By Howard Hubler
Reflecting on the needs of businesspeople, the “great resignation” is our biggest challenge. Close to half of all service employees in America don’t want to work where they are working and are considering working elsewhere.
Statistics suggests that the closer you get to handling a customer, the less likely you are to be content with your job. People that grew up texting for a lifestyle do not necessarily enjoy stretching to talk to a customer. Whenever their communication needs aren’t electronic, employees simply aren’t players. My kids have seven dealerships, and they’ve all said that they could use anywhere from five to 10 employees in the right spot in each dealership. The hope would be that in the new year they could fill those staffing needs that have been open since the end of Covid.
According to a national business newsletter, in the past year the food services industry lost 5.8% of its workforce, retail lost 3.82% and the entertainment sector lost 3.58%. These are industries where employees are typically face-to-face with customers, and they just don’t seem to enjoy the interaction. If your business needs a net gain of 5% new hires, and next year current personnel will resign at the rate of 3 to 4%, you need to hire 10, 12 or 15% new faces just to stave off potential shrinkage.
If your industry must have face-to-face contact, managers must pound training and role-playing with staff to give them confidence to talk with people. I believe that you will have to pay customer interface employees significantly more just for them to keep their job. They have to have their confidence level boosted even with more training, it appears, or they will quit. That’s your challenge. If somebody in the back shop says he feels slighted that untrained people that just talk to customers are making more income, you can tell them that if he likes, he can quit his position and get transferred to the front, and he can start interacting with customers as well and make more money.