Growing up a first-generation American, Thanksgiving always took a backseat to Christmas in my family. Though my parents felt an obligation to celebrate the holiday on behalf of my older brother and me, the family emphasis that’s often synonymous with the holiday season was wrapped in yuletide cheer. As a result, we often celebrated Thanksgiving with close friends, which exposed me to various family rituals tied to the holiday and gave me a well-rounded appreciation for this distinctive American tradition.
This only increased as I grew older, spending the holiday with the families of girlfriends or taking advantage of a standing invitation to join one of my longtime close friends, who annually hosted a dinner with his family and welcomed those who didn’t have immediate family in the area. As a Turkey Day freelancer, I’ve long been appreciative of the “welcome stranger” aspect to the holiday, which strikes at the core for why we celebrate Thanksgiving in the first place.
Nowadays, I typically spend the holiday with my wife and her family, enjoying the sense of belonging and familiarity that comes from being a loved member of a tight circle bound by blood and history. These days, Thanksgiving comes during an incredibly busy part of the work calendar, so it’s a welcomed respite and a chance to recharge and reconnect with loved ones.
I get the sense this is a common refrain. American productivity takes a backseat to no one, and the intensity of our work cycle has only increased during my professional career. Frankly, there are times when the idea of a 40-hour work week sounds like it would be a nice change of pace. Most of us, including many self-storage professionals, spend the majority of waking hours in communication with or in the company of those who aren’t family members.
This certainly isn’t new, but in some ways, I believe it’s become exaggerated. It’s one reason why company culture has become an important emphasis of many businesses, including self-storage operations. Employee relations and workplace well-being may sound like coddling to grizzled workforce veterans, but these are important elements that can benefit business coffers. Happy employees tend to be motivated workers, which can directly increase office efficiency and positively impact the customer experience.
Dysfunctional offices and staffing issues can absolutely derail a business. Handing the keys to a multi-million-dollar investment to a disgruntled, dissatisfied manager who is the face of your business invites deceit and opens the doors to a whole host of problems. Conversely, placing emphasis on strategic hiring practices, training, professional development, and incentives that encourage and reward hard work and retention isn’t just a way to improve staff morale, it’s a rewarding strategy to bolster your bottom line.
Thanksgiving is a reminder to take stock in the good around us, including things that can easily be taken for granted. If you’re looking for ways to improve staffing issues and workplace efficiencies, consider these ISS Store items to help you formulate a worthwhile plan:
- DVD - Empowering Your People: Creating a Gratifying Self-Storage Work Environment, an ISS World Expo session that looks at ways owners can inspire and enrich employees.
- DVD - Performing Self-Storage Site Visits: How to Make Them Productive, Not Disruptive, a session that discusses how a productive approach to site visits can help improve your operation, boost revenue, motivate your team, learn important lessons, and much more.
- DVD - Spending Money to Make Money: Reinvesting in Your Self-Storage Business, an education session that discusses the importance of investing in your management team, among other strategies designed to improve business performance.
- Self-Storage Mastery DVD 5-Pack: Staffing, which features self-storage experts discussing issues related to hiring, training and retaining qualified managers and staff, including recruitment, interviewing, compensation, motivation, work culture, legal compliance and more.
- Self-Storage Mastery DVD 5-Pack: Career Development, which features educational sessions discussing issues important to facility managers’ professional growth, covering subjects such as goal-setting, communication skills, career progression, resume writing, motivation and more.
- Inside Self-Storage Facility-Operation Guidebook 2019, a treasure trove of articles focused on self-storage ownership and management, including a section covering issues related to staffing and career development.
Demonstrating that you value the contributions of staff members and their impact to the success of your self-storage operation not only resonates through the white noise of a rigorous work grind, it instills a sense of pride in your workers and gives them a reason to be thankful at the end of every hard-earned day. From all of us here at ISS, we hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a joyous holiday season.