Treat them well, pay them well, and they will come. There is no magic to it. This has always been the case, but it is even more true in current times.
Help wanted signs are everywhere. Staffing is short everywhere. Waiting in stores to be helped tests our patience. Many registers are not staffed. Twice in Belk recently I have had to take my linens merchandise down two floors to the beauty counter to be waited on. I do not know why the makeup counters are staffed so well and the rest of the store isn’t, but that is the reality.
There are businesses that remain successful even in these trying times. Starbucks and Chick-fil-A are two examples. There is a staff shortage at Starbucks, but people are willing to wait. Why? What is the Starbucks culture that keeps it so successful? I do not even like Starbucks coffee, but I go there for other items that I do like. It is usually crowded, and people are willing to wait. I think the usual Starbucks customer likes to loiter anyway!
Chick-fil-A is a major success story. People are willing to wrap around the building in long lines to get their food, and Chick-fil-A has systems that make the wait manageable. The staff is neat and well-groomed, nice, and efficient. There is obviously the “ideal” Chick-fil-A associate that the business hires, trains, and manages well. More businesses could learn from the Chick-fil-A model. And I imagine the fact that I haven’t even mentioned the food makes this success story even more amazing. Yes, the food is good, but there is good food at lots of places, but the other variables that I mentioned are lacking in too many restaurants and businesses-food businesses and otherwise. There really is no magic to it, but the determinants of success seem to be missing in many businesses.
What about pay? Yes, pay matters. It will continue to matter, so we need to adjust for it. And yes, the government programs that have provided financial relief for some people without them having to work has been a factor for some not wanting to work. But it is time for us to let go of that argument and get back to the business of hiring good people, treating them well, and paying them well.
There really is no magic to it. Simple, but not easy.