When I learned the other day about a client facing the sudden loss of a long-term team member, immediately my own experience with this came to mind. My young colleague Amber Morris passed away, shockingly, in 2011.
We spend so much time with the people in our offices and our work lives, that they become like family. When we lose them, it’s jarring, particularly when there’s no foreshadowing of illness or old age.
So my heart lurched a little bit when The C’ville Market told me that one of their most visible team members, a cashier whose face was familiar to customers and community members, was gone, knowing that for years to come customers would look for and miss Marie, and store staff would continue to feel her absence.
When a company suffers a loss like this, it’s important to stop and let the public know. We all feel loss, and sharing it with the public is not only OK, it’s a good idea. It helps the team process the loss and the community to understand why someone they’ve grown accustomed to seeing is suddenly no longer there. We have empathy for loss and sharing it on the professional side of our lives allows our businesses to be human — we’re all looking for authentic, human relationships in our business lives. I’m a stalwart champion of allowing loss to be part of the professional conversation.
If you’d like to leave a note of condolence for The C’ville Market team, there’s a post about the loss of Marie Phillips on the store’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cvillemarket