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Edition 295 – Sorry, I’m not coming back!

“Are you looking forward to opening back up?” I asked the cafe owner as he took my regular order, skim latte, extra hot.

“Sort of” he replied, with a hint of exasperation in his voice. “If we can just manage to get staff.”

Initially surprised at his response, my follow up question was “What about those that worked for you before lockdown?”

“Some will be back. A couple of others have chosen not to” was his response, with a slight look of despair on his face.

For some business owners, it’s their belief that the Federal Government’s $750 per week COVID disaster payment is enough of an incentive for their furloughed staff not to do anything until the money runs out. There’s probably an element of truth to that.

However, based on what is happening in other countries at the moment, the problem is much deeper than people merely being paid money to do nothing.

You see, I believe that for those people that are contemplating not coming back, it comes down to one of three issues:

  1. They don’t like your job – in the form that it was, with the pay and conditions that it provided, pre-lockdown.
  2. They’re taking a punt at self employment – which may have been a latent issue for them previously, however the COVID lockdown gave them thinking time.
  3. They’re looking for a simpler life – which means getting out of the big cities, moving to the country or the coast and making their life less about money and more about, well, life.

Over the next few months, every business will need to grapple with employees that are in any or all of these spaces. How you respond to each of them will have a significant impact on the success of your business into 2022 and beyond.

You see, as a business owner, you’re likely to want to solve the problem practically, like you always do. However, that’s not going to work moving forward as you’re forgetting the one key ingredient in all of this:


Unless you’re prepared to engage with your people emotionally and find a solution to your resourcing problem that is in their best interests, my guess is that your staffing problems will be the least of your concerns going forward. Eventually, your business will be unable to realise its truest potential, limiting your own financial return and putting at risk what you’ve taken years to build up.

The world has changed forever. Are you ready?

This Week’s Tip

Most people don’t leave jobs for money.
Waving more money in front of them is, at best, a short term solution to a long term problem.