Employers cannot find employees and it will get worse before it gets better. The national restaurant trade group recently announced that their industry would need 500,000 more workers just to get “business back to normal.” Where these workers will come from, no one knows.
This blog series will provide a leadership perspective of what your organization can do ASAP to deal with this worsening situation. Since this is likely affecting you, I want to provide you with concrete solutions on what you can do to minimize the damage that this employee shortage can cause. After I provide a high-level strategy, I propose one or two tactics.
Strategy 5: Partner with Your Customers
Most of the changes your organization made to make in March 2020 were made without the input of your customer. And it took months for you to figure out how to serve that customer under the restrictions. Many companies figured it out though it was a painful learning process.
Restaurants figured out how to survive with drive up service. Yoga instructors, fitness trainers, physical therapists, doctors learned how to deliver virtual care. Churches and musical groups used Zoom or other services to stay connected and active. Membership organizations such as Rotary moved their meetings online.
Leadership SOLUTION – Since this dislocation of how business will get done will last for at least another year or more, you have time to make improvements to how you conduct ‘business.’ The best place to start is with your customer. When you ask a representative sample of them, “How can we best serve you from now on?” you will get a multitude and wide range of answers. However, if you use the 80/20 principle to those answers, you will find the answer to this question.
Once you have ideas, co create new and innovate process and systems with them. You could improve what you deliver and save money. You could also gain very loyal customers because everyone likes to get asked for their opinion and when their see their idea implemented, they get to brag, “I made this suggestion.”