People Are Not Disposable
Steps Toward Cultivating Great Team Members
By Beth Standlee, CEO, TrainerTainment
Every week I hear someone say, “These kids today…”
• Don’t need to work
• Have zero work ethic
• Display no common sense
• (add your complaint here)
Guess what? Our parents said the same thing about us, and their parents said the same thing about them, and so on and on and on. I believe if we are going to change the culture of the workplace today, we must start by changing our language.
What if we said, “I love the fact that I have chosen to hire first-time workers.”? There’s a great deal of responsibility that comes with hiring first-time team members. HELLO! They’ve never had a job before. They may not even have the experience growing up of having an allowance or the responsibility of chores. So, we’re it! Whether that feels frustrating or not, it is a fact. Everyone has to start somewhere, so why not with you?
Take a minute and think about the first time you did something that was brand new to you and potentially difficult. You may have been excited or scared… anxious or confident…expectant or intimidated…or countless other “ors.” Maybe you got it right the first time, but then again, maybe not. What happened then? Was something complicated enough that you had to get the information more than once? Did you feel dumb or that you might be annoying someone because you needed help?
Listen, I know teaching others is difficult. I’ve built a training and coaching company based on helping others every day. It’s not easy. My experience is any new or old concept must be taught again and again.
“Training is not a single event.
Ongoing coaching is
where the results lie.”
Turnover is high in the hospitality world. I think part of the challenge is employers are exasperated and feel, “What else can we do?” I also sense that employees think jobs are disposable. I sense a massive disconnect about how we are, or could be, in service to one another. I believe the leaders in this equation must take the lead!
What if we took baby steps around the crises of turnover and hiring difficulties. I think the following three steps could be a great place to start. I’d love to hear your ideas. What would you be willing to do to begin the chain of change?”
1. Decide what values an ideal team member must have to work on your team. And, don’t settle for less! Read Patrick Lencioni’s Ideal Team Player. He lists hungry, humble and smart as three must-have virtues for the ideal team player.
Stop saying, “No one wants to work.” It’s not true. Start positioning your place as a great place to work. Stop expecting $18.00 per hour service from a $9.00 wage. Sometimes, I think we lower our standards and expectations because we are unwilling to be competitive with compensation. I also believe that when we pay more, we might be more inclined to nurture our investment to ensure we get a good ROI.
2. Understand that training and coaching are ongoing processes. Expand your training budget and commit to implementing an ongoing coaching strategy to get results. Team members rarely leave a job. They leave the circumstance. When they aren’t getting what they need, they leave. It’s up to the leader to find out what the team member needs. Verne Harnish reports in Scaling Up that growth companies invest 2%-3% per year in training and growing their people.
3. Commit to the fact that people ARE NOT disposable. I believe we all have a responsibility to help a first-time team player “grow up” in the work world. Once those front-line workers become experienced team members, they’re able to “go up” in their workplace. That doesn’t mean they will always work for you, but it does mean you will have made a difference.
Finally, the challenge and expense of high turnover, hiring the best people, getting people to show up for an interview, and training are important conversations.
I look forward to what can happen if we stop whining and start focusing on how to make the situation better. The Pollyanna in me is alive and well and thinks the world could be a better place if we work together!I hope you have a great month and encourage you to take a moment to engage with me directly by emailing [email protected].
Beth is the CEO of TrainerTainment LLC, a training company devoted to the family entertainment and hospitality industries. Beth and her team are focused on helping the companies they serve to make more money through sales, guest service, leadership and social media marketing training. Training products and services are delivered in person, through books and DVDs, and virtually with e-learning courses, webinar development and 24/7 online access. Visit her company’s website at www.trainertainment.com.