At your service: It’s quitting time!
By Russ Dantu
By Russ Dantu
The Burger King in Lincoln, Neb., is in the news these days. Why? On July 13, lettering was put up on their outdoor sign to let everyone know how the employees felt about their employer…and it went viral. It stated, “We all quit! Sorry for the inconvenience.”
Wow, can you imagine having your whole team walk out on you during a regular business day? What would that do to your business? What reputation would you garner from the public? Would you survive?
TV crews from Channel 8 were quick to follow this story and interviewed a few former employees. The reason their nine employees quit? Upper management.
Now before you give me the evil eye, I know there are two sides to every story and you are only hearing one side, but their perception is our reality. What our employees see and feel or what our customers see and feel is their perception and it becomes our reality. We have to remember that. So, whether you agree with what happened in this story or not, please remember that perception trumps reality when it comes to your company’s image.
No employee is bigger than the company or irreplaceable. We can all be fired at any point. I’ve seen rumblings before in workplaces, but never seen what happened at Burger King.
Here’s what happened. The manager, Rachel Flores, stated, “They’ve gone through so many district managers since I’ve been general manager and no one has come to the store to help me out. They’re so in and out.”
Flores had handed in her two-week notice and her eight employees decided to follow suit as they were all fed up. Flores said they had been working in the kitchen in 90-degree heat and no air conditioning. She ended up in the hospital for dehydration. Her boss told her she was being a baby.
They had been working 50 to 60 hours a week with a small staff during busy times but no additional staff were hired.
Her boss heard about the sign very quickly and Flores was told to hand her keys in and was fired.
Food for thought. We’ve all heard that we should work on our business and not in our business but here is a classic case of what can go wrong when you aren’t working in the business as well. It truly takes a mixture of both to be successful.
We can only expect so much out of our employees. If you are hearing rumblings or people are complaining about issues at a certain branch, it’s a sign that you, as an owner or manager, need to pay attention to what is going on and help to fix issues as quickly as possible. Allowing employees to work in an unsafe work environment could lead to fines or being shut down…or having your team walk out on you.
I can only imagine how bad the culture was in this Burger King. A poor culture breeds negativity. Once that sets into your team, it’s like mould. It spreads and becomes more dangerous.
Our employees are the key to our success. Treat them well and they will treat your customers well and your customers will become raving, referring fans which is a wonderful recipe for success. This is my formula that I share quite often while running customer service training events. It’s simple but so true.
Happy employees = happy customers = happy you!
Hopefully you aren’t experiencing any issues like this but, if you are, take care of it quickly. Hiring new staff is costly and interrupts the flow of business. More mistakes happen with newer staff and customers see what is going on. Do you want to chance losing the trust of your employees or customers? I hope not!
Take care of yourselves, your customers and your employees.
Russ Dantu is a 30-year veteran of the rental industry and has been delivering workshops, seminars and keynotes on customer service for over 15 years. Visit russdantu.com.