Ever notice how employees at Chick-fil-A are so pleasant and courteous?
Their uniforms are neat and clean. They speak clearly and use good grammar.
Chick-fil-A is staffed with a large percentage of teenagers. Many of which I’d probably consider as babysitters to watch my children. And I doubt I’m alone with that opinion.
I’ll probably catch flack for this, but it seems many of their employees operate at a level higher than their pay-grade.
So how do they get such high-quality employees without spending a fortune on payroll?
I’ve asked that question to several Chick-fil-A managers and franchise owners.
The most common reply is, “It’s not always about the money”.
The managers I’ve spoken with often point out the company’s Christian values. They cite leadership’s refusal to operate the restaurants on Sundays. I won’t discount Chick-fil-A’s corporate culture, as I’m sure it has an enormous effect on the recruitment and retention of employees.
But there’s something else in play here, It’s called FLEXIBILITY.
Ever noticed young-looking employees working the lunch rush? You ask yourself, “Shouldn’t this kid still be in school?”
Guess what?! Many of them ARE in school…. As in home-schooled.
Chick-fil-A also employs mothers that desire to work early shifts so they may pick up their children after school.
And let’s not forget students seeking income later in the day.
Chick-fil-A understands the need for flexible schedules.
How does this apply to the pest control industry?
Around this time, every year, I notice business owners and managers expressing their frustrations about the difficulty in finding quality employees.
Many just chalk it up to the type of work we do. It’s dirty, nasty, messy…. not for everyone.
But what about the hours? How many quality folks are we missing out on because of the long hours?
At the time of this writing, I’m a father of small children. My five-year-old is in an before/after school program that operates from 6:30am – 6:30pm. My wife is in the military and we have no family within a thousand miles of us. With my wife often out of town (or country), the burden of dropping my son off and picking him up is often on me.
A 6:00am restaurant stop? No problem… Actually it can be.
New starts after 5:00pm are pretty common, right? I hate em – especially when the customer is 15 minutes late.
I’m okay with making arrangements to work early OR late every day, but both early and late? Every Day?
Why should my son be subjected to twelve hour school days all the time?
I love what I do, but the stresses that come with balancing work and family often have me rethinking this career path – at least at this stage of my life.
I don’t want to turn this into a whine session, but I’m trying to prove a point.
Look at the “help wanted” ads pest control companies post – “Must be willing to work long hours”. We’ve conditioned ourselves to just accept it as part of the job.
Why? Are there no alternatives? Couldn’t part-time morning and evening shifts achieve the same results? Two shifts, one truck?
In all honesty, I can see a few drawbacks with dual shifts, but it’s only one of several alternatives.
The point is this: let’s stop accepting the “status-quo” and get more creative with our recruiting processes.
Who knows? Maybe we’ll find a whole sub-culture of high quality employees that desire truly flexible schedules.
As Chick-fil-A has taught us, it’s not always about money.