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Five Ways to Show Your Truckstop Employees Your Thanks

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Darren's Great Ideas for Independent Operators, Human Resources

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Welcome to the newest post in our blog series, Darren’s Great Ideas! for Independent Operators

Five Ways to Show Your Truckstop Employees Your Thanks

In honor of Thanksgiving, here are five ways to show your employees your thanks.

  1. Work the floor. Don’t always stay locked in your office. Jump behind the counter and work when your team members need help. Or better yet, offer to cover the last 15 minutes of someone’s shift as a small special surprise. Join your custodian(s) for an hourly work along checking fuel nozzles, dumping trash, mopping floors, steam cleaning the fuel bays, etc.  Take this opportunity to see what aspects of their jobs you can improve together. As we mention often, it is so important to know your customers and what better way to know your external customers then to work the floor, where the rubber meets the road?

  2. Know your employees. Working the floor as mentioned above also provides you with the opportunity to work alongside your most prized assets, your employees. Know what makes them tick and what is important to them. Do this by asking them how their weekend was and simply making conversation, but be genuine in listening to their replies. This is especially important around the holidays. Like yourself, stress and frustration can increase during this busy time. Taking time out daily to visit with staff and to share empathetic stories can go a long way to creating a resourceful, engaging and profitable work environment.

  3. Have regular interaction with your employees. It is important to interact outside of the typical work environment. Sit down and have lunch with them. Use this time to ask questions about them personally and ask about them work-related questions such as, “Did you notice anything different today?” or “How were your sales?” If your organization has special events planned for your employees during the holidays, make sure everyone has a chance to attend, especially those that work part-time or the tough late-night hours. These employees can often feel left out or not part of the team. Plan and communicate the events so everyone can plan to attend. Management can always run the registers during the hour activity as another way to show you care…

  4. Celebrate the victories as a group and individually. Be sure to catch people doing things well. It is easy to catch someone doing something poorly however catching someone doing something well makes a much better impact, for organizational morale and organizational financial improvement, especially during the holiday season. Many experts believe that happy employees are significantly less ill and fighting illness during the winter and holiday seasons is tough enough. Remember, an ill team member is a cost to themselves and to your organization, so you owe it to both to make as many positive impacts as you possibly can.

  5. Create a feeling of achievement. For example, if you go a month without having any accidents, make sure to announce it and share the achievement. Post a mirror next to your time clock, break area or lockers that clearly says, “you are looking at the reason we are successful,” or “the most important asset we have is you. Here’s looking at you”. Celebrating achievement is always important, but it becomes critically important as we enter the fourth quarter, where often so much of our sales and profitability are made. The year is winding down, the days are shorter and the feelings of dread longer, so celebrating achievements is like a fourth quarter energy drink for staff. Now is the best type for a pick me up!

/// Read more Darren's Great Ideas for Independent Operators posts here.  

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Join the conversation! How do you show your staff that you are thankful?

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About the Author

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte serves as Vice President of Membership at NATSO. In this role, he directs recruitment, retention and customer service for truckstop and travel plaza members. He is also responsible for developing NATSO products and programs, particularly those relating to education, research and training for truckstop and travel plaza operators.

Schulte also leads NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program. A Profitable Retail Review is a custom assessment of your truckstop, including recommendations for every aspect of your facility, from actionable ideas to improve revenue to tactical ways to improve your net operating costs. Learn about NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program here.

Schulte joined NATSO with nearly three decades of experience in truckstop and travel plaza operations and merchandising. Schulte has worked for: 

  • Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores,
  • HESS Corporation, 
  • Petro Stopping Centers, and
  • TSC Global/Barjan LLC.