A sad story about a woman who died from sleeping in her car while waiting for her next shift at a Dunkin’ Donuts. Carelessness aside, her struggle to make a living wage was real. Because many store owners don’t want to pay full-time benefits, many employees in the service sector have to work short shifts and fluctuating hours.
I started working since age 17. In my young adult life, I had worked as a server, cashier, greeter, sales rep, and various customer service roles. At certain points of my school life, I had to juggle two jobs (or one job and an unpaid internship) with my full-time coursework. Fortunately, I completed my degrees and was able to end the cycle of working many part-time jobs.
Not everyone has the opportunity that I had to obtain higher education and a white collar job. Indeed, new jobs are slowly coming back after the recession. However, the majority of job growth is in the lower-paying positions. The trend of short-term employment reinforces the ‘disposable employee model‘ where many workers faceincome uncertainty and zero job security.
Why should employers pay above the minimum wage?
To stay innovated. Find a way to distinguish your goods and services in the competitive market while treating your workers with respect.
It’s so easy to cut payroll without thinking about the real problem with the business. Investing more in the employees forces the employers to not just act like everyone else. Many successful companies adapted this model to do something different and amazing.
To make customers happy. Enough said.
Pay and train workers right to ensure the quality of customer service. I do most of my shopping online now to avoid poor customer service at the stores. Why complain when you know the store manager has no control over the environment where the workers barely make ends meet and receive minimal training?
To improve productivity. People simply care more when their hard work is recognized and rewarded.
Have you ever worked with someone so great that you can trust him/her with your whole department while you’re on vacation? That’s the essence of the Container Store’s hiring philosophy: “1 Great Person= 3 Good People”. Hire someone great, not just another warm body that is disposable. And yes, it is as horrible as it sounds.
To keep the best workers. They are your brand representatives and ambassadors. They remember your customers by name.
Employee turnover is very costly, especially when replacing the high performers. See how the coffee-house giant Starbucks is vamping its compensation structure and work policy to avoid losing the best employees.