The recent downturn in the economy has a lot of business owners wondering how to increase sales. As a result, a number of retailers have decided to open on Thanksgiving Day in order to reach Black Friday shoppers one day earlier. As this practice becomes more and more commonplace, the question of whether or not this is truly a good idea is being raised by consumers and employees of these establishments alike.
Any business needs quality employees if it is to survive. Keeping employees happy is one of the best things business owners can do in order to ensure their company’s success. Part of making sure workers are happy involves allowing them to spend time with family during important holidays such as Thanksgiving. Taking this time away from them is bound to lead to frustration, and could eventually cause poor job performance as well.
It seems that many corporations are using the economy as a scapegoat for their decision. Executives are claiming that employees will actually welcome the opportunity to work on Thanksgiving, since it will mean they’ll have more hours on their paychecks. In reality, that’s highly unlikely, since most retailers hire seasonal help for the Christmas rush, and therefore tend to give workers the same number of hours each week then as they do during the off-season.
Some retailers could be of the opinion that it doesn’t matter whether or not workers are disgruntled, since the number of people looking for a job is so high. They could look at employees as being disposable assets that can easily be replaced if they are unwilling to go along with the status quo. What they are forgetting is the fact that hiring new workers to replace old ones costs money, not to mention the loss of efficiency a business will experience as a result.
Adding insult to injury is the fact that while minimum-wage employees labor on Thanksgiving Day, corporate executives who made the decision to open on that holiday will be enjoying a luxurious feast with their families. These executives are also the ones most likely to benefit from any profit that’s noticed during this day by way of bonuses or salary increases the following year.
It seems that business owners have forgotten just how important their workers are to their company’s success. Hourly employees are the ones who have face-to-face contact with customers, and are responsible for presenting a company’s image to the general public. As such, these workers wield far more power than executives at the top of the corporate ladder would like to give them credit for.
While it can be easy to point fingers at executives, the real blame lies with consumers. Let’s face it, stores are opening on Thanksgiving Day because they can. They realize that few people will take a stand for these workers and boycott their establishments. Why? Because shoppers are more concerned with getting some fantastic deals for themselves rather than thinking about how their decision will affect others. Until the average consumer takes a stand, the trend toward opening on holidays is likely to continue.