Do you have an HR issue? Nichole, founder of It’s All A Little Grey and I had a candid conversation about all things HR, (Human Resources), and small business.

Both of us are firmly rooted in supporting small business success AND we really dig staff training and support. I think that makes us unicorns.

What HR issue bothers you as a customer?

Setting up structure within your business to attract and retain quality staff is no small task. There are many things that are required when setting up this structure in your business. In the hiring realm we need to know what desired characteristics we are looking for and give ourselves enough time to find them.

“If I’m not greeted immediately or if there’s a note that says ‘I’ll be right back’ and I stand there for a minute. . . there’s no one in sight. . . there are some issues.”

Nichole Biechler

Founder, It's All A Little Grey, LLC

Last week I entered a local grocery and could not, for the life of me, make eye contact with four of the staff that were working and walking by. Are they extremely shy and introverted? Would their eyes burn if they made eye contact? Did I have an offensive mask on? No. They simply do not understand the power of a greeting; they have not had training and support.

Customers should feel welcomed; that staff is excited that they’ve come in to give the business money. Customers should not feel like they’re a nuisance or an inconvenience.

There is a skill to greeting customers. While customers don’t like crickets, they don’t enjoy being accosted either. This is where training, role play (yes, I said it!! ROLE PLAY, everyone’s favorite) enters the room. It can fix a multitude of sins.

Investing in Your Organization

Business owners invest so much time, energy, and money into their business. I LOVE that we have such a diverse talent of small business owners who enrich our lives daily with the goods and services they provide.

The Columbia River Gorge has amazing eateries, gift shops, bakeries, coffee shops, wineries, sports shops, spas, breweries, and clothing stores that make me proud to shop local. Our local business owners and their employees need to be celebrated and supported, especially now after coming off of an extremely challenging year.

Small business owners reinvest in our communities in many different ways, it’s difficult to measure. They invest many a grey hair, sponsor 4-H, STEM, sports, the arts, serve on non-profit boards, and donate to everything under the sun.

Approximately 76 cents of every dollar spent at a small business remains in your local community.

The investment should not stop when it comes to training staff. Otherwise, business suffers.

Watch Our Interview

HR in Action

To start training a team (or to refresh) here are three tips to apply straight away.

  1. Don’t Walk Past a Mistake:
    This phrase came from a PDA, Professional Development Academy, training Nichole attended. An excellent mantra! Also, it’s called a ‘teachable moment’. Make corrective teaching happen privately, NOT publicly.


  1. Make a Sandwich:
    Use the well-worn phrase, ‘compliment sandwich’. Tell staff what they did right, how to correct their mistake, then another thing they did right.


  1. Role Play.
    Everyone’s favorite! Insert some humorous role play into weekly staff meetings. To take the pressure off staff, use examples of your personal flubs while using examples of staff wins. (Or contact your local unicorn to help.)

Even a small increase in your time investment with staff will pay great dividends in your business. Staff retention increases, owner confidence in their team increases, customer satisfaction and ticket sales increase, and business grows. Who wouldn’t love that?


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Business Tips

Samantha works with business owners helping to ‘tame the overwhelm’, assisting with customer acquisition & retention, employee training & retention, and honing your Customer Experience so it kicks butt.

She conducts workshops and training in hospitality, Customer Experience, and creating a culture in the workplace that inspires and motivates employees and customers.

There’s untapped, untrained power in your staff just waiting to be unleashed to help grow your business! Grab a copy of the eBook and Guide: First Impressions Matter to equip staff and grow your business today.

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