by Rebecca Lennington| November 23, 2021
It’s “the most wonderful time of the year” again. We’re celebrating our second holiday season with everyone’s least favorite guest, the global Covid-19 pandemic. Given labor shortages and disruptions in the supply chain, things aren’t looking fantastic. Let’s see how some popular seasonal classics apply to the present and how CFI Group can help moving forward.
“Christmas Shoes” and the Great Resignation
Buckle up, I’m about to examine the narrative of “Christmas Shoes” by NewSong from the perspective of the cashier. It’s a great way to contextualize some of the widespread dissatisfaction that has contributed to the “Great Resignation” and the continuing labor shortage.
For those unfamiliar with the 2000 ballad, it’s about an unaccompanied child trying to buy his very sick mother some shoes on Christmas Eve using an insufficient sum of pennies. In an admirable display of Christmas charity, the man behind the boy in line pays for everything. I’ve worked retail. This situation must have been so uncomfortable for the cashier.
If I were the cashier in this song, I’m absolutely going to alert my manager discreetly when that kid makes it to my register. The way the song describes him is just a barrage of red flags. He’s alone. He’s upset. He’s disheveled. And he doesn’t understand how money works, which means he’s not mature enough to be unsupervised. How’s he getting home? Does his family even know where he is? That kid is not leaving the store until I know he’s safe.
“Christmas Shoes” reminds me of the unpaid emotional labor that gets piled on retail workers (and essential workers). The pandemic has only made it much worse. It has been a rough couple of years. Especially for those who have had had to bear the brunt of the widespread stress of the general public, it’s going to take more than a signing bonus to fill positions left by those in the hospitality, trade, transportation, utilities, education, health and service industries.
The only way forward is to focus on employee engagement…. Coincidentally, CFI Group is renowned for our work in this field. Our custom survey research has been improving the working lives of employees for decades. Our expert analysts identify the precise action areas that will lead to the greatest impact on performance.
The Grinch and Supply Chain Disruptions
Now that we’ve talked a little about the labor shortage, it’s time to examine The Grinch to see what it can teach us about finding joy despite supply chain disruptions. Black Friday is looming and supply-chain issues are only getting worse. Just in time for the holidays, we’ve got shortages of turkeys, Christmas trees, and toys. We’ve got some major pent-up demand, which does not mix well with inflation, and none of this is helping overall customer satisfaction.At a time like this, we can all derive some wisdom from our friends, the Whovians. They love Christmas but it’s for all the wrong reasons. Once the Grinch takes away all the presents and Christmas trappings, they are finally able to enjoy an authentic Christmas experience. Once they finally get everything back, it means more.
Given all the changes we’ve experienced these past couple of years, the nuances of customer satisfaction have changed. The best way to keep track of important trends is to measure them. As we’ve seen from this year’s Credit Union Satisfaction Index and Government Contact Center Satisfaction Index, we can’t rely on conventional wisdom to predict customer experience.
A Christmas Carol and the Importance of Effective Consulting
In the beginning of Charles Dickens’ 1842 novella, Scrooge was not a good boss. When his clerk, Cratchit asks for Christmas off, Scrooge threatens him with a pay cut. In today’s job market, Cratchit would not have to put up with that. Scrooge could have benefitted from some CFI Group consulting, and it would have been much less traumatizing. The good news is that modern-day Scrooges don’t need to endure major paranormal phenomena just to improve their leadership performance. CFI Group would have helped using objective, scientifically backed methods.
Anybody can improve given the right feedback. CFI’s consulting is more fun than what Scrooge went through, but that’s because we have over three decades of experience in data collection, analysis and consulting. Companies need to retain their labor forces. Don’t worry, if Scrooge can change with the proper feedback and develop a great working relationship with his most valuable employee, you can too.
Please feel free to reach out to us at any time at [email protected].
We’re in for a complicated holiday season. Even without a global pandemic, the holidays can be challenging. Whether or not you’re celebrating this year, please be kind to yourself and others. Whatever you’re doing, I hope it’s joyful. Happy holidays! Stay safe!