A simple Thank You that goes a long ways!!!

I stopped yesterday for a milkshake. Milkshakes are a weakness for me. Actually, ice cream of any kind is a weakness for me, but yesterday was a milkshake day. I looked and saw 3 employees in the restaurant. I think that was all. They were all taking turns taking orders, running the drive-thru, running the kitchen, taking money, delivering food, etc. THREE people. Well, 3 people plus the sign that said, “Please be patient with us as we are having a hard time keeping a full staff. We apologize for the wait, but please be kind to the people who did come to work today.”

It’s not an isolated incident. Everyone is struggling to find enough people, and when they do, there is a struggle to keep them working. I don’t know all the reasons why, but I do know one major one. That is the additional unemployment payments.

Unemployment was designed to be a stop gap. It is insurance to help you if you get laid off, and it supplies partial payment until you can get another job. In Kansas the unemployment maximum you can get per week is $488, plus the government also puts in another $300 per week. This means that a person can receive $788 a week on unemployment. If a husband and wife are unemployed, it goes up to $1576 a week. If you translate this to a per hour rate, that means that a person makes approximately $19.70 per hour if they were to have worked a 40 hour week.

Now, that brings us to an interesting situation. If you have an employee who is making $18 an hour, they could make almost the same, or maybe even a bit more by not working. And, even if you have someone who is making, say $25 an hour, keep in mind they could make almost $20 an hour not working, so the actual value of working is $5 an hour.

Don’t think you folks haven’t thought of this. They know, and they are dedicated enough to you, or have a high enough ethical standard that they keep coming in to work every day!!! That is HUGE. These folks, more than ever, are what is keeping your company running. And, when things get back to normal, they will be the one to thank for you still being in business.

Plus, to make things even more complicated, businesses are paying top dollar right now. Your employees can probably leave and find a higher paying job tomorrow. But they still come in to work for you every day.

So, my encouragement is say “Thank You” and say it often. A handwritten note from the CEO, lunch for your staff, a gift card to a restaurant, an extra day off to be used later in the year, a donation in their name to a charity they are passionate about, a small gift, a relaxation of the rules for a day, publicly praising the employees who come to work every day, an investment made in their name, a contribution to their kids college fund. There are dozens of ways that you can say thank you. But, if you will notice I didn’t say increase their pay. If you need to do that, great, do it! Keep their pay competitive, but that isn’t what will let the folks who are keeping your company running how much you appreciate them. If you want to really go above and beyond and say thank you, find a sacrificial way to do it. You will let the people who are serving you the best know how much you appreciate them. Trust me,

A little S.W.E.A.T Equity

File:Ready for a Dirty Job.jpg
photo used under license and obtained from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southwest Region

Mike Rowe is one of my heroes. I love watching Dirty Jobs. In fact, we have some of the seasons of DVD, and for me, one of the worlds greatest cheapskates to buy a season of a TV program says something.

I think one of the things that Mike Rowe does that is amazing is championing the labor jobs in this country. He champions the jobs no one else will do, the jobs that require skill, talent, and lots and lots of hard work. And, sometimes that the catch, the hard work.

Some days it feels like fewer and fewer people are willing to work hard. They want something for nothing. They want a paycheck without the work (to be honest, I would too, but that’s not how it works). Mike Rowe champions people who get out of bed every morning and do the jobs that makes our lives better, and the rest of us just don’t want to do.

Of course, this has grown. Mike now offers help with job training, encouragement and assistance in helping people learn skills. But he also offers his S.W.E.A.T pledge (Skill and Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo). I have read this, and assure you, especially in a 3% unemployment economy, that if you follow this pledge, you will pretty much always be able to find work!!. Here it is for your enjoyment with a link to some videos that go into more detail below.

  1. I believe that I have won the greatest lottery of all time. I am alive. I walk the Earth. I live in America. Above all things, I am grateful.
  2. I believe that I am entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Nothing more. I also understand that “happiness” and the “pursuit of happiness” are not the same thing.
  3. I believe there is no such thing as a “bad job.” I believe that all jobs are opportunities, and it’s up to me to make the best of them.
  4. I do not “follow my passion.” I bring it with me. I believe that any job can be done with passion and enthusiasm.
  5. I deplore debt, and do all I can to avoid it. I would rather live in a tent and eat beans than borrow money to pay for a lifestyle I can’t afford.
  6. I believe that my safety is my responsibility. I understand that being in “compliance” does not necessarily mean I’m out of danger.
  7. I believe the best way to distinguish myself at work is to show up early, stay late, and cheerfully volunteer for every crappy task there is.
  8. I believe the most annoying sounds in the world are whining and complaining. I will never make them. If I am unhappy in my work, I will either find a new job, or find a way to be happy.
  9. I believe that my education is my responsibility, and absolutely critical to my success. I am resolved to learn as much as I can from whatever source is available to me. I will never stop learning, and understand that library cards are free.
  10. I believe that I am a product of my choices – not my circumstances. I will never blame anyone for my shortcomings or the challenges I face. And I will never accept the credit for something I didn’t do.
  11. I understand the world is not fair, and I’m OK with that. I do not resent the success of others.
  12. I believe that all people are created equal. I also believe that all people make choices. Some choose to be lazy. Some choose to sleep in. I choose to work my butt off.
    On my honor, I hereby affirm the above statements to be an accurate summation of my personal worldview. I promise to live by them.

Mike Rowe Works website can be accessed here

Politics – BLECH!!!

Image by Andrew Martin from Pixabay

OK, so the title isn’t entirely accurate. I do enjoy the game of politics. I enjoy watching the strategy, one side fighting the other. One side making an attack, and then feigning surprise when the attack backfires. I have to admit that it is kind of entertaining.

However, it is also a fact that it affects us in our every day life, and this includes in hiring. President Trump announced that there would be a crackdown on deportation. It remains to be seen exactly what that means, but one thing we can be sure of, deportation is in the center of the political stage right now.

IF you are a business that uses a temp company, DO NOT hesitate to ask if your agency uses E-Verify for EVERY new employee. You do not want to be a part of any unpleasantry should something happen. A reputable agency should be able to answer that question easily and quickly!!

I don’t know about you, but I tend to be on the side of not borrowing any trouble. I stay as far away from it as I can. And running E-Verify correctly on every new employee is critical to staying away from trouble!!!

Who knows where this political chaos will end, but in the meantime, don’t get caught in the chaos!!