As a Manager, Are You Really That Important?

So you arrive early every day and stay late. Sometimes you work overnight. You do everything you are asked to do by your District Manager. Heck, you even check in on your team on your days off. You are working hard to succeed, and yet you still have come up short in sales and customer service ratings…what is the problem?

Have you ever asked yourself this question “I am doing everything I can, but still can’t seem to produce the results I am being asked for?”

This is a question that can come as a result of poor sales, a difficult store visit, staffing issues, or by simply being overrun by the workload. Let’s face it, retail can be a brutally tough business as seasons and competitors come and go. Managing a retail store takes personal dedication that can make results feel like a personal reflection of our self.

But hold the phone…are we thinking about this right? Let’s do a little math. Let’s say that I manage a retail store with 25 employees, so that means as the manager, I represent 1/25th of the workforce. I am 1/25th or 4% of the team. If I work at 100% capacity, I am still only 4% of the team that a customer will interact with. Using a sports analogy – I can be the best quarterback in the history of football, but if my team is young, inexperienced, and poorly matched for our competition, then I cannot make up for their lack of performance and the team will lose.

So, let’s go back to the original question – “I am doing everything I can, but still can’t seem to produce the results I am being asked for?” As 4% of the team, you can never do it all, but you can lead. A good manager is not a “Do-it-all-yourselfer” and realizes that to multiply the effect of their 4% they have to lead a team. It is like investing. You take a small amount of your income and put it to use where it can generate more income. Investing in your team generates multiple dividends including improved efficiency, customer service, and overall job satisfaction. Just like investing in your savings, the first step is setting aside time to invest in your team.

Unless you do it on time, in full, at every site, you are not executing at all

How can I invest in my team today? Start by making a plan. Set aside 15 minutes each day to coach one of your teammates on some aspect of the business or an important procedure. Once you feel confident they know the process, delegate the work to them and invite them to train others on the team. As your team gains traction, don’t forget to audit their work and verify that all work is completed to your standards. View yourself as a coach and mentor that is prepping the team to run without you at the helm. After all, you are only 4% of the team!

What do you think? Are you a recovering “do-it-all-yourselfer”? How do you coach your team – I would love to hear your comments.

This article originally appeared in the Bindy moderated LinkedIn Group, District Managers and Retail Operations and has been posted here with the author’s permission.

About the author:
Chris_FifelskiChristopher Fifelski is a district manager at Walgreens. He has nearly 20 years of retail experience. Chris is an entrepreneurial-minded leader with a knack for project development and management as well as developing leadership in others on the team.

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