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Good People EQUAL Good Retail
Posted in: Truckstop Business
There are and have been many beautiful and updated retail and food operations within our industry and that have failed because they never mastered the human resource aspect of good customer service towards their employees.
As I learned a quarter of a century ago, "You can not effectively service your customer until you first effectively service your employees." You will never have great customer service until you are treating your employees like your best customers. Good people equal good retail.
Companies should invest heavily in developing their workers' talent — or be prepared to see their workers jump ship, says former Deloitte CEO Jim Quigley. "We must invest in building the capability of our people. And if we don't invest in building their capability, they're going to go someplace else where they think someone will," he said. Take a hard look in the mirror at what ales your retail issues and you will often find human resource issues.
We spend a lot of time teaching our employees how to take care of our customers and limited time taking care of them. Even in this difficult economy operators tell me how difficult it is to hire good help. It is the operators that focus on improving their service to their employees that will triumph during difficult hiring times.
As our economy slowly improves, this will be more important than ever lest we forget with our short memories. Remember when things where good throughout the USA and Canada and we had months of little to no applications in many of our operations? In good times and bad times, hiring issues are often an issue that is directly related to leadership.
Last week, I enjoyed spending time with an owner and his general manager during one of their monthly "caught you doing something good" dinner meetings. All staff are invited to dinner or lunch once a month to discuss the state of the operation as well as share issues, etc.
During this time, the owner awards employees who he caught doing "something good" or servicing customer above and beyond or saving the organization money during the past month. It can be one person or multiple people. This night it was four people.
And to think, a short three years ago this operation was losing money under different ownership while now they are entering their second consecutive year of 20% growth and profitability. This owners vision and tutelage have had a lot to do with the growth and profitability increases, but so too have those folks who continue to get caught doing something good!