I was at the check out counter at Trader Joe’s watching the world’s fastest checker outer scan my items and bag my groceries. She was amazing.
Me: “How did you get so good at this?”
World’s Fastest Checker Outer (WFCO): “I’ve been doing it for a long time, four years. I started as a senior in high school, now I’m a senior in college.”
Me: “You’re going to graduate. What’s next?”
WFCO: “Well, I want to be a teacher. My degree will be in teaching, but I’ll probably just stay here. The pay is better.”
WFCO: “Kind of sad that a grocery bagger is paid more than teacher, isn’t it?”
“QuikTrip, Trader Joe’s, and Costco operate on a different model, Ton says. ‘They start with the mentality of seeing employees as assets to be maximized,’ she says. As a result, their stores boast better operational efficiency and customer service, and those result in better sales. QuikTrip sales per labor hour are two-thirds higher than the average convenience-store chain, Ton found, and sales per square foot are over 50 percent higher. ..
The approach seems like common sense. Keeping shelves stocked and helping customers find merchandise are key to maximizing sales, and it takes human judgment and people skills to execute those tasks effectively. To see what happens when workers are devalued, look no further than Borders or Circuit City. Both big-box retailers saw sales plummet after staff cutbacks, and both ultimately went bankrupt.” (Emphasis added)
So these retailers understand that it takes human judgement to stock shelves and help customers, and therefore the people performing these tasks are to be valued for their ability to make such judgement.
In other words, in a context that assumes that judgement and people skills matter, an investment is made in people who are put in position to utilize their skills and make such judgments.
“Kind of sad that a grocery bagger is paid more than teacher, isn’t it?”