Good Help is Hard to Find?

Over the past few years, I’ve been a little upset with some businesses as a customer. It stems from having to wait in line for an abnormal amount of time, or not being able to find someone to answer a question without traipsing across the entire store.

Today when we went for our second Covid vaccine, we had to wait in a very longish line that was moving at a snail’s pace. I kept wondering why they didn’t hire more people to help out. Were they more concerned about their bottom lines than they are about their customers?

What came to mind was conversations I’ve been having with others about how hard it is first, to find someone to hire, and secondly, keeping someone after hiring them. The first might be easier as there are many people out looking for work. The second seems the harder part, but why?

I know the second is harder as I’ve known several people who look for work, put in their applications, interview, get hired, then quit within a couple of weeks, even sometimes after the first day.

They quit because the work is harder than expected. They can’t use their phones while on the job. They have a boss that actually expects them to work. They applied for other positions and get called with an offer with this potential new job paying a little more per hour. Or they think the boss is mean or has an attitude when really all they are asking is for the person to perform the tasks for which the person was hired or take responsibility.

Have American businesses brought these things upon themselves? When we have created a culture in which businesses think workers are a soft asset and think nothing of eliminating positions over finding other solutions (such as lowering executive pay), should an employee have any loyalty towards their employer? How about so many employers who, in order to not have to provide healthcare for employees, keep them at less than full-time? What about when an employer begins to stack extra duties on an employee, but then doesn’t do anything in return, such as a spot award, bonus, pay increase, or even just some heartfelt acknowledgement (see my recent blog on emotional intelligence)? None of these things instill loyalty by an employee.

It costs so much to find an employee, then train the employee. I’ve not figured out why employers haven’t figured out it would cost them less in the long run to just hire someone full-time, give them good benefits including healthcare, and treat them well. Plus, treating your employees right also inspires them to become loyal customers and/or to brag how great it is to work at their place of employment.

The answer to the statement, “Good help is hard to find,” is, it is, but is it the fault of the employee or the employer? The answer is yes.

The real question is, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” This applies to the question of hiring and retention. Does the employer step up their game, or do employees step up their game AND push employers step up theirs as well?

What do you think?

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