After church this past Sunday, I did what we always do, headed for Sister's Family Restaurant located near the corner of Highway 20 and Rosebud Road in Loganville, GA. I noticed the parking lot looked empty. This is a contrast to being full to overflowing on Sundays.
When I pulled up in front of the restaurant, I saw a hand-written sign on the door, "Closed today because of a lack of staffing." I was shocked. Everyone is struggling with staffing. While travelling across the country, we've experienced long wait times because of a lack of staffing, restaurants closing early because of a lack of staffing, slow service, and poor service because of new inexperienced employees.
I thought Sister's Restaurant was different. All the wait staff are sisters or cousins. As Paul Harvey would say, "I don't know the rest of the story," but I know enough to say something really went wrong. I'd bet Sister's does 50% more business on Sundays than any other day of the week. Just like we see people at church we know, we see many of the same patrons at Sister's each Sunday. I know for some folks, it's as much a part of their ritual as it is ours.
If you can't get family and friends to come to work as scheduled, how can you get those who have less loyalty, to show up as scheduled?
Blaming the business environment won't change a thing. Certainly, involvement in the big picture, educating yourself, learning all you can about the political environment, is important. Endeavoring to influence others, to understand the challenges of an entrepreneur, and thoughtful voting are essential.
But this won't change the urgency of today. You must be better at recruiting, managing, and motivating employees than you've ever been. Treat your team, your staff as valued customers. Find ways to create greater incentives. Remember, we all respond to incentives. Search for and find as many incentives as you can to make your business the preferred place to work.
Here's a short list to help stimulate your thinking:
Honestly look this list over. Brainstorm with your team. Ask them, "In what ways can we create greater loyalty?" Start today. Don't wait. Tomorrow could be too late.
—Larry W. Dennis, Sr. President Turbo Leadership Systems