just to modernize our training but also as a way for Pagliacci employees everywhere to stay connected.
When she took the job, she had no idea of the test our system of training and communication was about to get. When Covid-19 hit, Hannah found herself at the center of the storm. Nothing at Pagliacci is more important than the health and wellness of our customers and crew. Rapid communication and the ability to quickly train our crew on essential changes were critical to ensuring new policies and procedures were rolled out effectively during one of the most dizzying times in Seattle’s history.
“We started by calmly gathering the most accurate information,” Hannah says. “At first, it was a little bumpy since everything was new for the staff and our customers,” Hannah says. “I was working in a store when the Stay Home, Stay Safe order happened. Operations changed so fast.”
It became clear that in addition to getting accurate information from Public Health, the store managers would be implementing new best practices immediately. Every Wednesday, there was an all-manager call and weekly consults between the operations group and each general manager.
“Part of my role is being present at the locations,” Hannah says. “It’s an opportunity review projects, answer questions, work shifts, and help managers and crew overcome individual store challenges. Covid has been a very intense experience,” Hannah says. “Fortunately, we have a great communication system and an amazing group of managers, who do what it takes to keep our crew and customers safe. Seeing how many customers trusted us during this crisis is a huge honor.”