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How To Communicate With Cashiers And Front-Of-House Staff at Your Truckstop

Posted in: Great Ideas, 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

How To Communicate With Cashiers And Front-Of-House Staff at Your Truckstop

During our recent visits to members in south Texas and Louisiana, we were frequently asked by members how best to communicate with cashiers.

Creating a robust communication program takes time, energy and commitment.  

I’ll go ahead and list the 10 key communication vehicles that worked for me, but I would appreciate others adding to the list and sharing what works for them in the comments.

  1. Always have a quick, informal meeting with staff prior to beginning their shift. This can be one-on-one if staff arrives at different times, or all together if they arrive at the same time.

  2. If at all possible, hold informal meetings when staff members are departing as well. If you cannot arrange an end-of-shift meeting, keep a journal available for members of management to review after the departure of staff.

  3. Managers should always communicate with the supervisor coming aboard on the issues of the day. Similarly, you should also expect the supervisor working prior to you to do the same with you when you arrive. Think of it like a relay, you always hand off the baton properly in order to win!

  4. Regular manager meetings are very important. These can be difficult to implement, but are powerful when properly executed.

  5. Always share the good and the bad with staff after important events like inventory counts, supervisor visits/owner visits, regulatory visits, food safety visits, etc.

  6. Utilize the time clock area, back office lockers or some other designated area to communicate events, happening, performance, etc. These are also great areas to place a bulletin board to highlight graduations, NATSO opportunities like the Truckstop Superhero award, employee birthdays, cook outs, etc.

  7. Hold quarterly meetings at a minimum to discuss the operational performance of the location and any other major updates such as changes to benefits. Always keep in mind how frustrated you may become when you do not know what is happening in and around your operation. Staff feels this way as well.

  8. Remember to hand out thank you cards, birthday cards, and Christmas cards. This sends a powerful message about caring, but also that you remember and you know what is going on in your operation.

  9. Create a program that allows your employees to share with you information of the sensitive nature that they would otherwise feel concerned speaking about in public, such as the ability to provide information about internal theft and or harassment. No matter how open your door is and how secure you hold personal requests for confidentiality, some employees just prefer to speak to an anonymous person or drop an anonymous note into a secure suggestion box.

  10. Above all, never start any type of communication process if you are not committed. The worst type of communication is to start a program and then not stay committed to executing it properly. Promises become just that, promises that never turn into action.

 


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

 

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Join the conversation! I’ve shared the 10 key communication vehicles that worked for me, but I would appreciate hearing from you. What works for your location? Share in the comments!

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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.