2 Important Pieces of Great Management
By Laura Laaman
Being a pet care facility manager can be a very rewarding job, but it often comes with significant responsibilities. Managers are often responsible for ensuring excellent pet care—but that’s only one part of what makes a good pet care facility leader.
Successful management depends on skills most managers unfortunately aren’t trained for. Everyone has different challenges, but there are some techniques top managers find universally valuable—here are two of them.
1 Know Your Goals
The human mind is like a missile. Give it a target, apply appropriate energy, keep focused, and it will usually hit its mark. Unfortunately, many managers walk around without targets. If a missile (or manager) doesn’t have a clear target, it will search and search until it runs out of energy and falls short of its true potential. Goals are generators of enthusiasm and targets for success.
The first step in management success is to know exactly what your primary goals are. No two managers will have the same set of goals, but there are certain objectives managers often want to meet. Regardless of the number of management roles in your company, each manager was hopefully hired with specific ambitions in mind. Here are a few important goals managers might set to improve their company’s growth and overall success:
- Hitting revenue goal posts
- Increasing pet nights
- Maintaining a high online review score
- Successful cross marketing efforts
- A small missed call percentage
Regardless of how many managers you have or what their roles include, success depends on knowing exactly what’s expected. Managers should take the time to consult with the owner(s) to determine their individual goals. Goals should be qualified and, even better, quantified. A qualified goal is a description, such as good customer service, healthy pets or low employee injuries. A quantified goal is specific and measurable, such as an amount of doggie daycare attendees or a certain new customer conversion percentage. The strongest goals are quantified.
2 Write Important Items Down
Most of us learn and retain information visually. This is true for day-to-day life and for official company policies/procedures. Effective written information leaves little room for interpretation, misunderstanding and forgetting. It’s a simple way to increase your and your team’s productivity— from simple written reminders to detailed instructions. Here are some ways writing things down can help improve management performance.
Write Down Your Goals
Now that you have established the significance of having clear, attainable goals, writing them down can make them even stronger. Posting goals in visible places will help you achieve them. If you don’t write them down, they’re just dreams. Post your goals in highly visible locations, such as on your work monitor, your door and even your bathroom mirror. Anywhere you’re going to see them, read and re–read them.
Written goals will benefit your team as well. Ensure they know their goals and ensure they’re written down as well. Post them in the break room or by the time clock.
Write Down Your Priorities
Time flies, especially in the fast-paced, ever–changing pet industry. The best managers don’t have any more time in a day than anyone else, but they spend their time focusing on—and actually doing—the most important tasks. Writing down and prioritizing tasks helps ensure you’re being highly productive. Whether you have a paper notebook or an app on your phone, a visible and sorted list of daily tasks will boost a manager’s productivity. Steps to prioritizing include:
- Write down everything you want to accomplish, no matter how trivial it may seem.
- Prioritize your to–do list with A, B or C, based on importance. Your A items are likely the most challenging and important items. Finishing them before the smaller, less urgent tasks will move your day and business forward.
- If it’s not possible to perform a task today, ensure you set time aside and write it down on your schedule for the following day.
- Most importantly—keep your commitments!
At the end of the day, you can reassess your list and see which items you’ve crossed off and which need to be added to tomorrow’s list. It’s always good to write the next day’s to-do list at the end of the workday to ensure nothing slips between the cracks.
Write Down Your Guidelines
One of the primary reasons a company might struggle with employee performance is a lack of clear, written procedures. Instead, the manager (and employee) makes assumptions. It’s best to manage any team with the mindset that everyone wants to do a good job. But does your team know exactly what a good job means and looks like? Taking a little time to write down your guidelines up–front reduces misunderstandings and clarifies what’s expected of your team members.
Take cleaning an enclosure, for example. Of course, you know exactly how an enclosure should be cleaned and the steps you’d take to do it, but without clear instruction, is it reasonable to expect your employees to do it the exact same way?
So, how do we shift your brilliance to others?
- Take a minute to detail the 5–10 actions you’d take to clean the enclosure.
- Include the supplies you’d need to be properly prepared, as well as where the supplies are kept.
- Have someone else follow your steps to ensure they can implement the directions and ensure your new document details all the necessary information.
- If there are steps you have missed, add them as you go.
- Don’t forget to provide the expected time it should take to complete a task.
Provide quality control measures (so no corners are cut).
Being a successful, well–rounded manager requires certain skills and training, and a good manager is an invaluable asset to a pet care company. By adding these tools to your arsenal, you and your team will be even more productive.
Laura Laaman is president of Outstanding Pet Care. Outstanding Pet Care guarantees to substantially increase the revenues of its clients with its proven services. One of our new services is management success training. If you’re interested in growing your revenues, schedule an individual consultation with Laura Laaman or one of her team members. Call Outstanding Pet Care at 1-888-735-5667 or go to www.OutstandingPetCare.com