Corp level . . . ok where it is at, but duties and responsibilities need to be realligned to reduce redundancy in key areas (billing, direct sales, warehousing). Regional and District zones should be realligned to balance customer base and locations to better meet specific needs and increase communication. More funds need to be pumped into individual stores to hire more associates, while letting go associates with too large of an hourly wage. No reason to have associates making $15.00+/hour. From my experience, associates over 30 years old really do not belong on the retail floor full-time. Hire more high school/college students . . . more energy + less pay = more productivity/employees.
Though that won't fix all their problems, it will at least increase store performance and apeal to the customers. With more customers, more money will fill the pot, allowing for further improvements.
And, in addition, you are overlooking a key fact. Customer service at the store level has dropped in the recent years due to the locations budget constraint. Each store is given a weekly budget which they have to schedule the employees against. It's not based on hours worked for the week, but how much was paid to the employees.
Example: 1 employee making $15.00/hour, 40 regular hours/week, 5 hours overtime (due to the shortage of employees to actually work at the location), you get:
15(40 + 1.5(5)) = $712.50/week
If you hired 2 employees at $8.00/hour, you get:
8(40) = $320 per employee, or $640/week for the two of them. You have saved $72.50 which could be used for hiring an additional part-timer. If you paid the part-timer the $8.00/hour as well, you get 9 extra man hours on the floor.
So which is better? 45 hours with just one person working, or 89 hours with three people working? That's a tough one.
Let's continue. You currently are lucky to find 3 people working on the floor at any staples store at any given time. How are you suppose to handle 40 customers (which is an avarage population) in the store at any given time with 3 people? By reducing the wage you pay to something which resembles the level of work and knowledge required for the job, you can double the number of employees to serve the customers. In return, you will have less customers complaining about lack of service, and possible generate a better reputation for the location in the community. Better repuation, more visits, more income, better bottom line, higher share vale.
Am I making any sense here? I, by all means, am in favor of higher wages for employees, but if you are wanting to make a living, Staples isn't it (unless you are management, and even still you are making bottom bucks). By nature, retail stores have higher turnover than any other form of business. It's the nature of the beast. That is why you find more of a younger workforce in retail, where they really should be.
In addition . . . I've worked with many high school and college level kids over my years, and most of them were very hard workers. Yeah, you have the one or two that are just passing through, but it's the management's responsibility to hire appropriate people and take action when they fail to perform. Plus, these aren't dumb individuals. These are the people I would want trying to sell computers and equipment. If there is anyone out there that knows about computers, it is late teen, early twenty males.
Now, I'm not ragging you, and I'm sorry if I came across that way, but I am just trying to clarify my prior post for you. Good luck.
For the kind of floor service required, High school and college students are experienced enough to handle the job. Unless you are working with the business machines, there is no reason to be paying someone more than $9.00 as an associate. The department heads should be compensated more for their knowledge and responsibility, and then there are their managers. But as far as the grunt workers go . . . no sense in overpaying. Heck, I remember when $4.50 was a good hourly wage.