Hiring Troubles? You May Be the Problem!
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Hiring Troubles? You May Be the Problem!

Hiring Troubles? You May Be the Problem!

You’ve heard it all before. In fact, I’m pretty sure you’ve probably said it, and you likely believe it. What is “it”?

“Nobody wants to work anymore.”

You’ve also heard (and shared) some of the reasons:

  • The Covid hangover
  • People would rather rely on government assistance than earn an “honest” living
  • People who do want to work only want to do so from home in their sweatpants
  • The “younger” generation(s) are too selfish, lazy, entitled, etc. (You may conveniently ignore the role you’ve played in raising them; they didn’t create participation trophies. We did.)

These reasons are all plausible, of course. But get this:

The “nobody wants to work anymore” mantra has been documented as having been used since at least 1894, when it first appeared in a newspaper article. Think about that: the excuse being offered by business owners today has been used by virtually every generation for 130 years!

Can it really be that we’ve seen so much growth and progress in the U.S. since the 1890s when nobody wanted to do any work? I hardly think so.

So, what’s going on?

Maybe, just maybe, people don’t want to work for you.

Are you the problem?

Work is both opportunity and obligation—a value proposition good for both employer and employee when those two things are balanced.

Every job creates an opportunity for an employee, from learning the basics of work (not just how to do the job itself), such as learning how to show up on time, how to dress, how to speak to customers, how to hold themselves accountable. Jobs provide opportunities for employees to increase their income, improve their skills and move up or onto another role elsewhere prepared to make a difference, and how to build a career.

For employers, it provides an opportunity to grow their business with well-trained, dedicated employees who believe in your vision and want to be part of it.

On the flip side, if employees want to take advantage of the opportunities you provide them, they are obligated to work toward them. You, meanwhile, are obligated to help them see those opportunities and help them achieve their goals. As Sir Richard Branson says, “Train your employees well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”

What employees want

Note that, so far, I haven’t said anything about compensation. Employees do want (and deserve) to be paid fairly, and you should consider this the “price of entry” (no pun intended) into your franchise business.

More importantly, they want to be treated fairly, to know they will be provided with the chance to succeed, to learn, to grow, to feel respected and valued, to be heard, and to be part of something bigger than themselves.

It’s a small minority of people who go to work wanting to fail… and that’s usually because they feel their employer has somehow failed them.

Before chanting the mantra about nobody wanting to work anymore, take a closer look at the value proposition you offer. Do you provide the proper training? Do you provide them with real job previews, so they know what they’re signing up for? Do you help them problem-solve? Do you compensate fairly? Do you respect them, their differences, and their unique personalities? Do you provide them the flexibility to attend class if they’re students? Do you help them put their families first in an emergency? The list can go on and on.

The point is this: If you’re having difficulty attracting and/or keeping team members, before making judgments, look in the mirror and ask, “Am I the problem?”

Tim McIntyre spent more than 35 years working for a franchise company that eventually became the largest practitioner in its category. The insights in this article come from more than 40 years of experience in journalism, communications, public relations, and crisis management. Looking for an honest assessment of your vulnerability to a crisis? Need a workshop for your leadership teams or franchisees to help them understand their role in crisis prevention? Check out his “What Could Go Wrong?” page at tmcommsllc.com for a list of scenarios companies can face.

Published: January 5th, 2024

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