Small Business Customer Service and the Minimum Wage

September 23, 2015

shutterstock_295923083Conservative and progressive economists continue to debate the impact on small businesses of increasing the minimum wage.

Conservative and progressive politicians continue to argue the issue to chart their political futures.

While they all drone on, a significant number of low wage employees struggle to make ends meet while being asked to bring a positive attitude to the workplace, engage in teamwork with their co-workers, and always serve customers with a smile.

Yet, if those employees earning the current minimum wage are struggling to make ends meet, the stresses have to impact their ability to provide the highest levels of service, both to the company’s paying customers and to their co-workers.

There is no doubt a lot of factors go into employees’ abilities to show up with the right mindset to fulfill their job requirements at the highest levels.

But research continues to show employee engagement is at significantly low levels.

This means there is a disconnect between an employee and their desire to fulfill job requirements at the highest levels and look for ways to contribute beyond the basics.

In a lot of situations this may not be due to a lack of caring or desire, and may be an issue of focus and distraction.

If employees are stressing over making ends meet and need a second or third job to fulfill their financial obligations, how engaged can an employee be in any moment on a job?

Billions of dollars are spent on customer service training each year.

Yet, for employees who do not feel positive about the company they work for, or if they do not have a minimum level of certainty about being able to make financial ends meet, customer service training is a waste of resources.

It is also very disingenuous.

Employees will see through the hypocrisy of spending resources for customer service training, and asking employees to serve company customers at ever higher levels, yet, do not feel the company is serving them at the highest levels.

For small business owners paying minimum wage, expecting anything more than minimum performance is a fantasy.

A small business’ most important customers are their employees. Take care of the employees and the employees will take care of the business.

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