by Star Trek’s pointy eared favorite Vulcan Mr. Spock, knew how to turn a phrase;
“live long and prosper.” Can being happy lead to longevity and succeeding in life ? A new study suggests that older people who are happy, have a 35% lower risk of dying over a five year period than unhappy people. *
An important part to Jamie Faletti’s success is loving his “work.” As Confucius says; choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life. You could be looking at a future happy centenarian.
So let me tell you how I met Jamie; one very happy person.
When I told my wife Iris, and business partner, that I was speaking at the winter 2016 NAMM show in Anaheim, she immediately booked us a California road trip. We were driving south towards Anaheim and thought we should check out Santa Barbra. I can remember driving down Anacapa Street in the heart of Santa Barbra’s Funk Zone and passed his “Guitar Bar” store. I quite literally hit the breaks, pulled over, and told Iris I had to check this beautiful store out. I wasn’t even certain if it was a music retail store, but the front looked so cool it was like a magnet that was pulling me in. So with my wife still in the car and engine running, I walked, no more like I ran, into Guitar Bar. I was immediately blown away by the interior design. Everything seemed perfect, including a stage for recitals. Jamie and his team welcomed me with a warm genuine smile. A place where I personally would feel comfortable shopping.
Jamie Faeletti is a rare breed. Even at the tender age of 18, he knew what he wanted. During a recent phone conversation, he told me a story how he used to visit a local music store and out of the blue just told the owner, “one day I’m going to work here.” The owner offered him a job on the spot. That’s what I call confidence. Thus began his love affair with music instrument retailing.
Jamie’s path to ownership didn’t happen overnight. He was patient. Over the next 15 years he managed a few different stores. With no upward path to eventual ownership in sight from his employers, he did what any true blooded entrepreneur had to do; he spent the necessary time to develop a strategy, invested six figures, and in 2013 opened his own store. Employers loss. Jamie’s gain. Today Jamie goes out of his way to mentor and treat his employees with the respect they deserve. And it shows. Everyone seems- happy.
Studies on the cost of employee turnover is not insignificant. SHMR, a human resource group, predicts that every time a business replaces a salaried employee, it costs 6 to 9 months’ salary on average. For a manager making $40,000 a year, that’s $20,000 to $30,000 in recruiting and training expenses. Some studies show that replacement expenses are closer to two years salary. This doesn’t include customers who may follow the x employee and now new owner.
Frequent voluntary turnover has a negative impact on employee morale, productivity and company revenue. It’s not surprising that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, retail has one of the highest employee turnovers in our economy.
Employee retention ought to be a high priority for music retailers. Offering a competitive package, opportunities to learn and be mentored with the potential for promotion, and even ownership through a succession plan is key.
Some common sense steps to retain employees include.
1- Communicate-You might have every intention of one day passing your baton to a key manager. If you wait to long to tell him or her, their maybe no on their to accept it.
2- Coach- It’s easy to fire off orders. It takes time to be caring and provide a coaching style. Coaching and mentoring can be very effective in deepening the relationship.
3-Establish clear performance objectives- It’s hard to know what’s expected of your key manager if you don’t take the time to explain your expectations with a clear way to measure it.
4-Create a path for growth opportunities- Talent is rare and valuable. Shame on you, if your star walks because of a lack of engagement on your part.
5- Don’t be stingy with your compliments- People are people. We all love to be appreciated. It doesn’t cost you anything to show your appreciation. Do it often.
Are your employees happy? Do your employees love their work? Ask them.
Do what you can to retain them.
Remember- happy employees, happy clients. It may be your best chance of full-filling your own personal legacy.
Live long and prosper.
* Published in the Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Please note- Jamie Faletti is not affiliated with BH Wealth nor endorsed by First Allied Securities.