No one ever said that being a manager is easy — it’s not. I was a manager in the software industry for more than 10 years, and frankly, it was the toughest job I’ve ever had. But, that said, there are certain things that separate really great managers and leaders from those who aren’t. (Such things as empathy, decisiveness, confidence, honesty, and accountability.)
Unfortunately for a team of employees working at a Pizza Hut fast-food restaurant in Jacksonville, Florida — an area that recently suffered the worst flooding it had seen in the past 100 years as a result of Hurricane Irma — they were treated to a living, breathing example of a manager who was not so great.
As Hurricane Irma — which remained a Category 5 storm, with wind speeds of at least 185 miles per hour, for longer than any previous storm in recorded history — fast approached Florida, the manager of the Pizza Hut posted a note on the restaurant bulletin board “To all Team members.”
— Jacobin (@jacobinmag) September 11, 2017
While the manager acknowledged that “Our #1 priority is the safety and security of our team,” he (or she — reports don’t indicate the gender of the errant manager) explained that store policy would be to allow a “grace period” of just 24 hours before the storm was expected to hit to not show up for their work shifts. This was despite repeated calls by government officials, law enforcement, and the media to evacuate the path of the storm as soon as possible.
Not only that, but the manager added (in bold), “In the event of an evacuation, you MUST return within 72 HOURS.”
According to the manager’s note, employees who heeded the Hurricane Irma evacuation orders and failed to report to their work shifts before the 24-hour grace period, or who were unable to return to work within 72 hours after they evacuated, would “be considered a no call/ no show and documentation will be issued.” I suppose said documentation could include a written warning or reprimand, or even firing.
While there were no other reports of Pizza Hut managers posting a similar note, I have to wonder what kind of training the company is providing to its store managers.
For its part, Pizza Hut reportedly posted this response to the event — and the public outcry that resulted — on its website:
“We absolutely do not have a policy that dictates when team members can leave or return from a disaster, and the manager who posted this letter did not follow company guidelines. We can also confirm that the local franchise operator has addressed this situation with the manager involved.”
I’m sure that the manager who posted that note in the Jacksonville Pizza Hut has learned an important lesson, and hopefully he (or she) is now on the path to becoming a great leader — not something less than that.
More Info: www.inc.com