It blows my mind how often I receive emails from vendors who continually have their best employees leave for a competitor. I’ve heard just about every excuse imaginal. Unfortunately, they tend to overlook the elephant in the room. Talented employees don’t leave their jobs; they leave poor bosses and unbearable working conditions.
Losing your best food truck staff members can be easily prevented. Avoid the items on this list of most common reasons talented employees quit.
Avoid These Common Reasons Talented Employees Quit
Overworking Your Staff
Overworking your best employees is tough to avoid. They keep your truck running smoothly and are more reliable than other staffers. Unfortunately, this gives them the feeling that they are being punished for their performance. Research from Stanford shows that productivity declines sharply when workers put in more than 50 hours a week.
If you find yourself needing any of your staff members more than 40 hours, it’s time to consider opening up a new position. This may cost more at the beginning, but once they are trained, they will help you expand your business hours even more.
Don’t Recognize Contributions
It’s easy to underestimate the power of a simple pat on the back. Everyone appreciates being told that their doing good work. Talk with your staff to find out what they like to do on their off time. When an employee does a great job, reward them with time off, or tickets to a local event.
Don’t Care About Your Employees
More than half of talented employees leave their jobs because of poor relationships with their boss. Smart food truck owners make certain they or their truck managers know how to balance getting the job done, professionally while at the same time being human. These are the leaders who celebrate an employee’s success and rewards them, even if it’s with just a simple, “thank you.”
Ignoring Promises Made
Making promises to your staff places you in a position between making them happy and watching them walk out the door. If you promise someone time off, but for whatever reason, you need to call them in on their day off, do whatever it takes to avoid this situation. When you break a promise, you lose their trust. When you uphold a promise, you earn their trust.
Hire And Promote The Wrong People
When you don’t put enough effort into hiring talented employees, it’s your other employees that are stuck working alongside them. Promoting the wrong people in your food truck is even worse. I’ve heard of multiple vendors have great employees walk off the job the minute a less deserving employee is given a promotion.
Stifle Employee Passions
Almost every talented food truck employee I’ve meet is passionate. Make sure that you provide opportunities for them to pursue their passions. It may mean working with them to create a new menu item, or to move up within your food truck empire. No only will this improve their productivity, but it will give them job satisfaction.
Ignore Staff Development
When I’ve asked vendors why some employees get less attention than other employees, they usually use words such as “trust” and “empowerment.” Unfortunately, for more most, this is completely wrong. Yes, your more talented employees may need less attention on their typical tasks, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be managed.
Good managers manage, no matter how talented the employee. Ignoring some employees may create resentment in others, and this is easy to avoid. If an employee is doing everything perfectly, why aren’t you promoting them. Have them train others or have them manage the truck which will give you more time to work on other work that you are prevented from doing while working a shift in your truck.
Fail To Tap Into Staff Member Creativity
Your most talented employees tend to seek improvement in everything they do. If you take away their ability to make changes or improvements, you will quickly see them lose interest in the job. Vendors need to accept advice from their employees. It doesn’t mean you have to implement every one of their suggestions, but the simple task of listening and discussing their ideas is a huge step in the right direction.
Fail To Challenge Employees Intellectually
Great bosses challenge their employees to accomplish things that they may never have thought possible. Instead of setting simple, incremental goals, give your best employees lofty goals that will push them outside of their comfort zones. Not only will they learn what they can achieve, but you will have a better idea of how to utilize their skills.
The Bottom Line
If you want your best food truck staff members to stick around, you need to treat them right. While most great employees are as tough as nails, their talent gives them a ton of options. You need to give them a reason for them to want to work for you. And remember, it costs less to to become an awesome boss, than it does to replace your most talented employees.