Sunday, August 08, 2021

Have You Tried Reducing Turnover

It's the liberal fantasy a bit - pay your workers more AND profit more - but I don't think it's just fantasy in many cases. I am no expert on the insides of corporate culture, having been largely outside of it, but I did do some time in fastish food jobs when young, and I learned that in corporate chain/franchise models, the managers/owners basically can control only one thing: labor costs. Everything else is determined from above (products, marketing, supplies). Your job is essentially to minimize labor costs as there's nothing else you can do.

I can't speak to the details of all chains, of course, but what I did witness was tremendous pressure on managers to do just that, because what else were they for? Or, at least, what else did they do that could be measured and that they could judged by?

Labor costs are wages/etc., not the extra unclocked time the manager puts in for hiring. My manager at one establishment I worked for basically worked 16 hour days so she could have one fewer person on staff so the spreadsheet looked better. That's how you got promoted up to corporate.

Aside from constant costs of dealing with turnover, the customer service quality of course plunges, but that isn't as easily measured.