Employers should train their managers

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Why is it that the turnaround for employees so high here in Newfoundland? Most importantly, why is it even higher in the metropolitan areas? I have a theory and the answer is simple: management.

I am from Bay Roberts, where I had my first job. It was at a popular restaurant that is busy every night of the week. I know what you are wondering, why is a restaurant in a small town, with a small population, so busy?

Well, it is because the managers and business owner made sure to engage their employees every single day. We would hear how good we were doing, and if we weren’t, we would get helpful criticism. We had regular employee meetings which started off with a thank you from the owner in regards to how well we were doing.  Everyone who worked there, whether they were 15 or 50, was treated with the utmost respect. This created something magical. We loved our jobs!

I know that most people in St. John’s would find that hard to believe but it’s true. I loved going to work, I would show up early, always stay late for a drink with my co-workers and my boss, and I would go to work and give 110 per cent every day. When I was there, I tried so hard to be good to my boss, my co-workers and most importantly the customers, which in turn ensured that they would be returning. It was like a second family.

You can imagine my surprise when I moved to St. John’s for school and found out that it wasn't the same here in town. Needless to say, I was one disgruntled employee.

In the last seven years I have fought to find that perfect job again. Instead, in each place I work, all I find are upset employees, micro-managers and senseless business owners.

My theory is that management has no issue in treating their employees like a number, because if they quit, there is someone right behind them ready and willing to take their place. In most small towns, good employees are scarce.

Most people chose to pack up their things and move to town to make a good living, so when a good employee comes along, most employers do whatever they can to keep them from moving on.

I have seen everything possible when it comes to management in St. John’s. I have seen managers call employees and customers names, I’ve seen lazy managers, micro-managers, I have even seen and experienced some forms of harassment.

These high turnovers in businesses create a great deal of issues. The first issue is the cost of training in an employee.

Monster.ca recently put out an article by Mark Swartz, a Canadian Workplace Specialist, stating that “four per cent of employees leave a new job after a ‘disastrous’ first day.”

That number is way too high. What could cause an employee to leave after the first day? It takes a lot of work, time and money to train in employees, businesses should be more inclined to try and keep their employees. According to Swartz, “it can cost up to 150 per cent of a departing employee’s salary to replace them.”

Each employee must be interviewed, fill out the necessary paperwork, and go through orientation and many hours of training. All of that time costs a lot of valuable money. I think that if each business owner considers the cost of hiring and training an employee, they would be more inclined to keep them

Secondly, it is a proven fact that when a employee, even a valuable hard working employee, is treated with any level of disrespect their morale decreases drastically.

The result is simple; you will see a decrease in work ethic, an increase in sick days and, of course, a higher turn over rate of employees.

Statistics Canada reported that in 2011, the average yearly days lost per worker was 8.5. That, to me, is a staggering amount, considering that in my seven years at my first job, I never called in sick a single day.

Now, if you are a business that offers paid sick days this could hurt you. Let’s say 15 employees, each making $12 an hour, with eight hour work days with 8.5 sick days a year. You just lost $12,240! And that is just in one year. This does not include the number of employees that have to take stress leave due to their work environment.

In short, I believe that each business should invest in proper management training. If you train your managers how to properly handle everyday work related issues in sure that you will see a number of changes in your business such as increased work ethic, increased team moral and most importantly an increase of money in your pocket.

Take some advice from me, change now, if not you will always have a high turnover and you will continue to lose money as a result.

A.C. Hiscock writes from St. John’s.

Organizations: Statistics Canada

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Bay Roberts

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  • Colin Burke
    March 23, 2013 - 12:21

    Employers cannot educate the managers they hire into becoming decent persons; they ought to make sure the persons they hire as managers are decent persons to begin with. But even deeming that to be ordinarily necessary assumes the modern model of employment by businesses to be more normal than the ordinary self-employment of which the ordinary employee is fully capable but which he is usually conditioned, by a business-oriented education system, hardly ever to think about.

  • NL TURF
    March 22, 2013 - 22:28

    The "business man" strikes again!! Well done son, now go upstairs and get your milk and cookies and go to bed!! A.C.Hiscock had my attention until he/she said Companies should not offer sick days!! I beg to differ!! Times have changed regarding employees , having to bow down to the employers of the fast food industry. No more, will they kiss the feet of the employers ,and wail about how lucky they are to have a job !! The fast food industry is slowly but surely moving into a different direction and it's about time!! Higher pay then their rivals, flexable work schedules, more vacation time, shift premiums, the list goes on and on and rightfully so!! The smart service industry employers, know their workers can quit in a blink of an eye and still have another job lined up, and that is why the employers are now on bended knee, pleading to their employees to continue working for them , so they can turn a profit. My, how times have changed!! A.C.Hiscock sounds like a valued employee for any organization, but don't forget A.C. Hiscock, life is to short to bow down to an employer , especially one who doesn't even offer sick leave!!

    • a business man
      March 25, 2013 - 10:01

      Good Post NL Turf. I will briefly respond by saying that you are the right, the smart service industry employees know they can leave and find another job. However, I assert that it is not those employees that I want. Rather, it is the non-smart service industry employees that I want. I want those that are so desperate for work that they will take what ever conditions that I am offering which include nothing but minimum wage. The thing with retail is that if you chose your product and location properly, then customer service does not matter. People have to shop. In the companies that I run, flexible work schedules, more vacation time, and shift premiums are things that are only available to skilled and educated employees who are typically in management. I would never give those perks to a lowly unskilled retail employees. If the employees wants those things, then will find employees that do not. Personally , I would rather keep that money for myself. Look, my entire business model is based on having minimum wage employees doing unskilled work. I have retail establishments, fast food restaurants and call centers. I chose those businesses because I understand that the work is done by unskilled uneducated workers, so it is easy to find people to work. I chose those businesses because unskilled workers are just tools to be replaced when a cheaper tool comes along. If they leave, just plug and play another worker like a dollar store tool. I have been doing this for over a decade and making increasing profits while paying nothing more than minimum wage. These workers come to work sick because they know they will not be paid for ANY absence. If they were to take a sick day in a call center, then I might lose money. That is unacceptable. I will close by saying that I own a major fastfood franchise in Ontario that is directly across the street from a high school. In that business, the customers will come no matter what, so I would be a fool to pay for a good manager or good staff when I know that a poorly paid bad manager and bad staff will still make me money. I could afford to pay them double, but to me, that is wasteful. I am best served by keeping that money in my pocket.

  • Sheri
    March 22, 2013 - 16:37

    @ A business man.....if ya treat them like monkeys--they will act like monkeys!! Good luck to you with that kind of work ethic!!!

    • a business man
      March 24, 2013 - 13:50

      Agreed! However, if the employee's job is a job that can be done by a monkey, like putting an item in a box, or putting a shipping label on a box, then they can act like monkeys and the job will still get done and profits will still be made. The point is that promoting worker morale is generally a good thing, but it cost money. The way I see it, it the employee is just doing a job that anyone off the street can do, like retail or box packing, then employers should not expend any effort to treat employees better. Rather, it is cost efficient to give the employee orders and replace the employee if he or she fails to comply. Again, I reiterate that this think only applies to certain settings. At the end of the, in some cases, it is cheaper to replace the employee than it is to be nice to the employee. Remember, the employee exists to do work, not to be your friend. And the business exists to make money, not to be nice to unskilled workers.

  • Political Watcher
    March 22, 2013 - 13:55

    Here here, I recall a time when I had a issue with the City of Mount Pearl, I requested a meeting with a committee of Council and staff, at that meeting as the then senior staff for the City (I do believe he has since retired) and all the while during the meeting all he did was check his Blackberry. Now, I am not sure if it was something important of just to admire the new technology but either way, the staff were very attentive and listened but th senior manager was totally oblivious. I am sure that the staff could have provided him with some much needed training or direction.

  • a business man
    March 22, 2013 - 11:32

    Employees should note that employers utilize many strategies that are aimed at improving profits/efficiency. I own a few retail stores in Canada and the USA. Regarding my strategies, I ONLY set up in big cities for the sole purpose of having a pool of disposable labour at my disposal. I do not encourage my store managers to focus on anything other than profits. I tell my managers that worker morale is not important because retail employees are unimportant and easily replaceable. I tell the managers to push the employees as hard as they can to get as much done as possible. I also tell my managers to routinely get rid of employees who are just average after 6 months or so, to avoid having any legal obligations to the employees. This strategy has served me well in the big cities, but I certainly know that it would not serve me well in a small town. So, I only operate in big cities where my store managers can treat my employees like disposable chattel. Going back to this article, I am not sure about other retail stores, but I give my employees nothing but minimum wage. No benefits, no sick days, no nothing. Just minimum wage. In a big city, this works well because there are lots of students who just want a part-time job so they can pay their phone bill and buy random stuff. that is the best worker for retail....the one who doesn't pay rent and who is fine with minimum wage. SO, I also ONLY hire part time retail associates. The only full-time employees are the two managers who work opposite shifts. This is good because there is a whole pool of part-time workers to cover shifts if needed, and lots of people available for the evenings and weekends (when people actually shop). In short, my system for retail management has served me well. Strategically, we treat the employees like disposable tools, and we only hire part-time employees, and we are making more and more money, year after year. In my opinion, all non-management retail jobs SHOULD be part-time, because the employer does not get anything extra from a full-time employee other than an obligation to provide full-time hours. I personally choose to pass on that obligation by hiring an army of part time workers, and as a result, I have a few retail stores that run without my oversight. As a result, the money I make from these retail stores is earned without any effort on may part, and this allows me to focus on the career that I went to school for, and my family.

    • Red
      March 25, 2013 - 10:34

      Wow business man you are something special aren't you. You have multiple businesses all over the world, you own apartment buildings and loads of real estate. You are a world traveler and have investments in every business related story in the news. Why would a person with your money and interests work and live in NL when you clearly don't like the work environment, or the place in general. I would think a person with your business savvy would be living in a neighborhood with Donald Trump or other billionaires, such as Paris or New York. Why would you spend your precious time scanning the Telegram for stories to comment on when your time is obviously so valuable? You are a troll and nothing more and I would bet that you are posting from your moms basement, on her computer, while puffing on a bong. I just don't know why some people take you seriously.

    • JJ
      April 02, 2013 - 06:30

      Spot on Red! Actually, I would not be the least bit surprised to find out that 'A BUSINESS MAN' operates his empire from his Mom's basement. (just a hunch)

  • Ginger
    March 22, 2013 - 08:45

    Amen to this!!! I've worked all my life, for the most part in retail...I've worked for the highest companies to the smallest little business...the thing that I always noticed was if you were treated with respect and showed appreciation, it would snowball into the customer service employees provided to customers!...it is always easy to see what employers are treating their employees well, because they are the happiest, kindest and willing to go above and beyond type of employee which in turn, makes it a much nicer work place for everyone!!!