What We USED to do when an Employee Quit
How to Professionally Handle and Recover from a Key Employee Leaving Your Business
As any business that employs part-time team members, we see a fair amount of employee turnover at Climbing Vines. This is true for any local business, but especially for an indoor playground. Many people will apply and join your team without fully understanding what to expect, or what’s expected of them since the business concept is relatively new.
While I felt business was a strong suit of mine, when I first opened my play cafe, I was in no way prepared to manage a team or to develop efficient processes. After all, in business school, we learned a LOT of theory without a lot of application. Everything I knew assumed “perfect conditions.” However, in a real brick-and-mortar business, perfection is not the case. Appliances break, humans make errors, and customers are unpredictable.
So, I’m not proud to say, managers or key employees have left our business unexpectedly and I was left to scramble to replace them.
Even if they gave their 2-week notice, it was still incredibly stressful trying to get a posting written, posting it online, scheduling interviews, DOING the interviews, making hiring decisions AND training new employees during a 2 week time period.
So here’s my best advice for preparing your local business for WHEN-- that’s right, when-- an employee walks out unexpectedly.
Have a Job Post Written for Every Position in Your Business
Have a job post written for EVERY position you have ready-to-go, just in case. Have a plan about where you will post the ad as well. For entry-level positions like part-time team members or party assistants, Facebook is a great place to start. For managerial positions or supervisor positions, I have found both Indeed and LinkedIn to be effective.
Be sure to outline the job responsibilities extremely specifically AND set application requirements. This will help to weed out some of the applicants who apply to every single posting and help you reduce the time you will need to spend looking through the applications.
Create a System for Interviewing Candidates
Have a system for interviewing potential employees. Set them up for 15-minute increments, and have a set list of questions. I talk more about hiring in a lesson inside Play Cafe Academy, but my point here is have everything ready to go and a plan in place you can execute at a moment’s notice. It will reduce your stress and help you remain focus on your business, other tasks, and family while you find your new team members in an efficient manner.
Empower Your Employees to Continually Document What They Are Doing
As a business owner, you should have your systems and processes documented, but employees may begin to develop their own working patterns. Empower your employees, especially any managers, to continually document what they are doing, when they are doing it, and how they are doing it so that everyone has access to the information.
This is a win for your employees, even if they have no plans of leaving because it will reduce their stress if they need to call in sick or if they experience an emergency. It is also a win for you because you will be able to cross train your employees to fill multiple rolls OR train a new employee to fill a role quickly and effectively.
Make sure this documentation stays updated because it will ALWAYS serve your business and your team.
Always Assume that You Are in the Wrong
Finally, and most importantly, remember that an employee joins a company and quits a boss. As Paul Maskill shared in his recent interview with me, if an employee does something “wrong,” it is rarely solely their “fault.” More often than not, it’s actually a breakdown in a process or a miscommunication stemming from a manager failing to communicate a task properly. Once I realized this, I began taking more responsibility, and my employees became happier and more productive as a result.
While our employee retention rate is higher than ever, we do still see some turnover. However, because I have implemented these steps, I am now prepared when someone does choose to pursue other employment. It’s no longer a catastrophe as it would have been in the past, but rather a natural part of the business.
I get into specifics about systems and processes, hiring and firing, and employee retention inside Play Cafe Academy. Have you joined yet?