Tuesdays are business days. I spent years in corporate and retail before I became a teacher. Look for business and thought pieces here nearly every Tuesday.

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The Clopen.

You schedule staff to close the store on Friday night and the same folks to open it up in the morning.

Doesn’t sound terrible, does it?

Who the hell came up with this idea?

It is terrible. It is a guarantee that you’ve set up your staff to fail. Why?

Think about what happens when your store closes for the evening. Your store locks its doors at 9:30 pm. The staff has myriad closing activities; they restock, rectify the accounts, clean-up, and do re-sets. Your staffers punch out at 11:00 pm. With luck, they get home by 11:20.

Dinner, a little Netflix and beer, or gaming and beer, a chance to unwind — no one can go to sleep within moments of walking in the door, and it’s 1, maybe 2:00 am until your staffers fall asleep.

Your store opens for customers at 9:00 am. Your staff must be there at 7:00 am. That means staffers stumble out of bed at 6:10, slam down a couple cups of coffee and maybe a yogurt or ClifBar if they’re lucky, a drive-thru Tim Horton’s buttermilk glazed if they’re not.

What’s the problem?

You granted them the legally required eight hours between clocking out and clocking in, right?

Do the math.

Deep sleep kicks in around 2:00 am. Your team members wake four hours and ten minutes later, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and ready for another eight hours of being at their very best to serve the needs of the American Retail Public. <sarcasm>

No one: not young adults, not Millennials, not Boomers, functions well on four hours of sleep.

What happens after just one night of sleep deprivation?

1) Cognitive skills plummet. Simple calculations become absurdly difficult. Decision making skills go in the dumpster. Misperceptions — is that blue or teal? -become commonplace.

2) Micro-sleeps abound. People fall into mini-nap sessions, often with their eyes open, that last around 30 seconds. During these mini-naps, the napper is basically blind. Studies show that during micro-sleeps, the brain goes lightning fast into an uncontrollable deep sleep state. We rouse ourselves with the jerk of a head, but soon fall asleep again.

3) Mood disruptions. We become rude, tense, and angry; often with no provocation and for reasons that would be unthinkable under normal circumstances.

4) The sleep latency period. Humans operate on a 24–28 hour circadian schedule. The post-lunch lull is real. It is biochemical. Its downturns are exacerbated five to ten-fold when sleep deprived. Do a post-lunch walkaround. Try and engage your staff. Watch them as they lean against towers of stock, literally asleep with their eyes open. Watch as they try to deal with an inquisitive customer. Even worse, watch them try to count change.

Clopen. You believe it solves your schedule problems. Whoever closes on Friday opens on Saturday. Simple.

But what does clopen truly do? It destroys your staff.

You tell your employees that they are valued. Clopen tells them that you lie; you care only about your ease of scheduling and little about your employee’s welfare.

You tell your people that you want them to be self-starters and problem-solvers. Clopen kills motivation. Exhausted people just don’t give a shit.

You tell your people that you want peak performers. Clopen kills their ability to operate at even the most marginally acceptable levels.

Clopen. It’s messed up. Stop it.

#smallbusiness #letswork #storytelling #entrepreneurship #management #productivity #clopen

Written by

DStan58 is a teacher, a writer, a dad, a voice-over actor and poet. He's a melanoma survivor and a pulmonary embolism survivor. He's bringing sonnets back,

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