Biggby Coffee and Givex in the fight against the shortage of workers Franchise News:

Biggby Coffee’s Life You Love Laboratory focuses on what makes employees stay at a company. To represent Biggby, they encourage employees to take their own photos.


According to a recent article from the US Chamber of Commerce, there are 10 million job openings and only 5.7 million unemployed. Many companies are looking to innovate as they try to combat this shortage and retain employees, like Biggby Coffee.

The reason for the shortage is multifaceted. When the Chamber surveyed workers, there were many responses. Twenty-seven percent cited a lack of access to child and family care, and 28 percent said ongoing health problems prevented them from returning.

One in five workers has changed their lifestyle after being unemployed during the pandemic. 17 percent of them are retired, 19 percent are homemakers, and 14 percent work part-time. 36 percent of workers aged 25-34 focused on self-improvement.

49 percent of workers aren’t ready to go back without a remote or hybrid option. 34 percent of service worker respondents also said wages are not competitive enough.

To retain employees, Biggby’s Chief Purpose Officer Laura Eich helped create the Life You Love Laboratory (LifeLab). “We’ve really tried to take care of the basic needs of the workers,” he said. “We get to create healthy human practices and drink great coffee every day.”

Given that 30 percent of employees are looking for a positive environment, LifeLab fits the bill.

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Employees at Biggby Coffee can use LifeLab to fuel their growth, even if they don’t stay with the company.

“There’s a theory called the Two-Factor Theory, with hygiene factors and motivation factors,” Eich said. “And hygiene factors don’t necessarily make people stay, but they can erode their motivation to stay if you don’t take care of them.”

Hygiene factors are a necessity, as are compensation and benefits. Once the hygiene factors are met, the company can focus on motivation. Biggby used surveys to see what motivated their staff. Everything from the environment to the resilience of people is what motivates employees from the bottom up, so understanding these factors is the real key to retaining employees.

“Salary is not usually the number one reason people come to work,” Eich said. “The things that really motivate people emotionally to come to work, that’s what we’re trying to do a lot.”

Of course, not everyone will stay. In Biggby’s case, not everyone wants to work on coffee, which is why LifeLab also offers Life You Love Workshops. These teach life skills such as budgeting, healthy habits and goal setting.


Biggby Coffee has focused on understanding what motivates an employee to stay and what makes them leave.

“It’s not necessarily just professional development,” Eich said. “Maybe your goals are outside of the company.”

Some are looking at automation

Attentive readers will have noticed that even if everyone works, there will still be 4 million jobs. Companies like Givex offer solutions to that gap with a wide range of technologies. Technology, including online ordering, kiosks and tablets, and automation can have a bigger impact than you think.

“Givex has many different reports in the backend,” says Givex Chief Commercial Officer Mo Chaar. “All that automation allows employees to interact with customers on a deeper level instead of taking orders or running in manually.”

Technology doesn’t have to be used just for efficiency. The Givex Awards program allows managers to track employees’ “ticks” as they perform their jobs. Ticks can be exchanged for various rewards, including gift cards. This can help build a sense of loyalty among employees and motivate them to earn ticks.

“We’ve always innovated, we’ve always worked with our partners to keep them at the forefront of technology and ensure they have what it takes to succeed,” Chaar said. “Whether it’s automation, online ordering or even switching buttons at the point of sale.”

What does Zors see?

The IFA has published its own study of franchisor experiences to 2022. When it comes to finding employees, 87 percent of franchisors are still having trouble finding employees, and 44 percent are having further trouble finding qualified applicants.

Wage pressure is also a concern. 85 percent have already raised their wages, and 60 percent expect to do the same in 2023. Benefits also continued to grow, with 43 percent of beneficiaries reporting and 42 percent expecting to continue to grow.