As a leader, one of your most important jobs is to develop your managers. Most of us are pretty good at doing that with newly promoted person, but we often slow down or stop developing them once they attain a certain amount of experience and competency.
Here are three ways you may or may not have put into action with your more seasoned management team.
1. Delegate improving a particular metric or category sales over a 60-90 day period. This could be a particular category or brand, increasing ADS or conversion/transactions, or any other area of performance that can be improved.
This is not about being in charge of a department. This is taking full responsibility for analyzing current performance and approach, coming up with a plan to improve, and following through and working the plan. Taking something like this on for two or three months is an incredible opportunity for your assistant to develop, and for you to coach her.
2. The phantom sabbatical. What would happen if today you decided to take a six-month sabbatical? (Besides buying that new bathing suit and/or golf clubs you'd want to take with you!) Would your leadership team be ready to step in and run the store? Would they know how to do everything?
Usually when I ask that I question the response is something like, "Yes, for the most part, but I would need to show or teach this or that." Bingo! What is your leadership team's this or that? That's a great area to focus development.
3. Coaching the coach in person. It is important to give your managers feedback on how well they coach the staff, and the only way to do this effectively is to observe them while they're coaching.
At least once a month, if not more, tell the staff that one of your managers is in charge for the day. They should see you as just another associate. Observe the manager and give her/him feedback at a couple points during the day. Don't wait until the end of the day, or the person will miss the opportunity to immediately apply the feedback.
Other coaching the coach opportunities include having managers lead staff meetings, join in on Take Fives, and even have them lead one-on-one discussions with associates.
So let me ask, how consistently are you developing your seasoned managers? Which of these tips might you apply, or is there something else you’ve been considering that you could move forward with?
About Doug: Doug Fleener, the former director of retail for Bose Corporation, is a speaker and consultant known for bring fresh approaches and powerful actionable ideas to clients and audiences around the world. Learn more at DougFleener.com.