Discover more from The 21 Hats Morning Report
A New Source of Employees
Burned out teachers are quitting in record numbers and finding opportunities in sales, software, health care, and training.
Here are today’s highlights:
Companies are looking for more ways to protect the mental health of their employees.
Restaurants are getting rid of their phone lines and offering shorter workweeks.
What’s the right response to a complaint that your website is out of ADA compliance?
And is pay transparency actually good for businesses?
Businesses have found a new recruiting target: burned out teachers: “The rate of people quitting jobs in education rose more than in any other industry in 2021, according to federal data. Many of those are teachers exhausted from toggling between online and classroom teaching, shifting Covid-19 protocols and dealing with challenging students, parents, and administrators. According to LinkedIn, the share of teachers on the site who left for a new career increased by 62 percent last year. The exodus is worsening a nationwide teacher shortage and proving a boon to hiring managers in industries such as IT services and consulting, hospitals and software development.”
“Teachers’ ability to absorb and transmit information quickly, manage stress and multitask are high-demand skills, recruiters and careers coaches say.”
“Classroom instructors are landing sales roles and jobs as instructional coaches, software engineers and behavioral health technicians, according to LinkedIn.” READ MORE
Are you doing enough to protect the mental health of your employees? “With the Great Resignation and all this attention on burnout, companies are throwing money at more — and cleverer — mental health benefits to keep their employees happy and, more importantly, keep them period. At TaskRabbit, employee benefits include access to two mental health apps: Ginger, a mental health therapy counseling tool, and Headspace, for meditation. Still, CEO Ania Smith told Protocol she doesn’t think ‘they’re the whole solution.’”
“According to Smith, what matters more is working with individual employees directly on finding ways to respond to their mental health needs, whether it’s ‘incremental time off, changing and working on a different project, changing their manager or their team or doing something completely differently.’”
“One of the more novel solutions: giving every employee $1,000 to spend on mental health. That’s what Phenom’s [Brad] Goldoor did after seeing the low utilization rates of the company’s other mental health benefits.”
“Employees can spend that $1,000 on anything directly related to mental health, including therapy and meditation courses, starting Feb. 1.” READ MORE
How about a THREE-day workweek? “Restaurant owners are offering shorter workweeks, life insurance, mental health services, college tuition and more paths to career advancement. They are giving out free Spotify subscriptions, adding nursing stations for lactating employees, and promising signing bonuses and free food to anyone off the street who fills out an application. ... Sweetgreen now offers health, dental and vision benefits, even for part-time employees, as well as five months paid parental leave. Gusto 54 Restaurant Group advertises health insurance and wellness benefits. Fanny’s Restaurant in Los Angeles has disability and life insurance, pet insurance and identity theft protection for employees.”
“Some Chick-fil-A operators are now offering average wages of $19 per hour, said spokeswoman Jackie Jags, in many cases a jump from around $15 an hour before the pandemic.”
“Justin Lindsey, a store owner in Kendall, Fla., has started offering three-day workweeks to help employees with work-life balance.
“Over the holidays, an owner in Robinson, Pa., gifted employees with Steelers tickets, a month of rent or mortgage payments, big-screen televisions, and even a new car.” READ MORE
More companies are helping employees with student debt: “Student debt repayment programs were a hot topic in 2019, but companies’ interest ebbed in the pandemic, said Craig Copeland, senior research associate with the Employee Benefit Research Institute, as the pause on federal student debt payments temporarily took pressure off borrowers. Employers shifted their focus to programs offering more immediate help, like emergency savings and hardship payments. But there are signs of renewed interest among both borrowers and employers as the pause expires and employers seek to hire and hold on to increasingly emboldened workers.”
The institute’s 2021 survey of employers’ ‘financial well-being’ benefits found that about 17 percent of large employers — those with 500 or more workers — offered some form of student debt assistance.”
“Of those, nearly a third (30 percent) offered direct loan subsidies and an additional 40 percent said they planned to start offering direct help in the next year or two.”
“A Fidelity Investments survey in October of about 1,600 employers of varying sizes found that more than a quarter (29 percent) offered a contribution to student debt as a benefit.”
“‘It’s creating a sense of urgency right now,’ said Jesse Moore, head of student debt at Fidelity, which administers student-debt repayment programs for clients and offers a benefit to its own employees.” READ MORE
Tomorrow at 12 ET, I will moderate a free webinar conversation with Doug Tatum, chairman of Newport LLC and author of the terrific book No Man’s Land, and Mike Ross, director of innovation and development with Insperity. We’ll talk about how businesses can get out of survival mode and start thinking strategically again. LEARN MORE AND REGISTER HERE
SMALL BUSINESS TECH
Short-handed restaurants are getting rid of their phone lines: “Channeling all communication through emails, direct messages on social media, and reservations apps might frustrate diners and deter those who are technology averse, but restaurants are finding that communicating this way frees up time for front-of-house employees, is more efficient for restaurant administrators, and gives flexibility to restaurants operating with a small team or through Covid-related staffing shortages.”
“‘It was just this constant barrage,’ said Jim Gottier, 67, the co-owner of Hotel Greene, adding, ‘to pay someone $15 an hour, or whatever, to do that is just outrageous.’”
“At Ugly Baby, a Thai restaurant in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, nearly all of the customers are millennials or younger, said Sirichai Sreparplarn, 52, the chef and a co-owner of the restaurant. You have to be on Instagram to reserve a table, see the menu or communicate with the restaurant. Mr. Sreparplarn said this system makes it easier for the small staff and keeps the restaurant low-key.”
“After being in the restaurant business for 15 years, [Gregory]. Ryan [who operates two restaurants in California] said about 80 percent of phone calls are ‘typically a waste of time.’ ‘That’s not anyone’s fault,’ he said. ‘I’m sure it’s annoying for folks. We try not to be. What is better for my business is my day-to-day mental health and my staff’s mental health — for me, it’s not answering the phone.’” READ MORE
What’s the right way to handle an American Disability Act complaint about a website?
In Nevada, a judge has been asked to define Mexican food: “The dishes in question come from salad chain Chop Stop, which has a location at the shopping center. There’s the Viva Mexico Chop salad, topped with black beans, jalapeños, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, chicken and tortilla strips, and the Santa Fe Chop, with avocados, roasted corn and Pepper Jack cheese. Also at issue is the Chopurrito, a bowl with rice, beans, salsa and up to six toppings. Cafe Rio, a neighboring fast-casual Mexican chain, has argued in court filings that Chop Stop’s offerings violate a provision in its lease that no other restaurant in the same shopping center can make more than 10 percent of its sales from Mexican or Tex-Mex food.”
“Chop Stop has said in response that its menu items are generic offerings that don’t belong in any culinary category.”
“The result has been a grand showdown over the nature of food, culture, and salad ingredients—or what chef and food consultant Sofia Sada Cervantes called ‘deconstructed Mexican salad symbolism.’” READ MORE
In New York City, venture-backed, fast-delivery startups are competing to see who can lose the most money: “At least six startups, including Gorillas Technologies Ltd., Jokr SARL, Getir Perakende Lojistik AS and Buyk Corp., are vying to win the chance to ferry groceries to customers within 10 to 20 minutes of their order placement on an app. Prices are similar to grocery stores, discounts are plentiful, and many services don’t have a fee or minimum order, allowing consumers to request a single pint of Ben & Jerry’s delivered to their doorstep.”
“Some of the companies are averaging a loss of over $20 per order when factoring in costs like advertising, those people said.”
“Since Hayoung Park moved to Manhattan last year, he estimates he has taken in more than $400 of free cookies-and-cream ice cream, laundry detergent and other groceries delivered to his door, all courtesy of a wave of rapid-delivery grocery startups offering generous referral and discount codes.”
“‘I have not paid for toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap or hand soap,’ said the 23-year-old founder of a small online-auction startup. He said for most orders, his only costs are generally tip and tax. ‘As a consumer, I think it’s fantastic.’” READ MORE
THE 21 HATS PODCAST
Dashboard: Is Pay Transparency Good for Businesses? This week, I to Lou Mosca, COO of American Management Services, about the growing trend of making salaries public — either because municipalities require it or because businesses choose it. Plus: if the economy is growing at its fastest pace in decades, why doesn’t it feel like it? What kind of economy should businesses plan for? And a recent study found that more than half of the 2,000 workers surveyed had resignation letters already written. What does this suggest about the Great Resignation?
You can find Dashboard in your 21 Hats Podcast feed.
If you see a story that business owners should know about, hit reply and send me the link. If you got something out of this email, you can click the heart symbol, you can click the comment icon below, and you can share it with a friend. Thanks for reading, everyone. — Loren