Skills Every Manager Should Know
How To Be A Great Management Without Having Gone To College
There are too many opinions on how to be a great Manager, mostly from those with a college education in Business Management. But what about those of us that didn’t go to college and rose to the Management level from the bottom up?
Rising internally within the ranks of a company is a great honor and should be treated that way. However, training for such a task isn’t always as thorough as that of a business student from a respected college. Training is mostly hands on and in the field. This is pure experience, and probably the hardest way to learn all that a Manager has to learn. Let me show you that some of the questions that you may have that may not be answered like those in the college classroom.
To be fair, I’d like to take a minute to explain what Management is and is not.
Being a Manager is more than just being in charge, it is, organization, planning, human resources, financial… etc.. and importantly, accomplishing task and goals effectively and efficiently. It is not, a place for you to be a bully, or behavior like that of a child on a power trip. Remember, you are a professional NOT an immature employee that takes things personal, or uses the business as a way to control people for personal revenge, vendetta or so on and so forth. And with that I will show you several quick tips on how to maintain that balance that those of you have been looking for that others have not been able to explain.
Mostly those in a higher position that have special training, who have taken a chance on training you as a Manager, will never really be able to explain all of their great wisdom, but, we are grateful for their efforts, and even though their intension are good, they are so high up that they have been disconnected with the war that goes on the battlefield that we call “Going to work”. Lets begin.
First thing you need to understand right from the start as a Manager is that “You are in charge!” What does this mean? Simply that the position is already yours, so there is no need to allow any employee to compete with you or for you to be intimidated by an employee. And on that same note, to be good in this position of authority is to not let it go to your head… balance. Humble yourself, but not so much that you will be walked all over.
Employees can sometimes be like children, trying to push it to see what they can get away with. And yes I understand what that sounds like, but, as a Manager, you will need to be able to recognize an employee like this. Being aware of this behavior will give you more control. Being able to maintain this kind of control in a mature professional way will aid in the over all performance of the business. And that kind of edge is exactly what you need for the most important part of a business… Customers.
The Second thing you need to understand as a Manager is that The Customer Is Your Best Friend, and Not the Enemy. Love the customer. Want the customer. Need the customer. As most of your employees will disagree with this, and there will be those who do not share in this optimism, the customer is where your paycheck comes from, even the rude ones. Customer Service 100%. No exceptions.
In my 15 years of Management experience, I am firm on “Grounds For Termination” for any employee that does not meet the 100% customer service rule, for the simple reason that just like a website will go viral, so will that of a customer with a bad experience at your place of business. Easily more business than we could calculate could be lost. By putting yourself in the customers shoes can you really understand the service you and your staff should be providing.
Think of a time when you were in your local retail store and an employee was reluctant to help you when you asked a simple question. The “What do you want” attitude, or two employees just boldly ignored you or a family member, because they were in a deep conversation about how they hate their job. DON’T let this be you or your staff. Implement the 10 foot rule. If a customer is within 10 feet of you or a member of your staff, greet them and ask if they are finding everything okay. Again, customer service 100%.
Salvage an employee that is salvageable, however, most store policies will state that such behavior, under rules of insubordination, is in fact, grounds for termination. It is at this moment, when you as a young Manager, need to realize that this is the reason you are here, and for who you are here for. General Managers, Executives, Regional Managers and so on, will mostly tell you other wise, and that money is the most important thing in a business, but, let me ask you… where does the money come from??.. Customers.
Treat ALL customers with respect, even the one’s that are screaming in your face, and teach your employees to do the same, and not to ever engage in an argument with a customer, as it is not the job of an employee to handle that type of situation.. it is your job! An employee should always direct an irate customer you. “Would you like to speak to a Manager?” is the proper response to any customer that may be getting out of hand.
Take great care of every customer, as each one is a possible sale. On that same note, employees must learn to distinguish the difference between a possible sale or dud that’s just wasting time. Because time is money. Train to handle such a situation with care and professionalism. But none the less, all potential customers are most important in a business, and should be treated as such.
And third, Know everything about your position. Take the time to understand every aspect of what it is you are there to do. Take notes on how organization is to be. Study those notes. Commit every bit of information to memory. Spend every possible minute on that computer during your first months, learning how to check sales, order product (ship and receive), communicate with those above you, providing all the detail as needed so that order can be maintained and flow productively.
It is important to strengthen your interview skills. Being able to identify positive aspects in a potential employee will allow you to have a more disciplined work environment, rather than just filling a space with a warm body, which may lead to disorganization during peak hours of the day. Nothing is more frustrating than mini chaos when crunch time comes. This is an area of the business that should be taken slow. Be as thorough as possible when hiring. The person you hire for any position, is a person who will represent the company, and his or her performance will reflect your skills as a Manager.
This type of discipline is exactly what is needed in every business. Knowing how to control the flow of every aspect of the business will improve your skills as a Manager. This is the kind of balance that is needed to succeed.
Your Business Partner,
Roland C. Ramos