LM, Episode 636, 8/30/21, What Will The Wapakoneta Stoners Do?
When I get finished with a show, if I am within four hours of home, I drive there. Sure, I’m up to 2 or 3 am, but I sleep in my own bed next to Twyla where I belong. My companion on these late night drives is Taco Bell because nothing helps me stay awake quite like heartburn from a couple of chapalas and a Dr. Pepper.
Two weeks ago, I pull off at Neil Armstrong’s birthplace, Wapakoneta, OH about midnight to find the Taco Bell closed. What? The sign said, because of staffing shortages, their hours are 2-7 pm. Who eats Taco Bell during the daylight?
American businesses are experiencing worker shortages and there are a number of reasons.
Many workers, including me, don’t feel safe with the Delta variant of Covid running because a huge percentage of Americans refuse to get vaccinated or wear a mask. Garth Brooks canceled his tour because of this. I have stopped booking new shows for the fall because I worry about the health of myself, my family, and my audience. There are potential employees who are not returning to the workforce for the same reason.
I love to point out to Twyla, I do more around the house than my dad did, but it would be impossible for me to do less. Today women still handle the majority of the caregiving in our families and many women were forced to leave the workforce when schools went virtual at the beginning of the pandemic. With the Delta variant of Covid causing uncertainty if schools will be able to stay open this year, many of these female workers are not returning to the workforce.
Finally, the pandemic gave people the opportunity to rethink their work life. They will not return to employers who don’t keep them safe and secure.
Today on Management Monday, I want to point out a few things you can to help alleviate our current worker shortage.
First, you can support schools having mask mandates to keep students healthy and schools open. This will allow caregivers the confidence to return to the workforce.
Secondly, you can encourage your employees to be vaccinated and have employees and customers wear masks in your establishment. Yes, you may lose customers, but you will make your employees and the rest of your customers feel safe. This will help you retain the employees you have.
Finally, you can pay a living wage and benefits. Yes, this will cut into profits, but you will offset this with additional revenue from having happy employees. As Emily Yellin observes, your employee relations mirror your customer relations because it is virtually impossible for an employee who feels mistreated or unsafe to care about your customers.
Together we can develop an environment for employees to return to the workforce. This will alleviate our worker shortage and the Wapakoneta, OH Taco Bell can return to their normal closing time of 2 am and the local stoners will thank you.
Have a great week, get vaccinated, wear your mask, wash your hands, and always remember laughter matters.