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Help! Manager Won't Listen to Feedback

Help! Manager Won't Listen to Feedback

How do you make sure your employees are heard?

Alison Green | Ask A Manager

A reader writes:

I work at a fast food place. I took the job because it was literally the only one I could get: I have a college degree and some professional experience, but not much, and I really needed a job. I’ve been promoted here, and that’s good, and up until now the place has been very tolerable and even fun.

However, we’ve recently come under new ownership. The new franchisees are changing just about everything. We used to work for the only food place that offered health benefits to regular employees, even part-time ones. Now, all benefits (including employee discounts) are gone, and every little thing, from the way we take drive-thru orders to the dress code, is different.

Some of this I can understand. They want to make money. But some of the new rules are just ridiculous. Customers are getting angry (the new owners won’t even let the napkins be stored in the dining room; customers have to come to the counter and ask for them. This is a major pain in our asses and the customers know what the new owners think of them). Pretty much all employees hate the new owners and are looking for other jobs.

My question is, to what extent can I do something about it? I’m a shift lead at one of 22 stores they now own. They claim to value employee feedback and retention, but their position on benefits betrays them (seriously, if they let employees have 50% off while they’re working, they recoup the cost of the ingredients, so they’re not even losing money!). I’ve written two letters about specific issues (one an employee incentive program and the other a note on some dress code issues), both done very professionally and deferentially, and have received no reply to either. To what extent is this feedback simply annoying to them? To what extent can I truly hope to change policy over 22 restaurants?

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