Business

Managers: Get Out of the Way! | Letting Your Employees Do Their Job

I’ve heard it said, “He is a natural born manager.” I don’t believe it.

It took me years – no, decades – to learn how to manage employees. As I sit in the salon chair getting my hair blown out and listen to my stylist (who also happens to be the salon owner) shout orders to her assistants, I realize how much I’ve learned.

I want to tell her to assign individual duties, to outsource her laundry, have inventory controls, get headsets for the front desk assistants so they don’t miss calls (that’s possible sales!), and then get out of their way!

Instead, she micromanages every detail. As a daily task jumps into her mind, she interrupts her employee’s workflow by shouting commands to them. I watch as they frantically stop one thing to start another. The atmosphere becomes unnecessarily stressful for clients and staff alike.

A Teaching Moment

The other day, she reached her limit and began lamenting to me the woes of having employees. At last, I saw my chance to impart my learned wisdom. I asked her to identify the tasks she wanted done each day. She explained there were opening procedures, closing procedures and daily operations. Then I asked her who was the usual person working those shifts.

When sharing your wisdom, it is important not to talk too much. To plant a seed, usually posed as a question, then let the student begin to extrapolate their own answers on the subject. As we spoke on the above subject of procedures and personnel, we expanded the conversation to include creating ownership for those jobs. That is when she came up with a great idea. Why not let each employee write their own daily tasks? The lady that opened would write her Opening Procedure Rules. The young man that closed would write his Closing Procedure Rules, and her assistant would right her Daily Operation Rules. In addition, they would also be responsible for teaching and giving the list to anyone who worked their shift.

A manager was born! I feel like a proud papa.

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    As someone who worked for Kerry McCoy for 6 years I can say she is one of the easiest people I’ve ever worked with when it comes to making decisions. In my 28 year career as a graphic artist I’ve worked with people who took literally months to make a decision on a design piece. It is frustrating and demoralizing for a designer to have someone that can’t make a decision as simple as what color they want something to be.
    Kerry almost always made a decision quickly without dragging things out, I wasn’t sitting around waiting for meeting after meeting to decide on a projects direction. She knew my time was worth money to her and if I was sitting around idle waiting on a decision she was wasting money. It was such an amazing eye opener for me and a great change to what I’d experienced in other jobs.
    The only other job I could compare it to was my work in newspapers where the decision had to be made in seconds not hours.
    I now run my own business and Kerry’s leadership style and decision making process has taught me so much and what not to do in my own business.
    People really should take her advice! It’s the voice of experience from a successful business owner.

  2. Avatar

    Tammie,

    Thank you for the kind words. So glad I was helpful in your career and so glad your new found business is doing so well! Congratulations!!!! You should have tagged your business in your above post. lol (always thinking)

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