Training Employees for Promotion
Running a 24/7 operation is clearly a full-time job. Many operators try to take care of everything and wind up suffering from burnout. In addition to being hard on your health, operators who try to do it all usually don’t accomplish projects in the best manner because they are rushed and distracted.
It may seem like a good idea to forward phone calls to your cell phone when you are not at the office but it really isn’t. When you are trying to take an order while attending your son’s baseball game, you are distracted and usually ill prepared to take the order. Not to mention your client can hear the screams of that home run that was just hit. That’s not very professional. If you find the time to do some marketing calls, you are probably going to be rushed if you find the time to do it at all. Look for people within your organization who can shadow you and learn what you do. You can train them the way you want it done while allowing them to bring their own creative ideas to you that might just be better than the way you are doing it. People already in your organization have a feel for doing things your way.
Identifying Management Potential
Whether you give a person a fancy title is not nearly as important as identifying people within your organization who show potential. These are the employees who take initiative to go a little further than the average employee. These are employees who ask many questions about how and why you do things. While they may seem annoying, people who behave this way desire to learn more about how you operate your company. You need to ask yourself how and why they ask these questions and whether you think they are capable of being empowered, even for short periods of time to make decisions on behalf of you and the company. Obviously someone with good math, geography and phone skills would be a good person to answer your phones while you attend Johnny’s baseball games. Employees who are aggressive conversationalists with good appearance, articulation and presentation skills make good marketing ambassadors of your company. Consider taking them on a few marketing/sales calls with you and letting them interact with clients. Once you are comfortable, send them out on their own and watch your sales increase with little effort on your part.
The Right Job for the Right Person
It would not be practical to place someone with no mechanical skills as your fleet manager. A person need not have any formal training to take on a new role in the company as long as you choose the right person with the right skill set in the job. Don’t believe that you can take any chauffeur and throw him into a position of authority without training on the job and evaluating the performance before bestowing a title or job duty on the employee. Find the job you want the person to fill and teach them step-by-step how you want it done. Be prepared to listen to a better way of doing it and consider trying it if you think it might work. Remember, you must empower your newly promoted employee to act on your behalf in a new job assignment.
Smooth Operations provides a broad range of information focused on new ideas and approaches in management, human resources, new service ideas, customer service issues, marketing, networking and technology. Email LCT contributing editor Jim Luff at [email protected]