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The coffee shop industry suffers from high turnover in staff with the industry average

being just 13-weeks employed. This level of staff turnover means a constant hiring and training process which costs money.

We have tried do something about this and have managed to get our average employment time up to above 26 weeks, but this still isn’t good enough. Despite hiring costing almost nothing these days, since you can put an advert on gumtree for free and receive hundreds of applications. However, it does cost in time and training costs and thats where the pain is for coffee shop owners.

So why do people leave:

– This type of job attracts people who are looking for any employment not a career. Therefore, they tend to jump from position to position based on small perks or pay increases.

– It attracts people who are transient like students who may only be around for a couple of terms or the summer.

– For some people the company they joined or thought they joined changes and they don’t like the changes. This can especially be the case when you go from a single independent coffee shop to two and three. They see the processes being introduced that are required to expand and see it as selling out, as no longer being an independent. In some ways this may be the case as its impossible to expand a business and not introduce new processes and procedures. We were always open with employees that we planned on expanding but its clear some either didn’t listen or choose not to.

How do you keep them:

I have no magic bullet for this but here are some tips:

– Hire people based on attitude not experience

– Hire people who are not transient

– Hire people who are considering this as a career and show them the path you can provide

– Communicate with employees about the future of the business

What if key people quit:

The reality is if you are in business long enough you will loose key people in your business and although tough at the time they are replaceable and in some cases it can be a positive. Sometimes when someone leaves you realise that they were actually holding back the organisation and that you are able to take another step forward without them. Although difficult it should be scene as a positive.