“In A study by Dale Carnegie Training revealed that nearly three-quarters of employees are not fully engaged at work. Of those who are, the number one factor that contributes to employee engagement is their relationship with their immediate supervisor.” (1.Five Things Great Managers Do Every Day) So that raises the question, how do you create a good managerial relationship without being walked all over like a doormat. Have a commanding authority while at the same time have people view you as a friend and someone who cares. How can you get the most out the staff while not having to worry about being too soft and getting taken advantage of? How do you become that manager that gets written up in Forbes and is writing books about how they manage their workers? At Strong College Students we face this challenge everyday. We are managing a staff of college students movers who need a lot of accommodation with their constantly changing school schedule. We strive to create a family atmosphere within our organization while still making sure our staff is developing as leaders as well as responsible staff members.
Many will make excuses that there company can’t function like that, that it is different for their industry, that it’s impractical. There are a few rules and principles I will outline that will allow you to have your own unique style while still getting the most out of your workers. They will allow you to be respected and have control yet still create friend and manager relationship with your staff. It won’t matter what industry you’re in, if you’re selling glue sticks or running a fortune 500 company.
Be Yourself- People know when you are being yourself and when you are faking it. Managing with that authenticity is a big part of people buying into what you’re selling. When people can read you and know what your intentions are they may let their guard down a little and not always be on the defensive worrying about their manager taking advantage of their good nature. This will allow your workers to be themselves as well creating a comfortable work environment for everyone.
With a staff of student movers we are dealing with a variety of personalities and motives amongst our staff. Everyone comes from a different background and being ourselves as managers is the only consistent way to quickly gain their respect. They can quickly pick up on the nature of your personality and see your motives. We have staff coming and going quickly with students graduating each semester. With each class of student movers coming in each year it’s imperative to gain their respect quickly and being yourself as a manager expedites that process greatly.
Be Direct- When dealing with an issue, deal with it directly. This means not beating around the bush. Don’t ask Jim and Sally why Joe’s sales are so low. Ask Joe why Joe’s sales are so low and from there work on a solution. Being direct increases worker/manager communication as well as gives each worker a sense of individualism while letting them know they are respected enough to be spoken with in such a straightforward manner. This is especially true when dealing with conflict. Always be direct and handle things immediately. Don’t wait for stories to twist, issues to be forgotten about and days to go by until things are simply forgotten about. Deal with conflicts immediately and directly.
At Strong College Students we depend on our crew leaders to report back to management on a variety of issues. Uppermanagemt must be direct with them on what information we need as well as their response be direct with us to ensure customer satisfaction and safety in the workplace at all times. Direct communication helps us deliver the highest quality student movers for the highest quality moving services.
Don’t just manage, lead- Anyone can manage but it takes a special set of skills to lead. A manager role can crumble from a slight breeze because of a lacking leadership foundation. It’s important to stay positive and not complain. Complaining shows weakness, as the manger it is your duty to solve problems. If you are complaining about a problem and not solving them, now who is left to turn to. A manager who doesn’t complain and who will find answers instead of excuses will be the one viewed as a true leader. Once you are viewed as a true leader you gain a certain respect from your followers, which if you gain enough of, you will have an army behind you waiting on your next command.
No typical day at Strong College Students is the same. We are always traveling to different parts of town to service new clients which is why we value leadership so highly. Anyone can move be a mover but a trained mover whose in great physical condition, combines with a great leadership to really create an unforgettable moving experience. It is that leadership that we depend on from our moving crew leaders to be able to keep our standard of service so high.
Delegating to the right people- Everyone has their own specific strengths and weaknesses. great managers realize this and ensure that there staff is always in a position to display their strengths, not their weaknesses. Certain people are better at certain things then others and the team will be much more productive when everyone is doing what they’re best at. If you are not good at one specific thing then it doesn’t make much sense for that to be a major part of your job role. Recognizing this and using this strategy to assemble your team is critical to efficiency and overall productivity.
At Strong College Students we place people in positions to display their talents and succeed. We evaluate our staff physically and mentally to make sure they are able to complete the job role at the highest level before they become a member of our team. We have an organizational structure where everyone can have a specific responsibility based on their specific strengths and educational background to maximize everyone’s effectiveness.
Hold regular, meaningful one on ones- In our age of technology texting and email can take over communication and without realizing it you may have not heard your manager’s voice in a few weeks. Meaningful one on ones give your staff a chance to speak only to you. To air out any issues that may be going on honestly, without judgement from their co workers. It allows them to be themselves, express how they see the organization functioning while simultaneously improving your relationship with them, giving them a regular outlet to help solve problems and innovate.
We utilize web chats at Strong College Students to ensure that one on ones take place frequently. Due to our student movers being just that, Students. Everyone is on different schedules and matching up times for a meeting can be challenging, which web chats help alleviate the stress of. We make sure that upper management is always connected and that everyone has an opportunity to have their voice heard.
Don’t just manage, lead. Solve problems, be direct and put your staff in positions to succeed at the highest level. Build relationships and communicate regularly. You must perform all small tasks at the highest level before you have success at the highest level.
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