Tatum: Empowering Your Team

April 1, 2024
Ways that you can give responsibility to your managers.

In each of our locations, we employ a manager to oversee the daily operations of our facility. Everyone has their own qualifications as to what that person needs to know how to do, and what skills are required to do the job.

As you build your managers’ skill sets to be a much more valuable member of the organization, you can start adding on some duties that are not among the normal day-to-day-to-dos. I am going to put together a list of things that you can try and delegate down to see how your manager embraces them. The more that they can take on, the more attractive they become for you when looking for a promotion to the next level.

Regional Store Managers

If you have stores in different markets, or even a few that are clumped together, an effective way to see how someone communicates and multitasks is to add the title of regional store manager (RSM). What is this, you ask? It is an extension of your area manager that assists in some operational areas. 

In our area, we have a reginal store manager that assists in training management, coordinates paperwork drops, participates in sales training sessions, and acts as a sound board for the stores in that area. No matter what responsibility you want to add to that role, it is a fantastic opportunity to see what you have in the house.

In my case, all three of my area managers were at one time in this RSM role. It allowed them to gain experience in multistore communication, leadership, and organization. In one market, each manager that runs a location was trained by them when they were RSMs. This allows there to also be more trust in the leadership of the area manager. They also knew their personnel well enough that they were able to make better decisions on promotions and hiring key positions.

Add On Some Ordering

Now some of your managers may already do this for themselves, but look at allowing a manager or two to order their own inventory with a little oversight. This will give them a more top-down look at the usage in their stores and how they can manage to stay ahead of outages. If they get good enough doing their own location, add another store to their plate. This will teach them how to effectively stock a location that they can only see through reporting. This is what many area managers do if they are ordering.

If this is something that is already done in your stores, use it as a training tool. Allow them to train an assistant to read the data and place the order. This gives them direct training skills for inventory management. Then maybe allow another person to learn the process as well. In the end, you may have two to three people in each store that can complete ordering. This is helpful in vacation and promotional situations. The train keeps moving instead of slowing down.

Shadowing for a Day

If you have someone in your organization that is already a few levels better than the others, think about letting them shadow you or an area manager for a day. This gives them a better understanding of what it is that is done as they move up. When I was still a manager, we had a printable sheet marked “What it Takes to Become a DM” and much if that is in store areas of management.

Once I expressed the desire to move up, I got to assist the area manager on some warranty issues in the field and visit other stores from time to time to help with training or inventory. These trivial things, though they may not seem like much, did help in my transition to the area manager role, as I had direct experience doing them.

What other things can you think of to add some responsibility to your managers? I just gave you a few good ones off the top of my head that I have done in the past. What are the ways that you could take this same process of thinking to your area managers? How can you expand their skill sets as well? The more that you can rub information off on your teams, the more successful you may become.

About the Author

Adam Tatum

Adam Tatum is the Director of Operations for Virginia Lubes, a Jiffy Lube franchisee with 11 locations. He has over a decade of experience in the industry with a proven track record of building customer counts and sales, as well as using innovative ways to bring a new look to the automotive field for both the customer and the employee.  Performance comes from growing your business through people.

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