I read "Staffing Shortages Hit Café" in the Thursday, May 6, edition of the Lake Geneva Regional News. There were lots of reasons given, including lack of incentives to work, and limited foreign workers coming over for exchange programs due to COVID.
Another reason might be due to the lack of appreciation given to service industry workers by the employers, fellow employees, and customers.
A paycheck is not the only thing that keeps people working. True, it helps, but if you go to work and are not respected by your bosses, coworkers or customers, why would you want to remain? I don’t advocate staying at home when you can work, but when the people around you are constantly berating you, getting a check in the mail seems appealing.
If we want people to come back to work, maybe one remedy is kindness. Since most of us rely on service workers let’s discuss being a Great customer. That entails being friendly, engaging with the server — instead of your phone — saying thank you and being patient. When things are not done properly, engage in positive problem solving instead of throwing a fit. Also, remember the people serving you have a life outside of their jobs.
Bosses, I know your job is tough. I’ve been a manger before. It’s important, however, to see your employees as human beings deserving of respect, even if they behave poorly. I worked for a company with owners who remembered our birthdays with cakes and cards, asked about our lives outside of work, and spoke to us with respect. We, in turn, respected our coworkers. It was a fun and great place to work. Currently, three of our daughters work at a restaurant. They love it because their bosses and coworkers are fun and pleasant.
It’s too bad we have a staff shortage, but maybe something good can come out of it if we learn to be more compassionate, patient and grateful for those who are working for us and serving us.