When you’re a fast food manager, turnover isn’t just a dessert. Fast food restaurants, retail stores and other businesses that offer minimum wage jobs are famous for having high employee turnover rates. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the hospitality, food services and other accommodation industries have the highest rate of employees who voluntarily quit. And it’s a costly problem, too; the Center for American Progress compiled 30 case studies and found that, to replace an employee who makes less than $30,000 a year, it costs approximately 16 percent of that employee’s annual salary. If you’re ever going to have a steady and solid working crew without spending half of your time training, learn some techniques for retaining good employees.
Good Hiring Practices
Use good hiring practices to find and keep high-quality and loyal employees. You have to prepare for an interview just as much as a potential employee. Prepare a specific list of realistic qualities are a must or a deal-breaker. Don’t budge on these expectations. Don’t hire the first person you like. Most of the people you come across will disappoint you, but meet as many as you can and take note of the best candidates.
Always be hiring, or at least always accepting applications. Keep a file or short list of potential employees. You don’t want to miss out on a great employee because you weren’t prepared.
The interview questions are a good way to discover more about potential employees, but look beyond their surface answers. Use how they handle themselves as a good judge of what kind of employee they might be. Are they confident? Arrogant? Timid? Unprepared all together?
Conduct an exit interview. If an employee is leaving, take the opportunity to reflect on your business practices and why he or she is seeking a new position.
Offer a Benefits Package
When you compare the costs of offering a limited benefits package to the cost of constantly retraining replacements, offering the benefits can be a bargain. If you’re a small business, you don’t have to invest in a huge retirement plan, but you can offer full-time employees limited medical insurance (regardless of what the government recommends), lifelock identity theft services and even small amounts of profit sharing. When employees have more to lose than just a simple minimum-wage paycheck, they’re more motivated to perform a job well to make sure they keep it.
Sometimes it’s the small things you do that make employees feel special. Encourage a close family feeling between team members. When employees find work to be a place they enjoy, they naturally go a longer distance before considering moving on. Just as in a true family, it’s the little things that count the most in a work group environment. Hold small skills competitions to enhance training while having fun.
Restaurants in the pizza industry do this with the World Pizza Games, held in Las Vegas. Do a smaller version in your store, offering prizes such as gift cards, control of the back room radio for the day or a day off with pay. Take one team member out to lunch each week for a little one-on-one time, and use it to learn about employee concerns and get new ideas. Even something as simple as recognizing a team member for an extra good job of cleaning the back room can mean a lot to someone who doesn’t think he or she is an important member of the staff.