Turnover,  late to the job, no-shows… What drives these people?  As employers, it can be difficult to know how to best relate to and understand employees.  Understanding is especially crucial in service  industries because employees are often your company’s greatest asset- your employees do reflect your company!  Having a responsive and motivated workforce can make the difference between a successful company, and one that struggles with high turnover and low quality output.

So what does “Scratch Beginnings” have to say about these issues? As we continue to get great feedback and discussion on the book, we hear how employers like you are enlightened by the author’s depiction of the workplace – about the motivation of employees, their challenges and struggles – especially those working in difficult jobs or situations.  Here are a few of the valuable lessons we have identified so far:


The Power Of A Fast Payday.  In the book, Adam talked about how he, along with many of his peers, sought out jobs that paid as soon as possible.  In his case, this meant taking some jobs with a temporary employment agency that paid less than was otherwise available, but came with the promise of cash at the end of each day. For many workers struggling to live paycheck to paycheck, a prompt and reliable payday may be the best motivator. Some Chronotek customers choose to pay on a weekly basis, as a gesture of support for their workers and, ultimately, a way to minimize turnover.

The “Weakest Link” Effect.  Adam experienced firsthand how important it was to maintain a strong team dynamic.  He had a good relationship with strong coworkers like Derrick, who encouraged him to learn and work as fast and effectively as possible.  At the same time, other coworkers had the opposite effect.  Poorly performing team members had a frustrating effect on the rest of the group, and often had a strong negative impact on the company.  As employers, its important to remember that weak employees can actively sabotage your attempts to build a great, efficient team.

Respect Pays.  The hourly workers depicted in Scratch Beginnings were all struggling to keep their lives on track and move up in society.  These employees were used to being treated badly, and had been burned by employers in the past.  The universal lesson for employers looking to attract and retain good workers: respect your employees.  Its a simple rule that often gets overlooked, but simple gestures like a small bonus for a job well done can go far.

What other lessons did you learn from the story of “Scratch Beginnings”?  We’d love to hear about it in the comments.  If you haven’t had the chance to read the story yet, you can request your free copy here.