Nigerian Businesses your Staffing needs attention!


I entered a Chicken Republic Quick service restaurant on Sunday, placed a pretty large order because I didn’t want to be bothered about food for the whole day.

While I’m waiting, Uncle who’s serving me takes and finished someone else’s order and is moving onto the next person. Unfortunately for him, I’m already irritated

Me: “What’s happening to my order?”

Uncle: “Ermmmm….the chickwizz is not ready.”

Me: “What about the other ones?”

Him: “The chicken is not ready, the… not ready.”

Now I’m visibly irritated

Me: “Why didn’t you tell me, you just kept me waiting and I don’t know why.”

Him (With a smirk): “But you’re already waiting na.”

Me: “Did you just say that to me? Are you fucking serious right now?”

Him: (Giggles like a dunce)

I walked out in disgust. Idiot stands there with a stupid smile plastered on his face like the statue of “oaf-ity”

Monday. I want to buy a particular chivita, I’ve been checking but I can’t find it and then I finally find a store that has it.

Madam at the cashier sizes me up one kine, not even a “Good evening” or a fake smile at least. Anyway, who cares?

I see her playing with her hair. She doesn’t even talk to me. I ask the price then she mumbles something.

What? I ask.

“I don’t have change.”

Just like that. Sighs. I really want this drink so I’m wondering what I can take worth N100.

There are many people gisting in the shop, I suggest she asks them.

“They don’t have” with the height of nonchalant and laissez faire a human being could ever muster.

I’m thinking what to do and she sits back, unperturbed. For all she cares, I can drop the drink and go to blazes.

Then someone walks in and comes to the counter, he’s holding a pile of change and N100 in his hand. He is wearing the same branded shirt she is.

“See your colleague has change, why don’t you collect N100”

Mr Colleague looks up “I’ve been looking for change, I just got this N100. Do you think I’ll just come and give it to you”

Like what the hell!!! Where the hell do you guys find these beings to work in your business?

Then I get to a store that has what I want but it’s soft at the bottom, I don’t want that. I ask for something else.

“Take it na, after all you’re going to drink all this night”

I turned to see the dimwit talking and respond to him, “Because both of us are drinking it together abi?”

Mr Dimwit is embarrassed. Takes a bow and mumbles. He is not even a staff, never seen him so what’s he doing there talking to your customers?

One of the biggest challenges businesses face in Nigeria is staffing. The average young Nigerian feels entitled to everything including his salary at the end of the month. Whether he adds value or not.

It doesn’t matter if the business makes profit or loss, you owe them and at the end of the moment you must pay.

The worst is being in sales. They will steal from you and defend their theft. Too many an agricultural business has shut down because of this, animals and their products like eggs are constantly stolen by those whose salaries you pay monthly. In restaurants, staff sell drinks, take the money and replace the drinks with fresh ones. Plenty money lost..

Solution? Train, train and train your workers.

Set boundaries. Make rules. Don’t be so desperate to be loved by your employees that you let them have their way even at the expense of your business. You owe them salaries not love.

And it’s their responsibility to generate that salary. Customers pay their salaries and if they don’t know it, let them know.

The owner of the Ritz Carlton revealed in a leadership training that training for his staff is a constant and always ongoing. As a small business, you don’t have to organize something elaborate. Teach them customer service. Tell them what exactly it is you want, drum it into their ears, let there be consequences for defaulting and don’t be afraid to fire those who don’t conform.

Unless of course your business doesn’t mean that much to you.

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