How does a car wash manager motivate people to perform at a high level of service in an industry where the wages are low and the working conditions are difficult? It’s not an easy task!
What separates a decent manager from an exceptional one is people-managing skills. Passion for the business and personal leadership will motivate employees, but people also need ongoing mentorship and training. Here are seven tips for managing your employees exceptionally.
1. Make Good Hiring Decisions
The first step to managing well is hiring the right people! When advertising a job, don’t just list the position, but take time to consider the traits required for someone to be successful in this job. For example, an attendant needs to possess a willingness to work outside, a positive attitude toward customers, and a tendency to follow rules and procedures. Potential hires should be surveyed to see how well their natural behavior traits align with the job model.
2. Train (& Retrain) Employees
Exceptional managers never fail to treat new employees as though they will be employed with them for a long time (even though statistics show this to be unlikely). A training program needs to be in place for new hires with procedures to master and standards to be achieved. The best managers take time to explain why they do what they do, how to do it well, and what is expected. This not only improves performance but also increases the chances of retaining good employees.
3. Be Positive
Advanced managers are easily spotted by their positive appearance, manner, and communication. Their personal appearance is neat and clean, and they smile! These managers appear to actually want to be at their jobs. Most importantly, there is no “attitude” in their approach to customers, employees, or their work. Exceptional managers truly love the business, are passionate about learning everything they can, and enjoy passing their knowledge along to grow others.
4. Keep HR Costs in Line
How can a store manager maintain a human resources percentage that is better than industry standards? The manager must develop a staff with flexibility. An exceptional manager knows how to juggle the schedule to match staffing with hourly volume requirements. This can be tricky when volume is dependent upon weather. A skillful manager might train employees to call in before reporting to work on bad weather days, so the manager is able to make schedule adjustments proactively.
5. Discipline Effectively
A manager’s personal leadership qualities can go a long way toward compelling employees to show up for work when scheduled, to comply with the appearance policy, and to follow procedures and directions. An effective manager also must have the ability to administer progressive discipline when required. Most people need both positive and corrective feedback to be successful. Even the best organizations will have employees who require discipline. There needs to be a well-defined disciplinary process leading to termination.
6. Know What Motivates Your Employees
Every individual is different, and an advanced manager recognizes this. Observe your employees to find out what they like to do and don’t like to do. How do they like to be treated? Some people are motivated by encouragement (“I know you can do this!”) while others are motivated by a challenge (“Do you think you can get this done?”). Some people value stability, while others are motivated by unpredictability. Make notes on each of your direct reports, and review them periodically as a reminder of what motivates each individual.
7. Delegate Effectively
An exceptional manager is constantly teaching people. If you are committed to ongoing training, you will develop a highly competent team. The result is a manager who is freed up to focus on the business. When everyone on the property knows how to do their jobs correctly, a manager can turn attention to customers and to improving results. Exceptional managers can delegate many key tasks because they have fully developed the potential of the people reporting to them.