Now I don’t have a suit or a job. QSR, in an effort to offer you, the reader, some new voices to hear from, has decided to discontinue this column. Egad! I’m canceled. I’ve never been canceled.
Seven years and 84 columns. That’s a great run for any writer. I’m flattered and grateful for the opportunity to talk to you.
So, for my last column, I decided to try to summarize Roy’s Human Resources Manual into about 1,000 words. What follows is what I have been preaching for the last seven years about people.
Walk a mile in his or her moccasins. Before you make a decision or institute an action, put yourself in the other person’s position. Would you like to be treated this way? It’s nothing more than what your mom has been preaching to you since you were old enough to mouth off. It’s the Native American way of saying the Golden Rule. Now, take a minute and do it.
Be patient with people. Most of them are not as smart or quick as you are. Give them time to figure it out. Remember that the jerk who cut you off in traffic might be a single mom who has just put in 10 hours on her feet and is just trying to get home to feed her kids dinner, help them with their homework, and maybe put those feet up for a few minutes. She’s sorry. And that elderly couple who have the supermarket aisle blocked trying to decide which tapioca to buy might be on their last shopping trip together after the results of the biopsy she just got. They’ll move, just wait.
Don’t take credit for your people’s work. Give it to them. Be happy that you were smart enough to hire such a great person.
Do not manage by fear. Be respected and liked, not feared. And respect and like right back. You will get so much more out of your people.
Work hard and play hard. I did all the advertising, both U.S. and worldwide, for McDonald’s with nine people in my department. I worked their backsides off. But they also knew that when we played, we played just as hard. I took them to the track, out to lunch unannounced, and to the ball game, and we had a great time. And then it was back to work.
Remember anniversaries, birthdays, and, above all, when performance reviews are due. That’s just being a good human being, as well as a boss.
Don’t expect someone to do a job that you wouldn’t do. All work is worthwhile. No one is really worth more than any other person when it comes to their job. You should know how to do all the stations you have responsibility for so you can respect the person who does it.
Don’t forget how important your family is. They are whom you come home to. Ask your people for help when you have a problem. They will probably give you the idea for the solution. Have an objectives meeting with your people the week between Christmas and New Year’s. It’s usually quieter than most times, and you can communicate what you are trying to accomplish in the coming year.
Listen when your people talk. Nothing is more important at that point than what they are trying to tell you. Have meetings in a quiet and comfortable place, not behind the grill or out by the Dumpster.
Some other thoughts: Be Mr. Restaurant in your community. Get out there and sell yourself. And think small to be big. Remember all those great things you did when you were small, and do them again to get even bigger.
Take the path of least resistance; it is easier to get one more visit out of a current customer than to get a new customer. Be optimistic and ethical in your business dealings. Say yes to your customers whenever you can and it makes sense. Personalize yourself to your customer. You’re just an ordinary guy or girl trying to make it in life.
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Now the party’s almost over. I want to wish much deserved success to QSR magazine. May it forever exist as the voice of the industry.
I want to thank Sam, my editor, for his ideas, his insights, and his patience in working with me on this column. May he share in the success of the publication’s ventures. I want to thank my readers for reading, especially those of you who took the time to write your compliments and criticisms. I tried to answer each of you in the best and quickest way I could. I want to thank Hubcap, my second best friend and canine companion, for being the first to hear each column out loud and very rarely yawning or getting up and leaving. I want to thank everyone I have written about for not suing me. I want to thank Cali and Jenny for coming home. And I want to thank my wife, Kate, for her comments, criticisms, and corrections, every month for seven years. I love her with all my heart and, yes, she is my first best friend.
I will miss all of you out there.
Happy Trails, Merry Christmas, and with a little sniffle, I will write the last word I will write for this great magazine: Peace.