To all our readers,
Thank you for your loyalty and for taking the time to read some of our Collaborative Network Partners articles. We want to offer sound advice from some of the best and the brightest supporting our profession.
The time to work on company culture and financial success is now!
Late summer is a good time to reflect on how your business is doing, as many of you are just past your mid-year 6-month fiscal year point. It is also a good time to take a 6 month "look back" and compare it to last year's same time period. Reviewing some of your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) at a minimum of every 6 months, and even better, every quarter is what owners and managers should do consistently.
It is good to analyze whether some of your overhead expenses have gone up, and check in on your cost of goods sold, utilities, etc. For sure your salaries should have increased as it's important during these inflationary times to take care of your people. If all you give them is a 3% increase and inflation is over 9% what message are you sending them? Have you raised your prices for your clients? Most of you should have evaluated this during your budget preparations. Our Collaborative Network Partner John Schmitz recommends small increases several times a year. This means, that having a price list that is easy to produce and change is important as well.
Assessing job satisfaction is also worthwhile. Workplace wellness/wellbeing is a hot topic right now. According to Harvard Business Review, $500 billion is being siphoned out of our economy due to workplace stress, and 550 million workdays are lost each year, due to stress on the job. The Great Resignation continues, so the time is now to focus more on what your employees need most. Setting up strong retention programs is one of your most important jobs, as the owner/manager. What are you doing to provide programs that help your staff with stress? Do you have a quiet private place where they can take an uninterrupted break alone?
Tip # 1: Private time areas are not in the prep room, laundry room, or staff lounge. I highly recommended that all firms find a small room for their team members to "get away" from the public and other team members, to relax and re-energize themselves, especially on busy days. How about bringing in someone to provide chair massages about once a month? If you are not busy, can you give them some extra paid time off, longer breaks, etc.? Quality time off and schedules that allow flexibility are important retention tools, especially in our profession.
Tip #2: 1 on 1 time is not ever a performance review, nor salary talk times. When you spend more time getting to know your staff on a personal level, this shows them how much you care for them. Find out about their hobbies and things they love to do most on their time off etc. Ask open-ended questions about them, their family, their vacations, etc. Ask for feedback on how they are doing in their role at work and what some of their goals are that they would like to achieve. Also, ask them if there is anything more you may do to support them.
Tip #3: Ask your staff for feedback on what the business needs to do more of, less of, or differently, and if there is something they would like to be a part of to help make the business better for them as a team member and for the clients we serve.
Tip # 4: Thanking them and showing appreciation for their ideas and sharing how their work is essential gives a little boost to their self-esteem so that they know they are doing a good job. A gentle reminder that at these meetings, it is not the time for training nor to talk about things they need to do better or correct. Those are separate "redirection" and much shorter meetings that should occur when areas of correction or new training are needed.
Taking a personal interest in everyone's individual needs is essential to today's retention programs. The more time quality time you spend with your staff, the more likely there will be an increase in loyalty and job satisfaction.
Make this time of year in your business cycle one of review of your business and listening to your staff. If we can be of support to you to help you further with retention programs, don't hesitate to reach out.
Listen to our latest podcast episode from Your Funeral Coach Talks where Lisa is joined by Barbara Kemmis, the Executive Director of Cremation Association of North America (CANA) as they discuss the newest cremation research conducted by CANA along with the post-pandemic results. CANA is celebrating its 104th Cremation Innovation Convention on August 17-19th in Atlanta, GA. The event brings innovative cremation professionals together to share ideas, learn from experts, and see the newest products and services from suppliers. To learn more about CANA's 104th Cremation Innovation Convention, visit www.pheedloop.com/cana22/site/home/
Keep an eye out for our upcoming podcast where Lisa interviews our newest Collaborative Network Partner Coleen Ellis, a recognized leader within the world of Pet Death Care. Coleen is a sought-after international speaker, author, and founder of Pet Angel Memorial Center, Two Hearts Pet Loss Center, and Coleen.Rocks. In addition to her many years in Pet Death Care, Coleen’s work experience also spans over 18 years in the human funeral business. This episode will be available to listen to next week, August 18th.
To listen to the podcast, visit www.yourfuneralcoach.com/podcasts/ or anywhere you get your podcasts!
Enjoy our Late Summer Newsletter articles from several of our Collaborative Network Partners.