Getting The Most From Your Managers

Often times a manager will come to our food safety seminar and ask a very simple but important question, “How do I tell my employees to do that?” I find employees sometimes get promoted into a supervisory position because they are great at their job and have the qualities of a good manager but then fail miserably at their new managerial responsibilities. This can unfortunately lead to disastrous results for everyone involved including employees, customers, owners and even the managers themselves. Managing people is serious business and a completely separate job from their previous position. They may even be required to manage and still do some work such as prepare food or serve tables which makes it even more difficult for them to be a successful manager because they are often seen as peers to the staff.
Because managing people is serious business let’s look at a few basic tips that can be used to ensure managers are able to run your business successfully.

1. Promote/hire appropriately

Promoting an employee to a management position is just as important as hiring the right people, so do this right. If you are looking for a manager give all applicants, including internal personnel, an opportunity to show that they are qualified by interviewing them. You may find some unknown strengths and weakness during this process that will help you form your decision.

2. Provide training

Being a manager is a unique responsibility that requires a unique set of skills that you don’t want a new manager learning “the hard way”. The management position is too crucial to the success of a company to not have the appropriate training provided to them. If you are unable to provide the necessary management training that’s ok because there are plenty of companies that specialize in this that you may be able to find online.

3. Let them know what is expected of them.

A manager can’t be expected to meet your expectations unless they know what your expectations are. This means that you may need to share with them crucial information about your business like weekly revenue, food cost, labor cost and any other information about your company that you want to see the manager monitoring. And don’t forget to review this information regularly.

4. Set Goals

If you want your manager to achieve results there needs to be tangible results for them to meet. If food cost is out of control then they need to know what your current food cost is and the food cost you would like to see is. If you want to see higher customer counts then let them know what you are at now and what you would like to be at.

5. Empower them

A manager can only create results if they have the power and support to do so. Do they have the authority to change vendors or give an employee a write-up? Do they have a budget to work with for local store marketing? Can they terminate a team member? And remember, even if you don’t agree with your manager all of them time you must support their decisions in front of the employees, then express your concerns with their choices in private.

If you find yourself having a hard time trusting managers or they are unable to perform these duties it may not be any bodies “fault” it could be that they are not the right fit for the position. And remember, demoting almost always fails so do your best to give this manager every opportunity to obtain the necessary management knowledge they need before considering termination.