You head for a drive-thru.
You think about what you want. You also think about how long it will take before you can get that first hot fry down your begging throat.
Because you know life is short, your throat can’t wait and your appetite looms over you like impending doom.
Fast food companies have thought long and hard about your situation. They are geared towards your immediate satisfaction.
It’s odd, then, that many fast food companies don’t seem so inclined to treat their employees with the same rigorous care.
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The fastest thing about fast food jobs tends to be employee turnover. And yet, companies like McDonald’s insist that, despite their foray into the world of robots, they must become great employers.
It only made me wonder about the relatively recent occurrences of a Chick-fil-A in Florida. Its owner-operator, Justin Lindsey, decided to consider his employees and the lives they want to lead.
So instead of asking them to work relatively short – that is, normal – shifts, he suggested a three-day week, where a shift could last from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m.
My first instinct was to wonder who could tolerate thirteen continuous hours of work in a Chick-fil-A. Yes, the company is known for its particular attention to hospitality, but thirteen hours is a long time. And surely thirteen hours in a Chick-fil-A is a very long time.
Lindsey explains her thinking in a very interesting way. According to Business Insider, he said something quite moving: “Traditionally, we’ve used the term ‘the gift of time’ to refer to serving our customers in a quick and timely manner. But we’ve always left employees in outside of this equation.
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It is strange that some companies do not consider giving their employees really useful gifts rather than the employee of the month.
Lindsey explained how he goes about giving time to his employees: “My idea was to provide staff with this gift of time by creating a scheduling system where they would know exactly what days they worked as long as they worked here. .”
Normally, employees didn’t know from week to week when their days off might be – which wasn’t quite ideal.
He therefore separated the employees into two groups. One working the first three days, the other the next three. (Chick-fil-A, thank goodness, doesn’t open on Sundays.)
It occurred to Lindsey that employees working random shifts weren’t so good for her business.
Now employees leave a detailed report of everything that happened during their three days, so the other pod is fully up to date. And now the employees are doing their three long days and they are no longer on call. At all. For four whole days.
Certainly, however, business has not been easy.
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Well, Lindsey says, “It always became a struggle if another restaurant or business opened around us and they paid a little more than us, we sometimes saw people leave. Now we don’t experience that anymore.
He also says it has accelerated his ability to see who has real talent and the ability of employees to progress.
Naturally, this wouldn’t work for everyone. It’s remarkable, however, how, as we learn that Elon Musk is ordering Twitter employees to work every hour he passes (and even canceling their days off), an owner-operator of Chick-fil-A s stopped, thought and tried to find a better path for everyone.
Sure, that sounds idealistic – relatively – and I’m sure this Chick-fil-A still has its issues.
Yet too many bosses — even in tech — thought the point of providing employee perks was to keep them tied to the company longer.
Yes, we have a gym, free lunches and really relaxing beanbags.
How many, however, have thought about what they can do to give their employees a better life outside of work?
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