I feel that one of my greatest accomplishments as a manager is that I have at least 3 people that have worked for me that are at least department managers with my company now, and numerous others who are supervisors. It is a great feeling to know that people took the lessons I taught them and are using them to be successful. The funny thing is when I talk to these past employees and they tell me that they learned this or that from me I think it is really cool but I don't really remember teaching them anything specific or groundbreaking. I like to teach (and lead) by example. My new position now has me not only teaching by example but hands on training my employees and working with them so they can be successful.
My GM Manger is in Orlando this week at the Annual Back to Campus show, and right now she doesn't have an assistant or a floor supervisor. My week has been busy in the general merchandise department. But part of my week in the GM department has been working with one of the full time employees who has been at the store for a while. She is a young sales associate with a ton of spirit and know how. She can see what needs to be done but lacks some of the confidence to make sure it gets done or make a decision. She can shy away from problems because she has never been empowered to make the big decision.
This week I started to empower her to make key decisions as well as be the lead when it comes to maintaining the floor. She worked hard pulling merchandise up to the floor and did an excellent job finding the different tasks that needed to be completed everyday. I worked closely with her on assigning tasks since delegation seems to be one of her weaknesses (definitely a difficult thing when you have not done it before).
On Tuesday she had written down a list of 8 or 10 things that needed to be done. There was a full staff in the GM department so I went over the list with her and asked her who was going to be working on each task. She went down the list and 6 of the 10 things she had written down she said that she was going to do. I pulled her aside and said, "O, you don't need to do everything, what you need to do is explain what needs to be done to your employees and hold them accountable for completing the tasks. On Tuesday I walked with her and explained the tasks that needed to be completed to the employees and then later helped O follow up with the employees. She was a bit shy about this at first but then she warmed up to the idea because she realized that things were getting completed quicker and she was able to focus on the bigger tasks and the bigger picture.
By Thursday evening I walked up to the customer service desk and gave her a few items that I wanted to be completed while I was on Jury Duty. I pulled her aside and gave her the list and her response was:
OK, well J is doing the mugs so I will make sure that she pulls these and fills up that shelf and C has been working on the gifts section so I will ask her to fill in these items over there. I will have A go downstairs and breakdown the boxes since he was working in the stockroom today and I will continue to work on organizing the high end gifts stockroom and labeling the display cases. Do we need to work on anything else tomorrow?
Oh man, I have created a monster! I love it!