Whatever awards or medals a business may have won, its real stamp of approval cannot be framed and hung on a wall.
That approval comes from customers’ trust and faith in staff; and staff’s trust and faith in management.
This bond is unique and personal, and it’s the latter characteristic that can set people at odds with the professional.
Over the past week, the Goulburn Post has received letters and calls from former Blooms employees with the same subject: head office and local store managers had shown little interest in listening to the concerns and complaints of their workers.
Ex-staff were upset, saddened, and questioned the treatment they’d received; or, the treatment they hadn’t received, feeling ignored and let down by a corporation that had lost sight of its people.
Details on the departure of 10 employees since the start of this year came out. Past staff repeated that they were not a group of disgruntled ex-employees with pitchforks seeking retribution, but local residents who had poured countless hours into a job they loved.
In an email to Blooms’ general manager of operations, an ex-employee – who wished to remain anonymous here – described the workplace as hostile, bullying with verbal mistreatment, stressful, and physically and mentally debilitating – and unacceptable.
These are not words that should be associated to any workplace.
There are many reasons why employees leave jobs – forcibly and voluntarily – and there are many reasons why those 10 employees left, some more compelling than others.
In professional matters that are so personal, no one can say that they really know.
But what we do know is that in a community as tightly knit as Goulburn and district, there is no room for miscommunication or bad blood between employees and employers.
Casual chatter of staff and customers in the streets is what makes a reputation locally. It’s that stamp of approval that cannot be framed and hung on a wall.
Equally, it works the other way. An employee who earns a bad reputation will have a hard time finding their next job in this little city.
It’s a cautionary tale for all, employers and employees alike.
Because, whatever business you’re in, you’re in the people business.