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.