“He quit… not a huge loss”
A few days ago, one of the team members at a Boloco restaurant had texted someone else on the team to let them know Boloco should probably look for someone else to cover his role. The manager didn’t get a call or a letter or an email. I know this person pretty well, have enjoyed getting to know him, and as I do with anyone currently on the Boloco team, gave him the benefit of the doubt that when the time came to leave he would do so with integrity and consideration for those around him.
It’s hard not to look internally when you have multiple walkouts – in some cases mid-shift – in a few months’ time. And yet with every deep dive analysis I do on the general culture of our restaurants, I don’t feel like we are such a bad place to work with people that are so awful that good people feel compelled to just leave. But I could be wrong, or blind to the reality – despite my asking for honest feedback many times a week from whoever I see or speak to for the better part of 24 years since starting the company.
Sudden resignations and walkouts as well as no-call, no-shows are crippling to businesses like Boloco which are in many cases already challenging when things are going smoothly… but even more so when we are operating in crisis mode as we have been since Covid struck.
No doubt it’s disheartening to lose people. When I asked another team member about this person’s leaving, he said to me “honestly… not a huge loss.” Which then begged the question why we would have kept him on in the first place… were we effectively coaching him? Were we just grateful for a warm body to cover a shift so the schedule would look full on paper even if not in reality?
I struggle with these situations more often than I care to admit even to myself. I am always worried first and foremost about the individual leaving… is everything ok? And if not, did working at Boloco contribute in any way to their not being ok? And if ok, what did we do to cause them to leave? What might we have done different along the way?
Once those questions have been exhausted, its often time to face the reality that maybe the departure wasn’t a significant loss. Which means our next step should be to continue to provide honest feedback to every remaining person on the team and either help them out the door in a mutually helpful way if they aren’t good at their job, or help them continue to improve and latch onto brighter futures by learning new skills as well as, when the time comes, learning how to exit gracefully without leaving carnage in their wake.