This message was sent to all franchisees of a brand that I developed in the past (that later on went public; so it carries some merit). It’s a great reminder that one of your biggest investments – one of your biggest parts of your business that is in your company – is taking care of the home team. Happy customers, profitability, culture, etc. all take care of itself thereafter.

Tip of the Week: Knowing Your Team

How happy are your team members?
Extremely happy?
Looking to leave?
Can you confidently answer the question? Does your answer include the words “I think”? Or is you answer, “I don’t know?”

Are seemingly happy team members quitting for what seems like no reason?

How in touch are we really with our team members?

Do you employ a team? Or are they just a bunch of people who work together?

How do we find the answers?

First let’s understand why people don’t feel content in their jobs:

The may be surprising to realize that most people don’t quit their jobs because of money. If money comes into the equation it is generally about a perception of fairness issue. “Others are paid more for less work or less dedication.”

Quantity of hours. Team members being unhappy over not receiving enough hours can be about not being able to pay bills, but is often times a perception issue, “I am not getting as many hours as others.” Sometimes the issue of hours is about team members feeling that they are being pressured to work more or longer hours then they can handle.

Favoritism. Team members feel that some of their colleagues are given preferential treatment, praise or privileges that are not afforded to all.

Criticism. Team members feel singled out or are being publicly admonished.

Lack of appreciation. Team members feel as though their work is taken for granted or not noticed.

Internal disputes between team members. Sides are taken, and a negative environment is created for all.

Not being set up for success. Team members often feel that they cannot accomplish goals because of poor training, or not having access to the necessary tools. This creates frustration and possibly quitting.

Problems outside of work adding to the pressures of the job.

What should we, as managers of people do?

Always take five minutes out of every day to sit down and have a one on one conversation with a team member. Ask them how they are feeling, if their schedule works, what they feel they need to be successful.

Foster an environment of fairness and openness. The team looks to the manager to set the example.

Listen to what team members are really saying. Don’t just brush issues of as having a bad day. People need to feel heard.

Conduct exit interviews when a team member leaves the company’s employ. This is a good opportunity to hear the truth; after all there is nothing to lose at this point.

The biggest investment you can make at your company is in your team. If your team is happy, guests are happy, there is low turn over, there is heightened efficiency, and it’s a total win. If even one team member is miserable it can damage the whole business. Just communicate and the wins will more than justify the time.

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