Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Long Week

For some reason this week seems like it doesn't want to end. I shouldn't complain since so many weeks buzz by so quickly that I can't even remember what I did all week. I had a very early morning on Tuesday - had to get up at 5:30 am to get to work on time.  Now it is Thursday and it feels like it should be Friday or Saturday.  I guess the cold froze my creative brain and I simply didn't have much to say that last two days.  Here in the East it has been very cold. To people in Minnesota I am sure that 9 degrees isn't cold - but to us it is! I can't stand to be outside for more that a couple of minutes at a time.

At any rate - I will talk a little bit about some training experiences I have had this week before getting back into some planning and organization tips in my next post. The longer I stay here and type - the longer it is before I have to go out into the cold and snow!

Seeing Progress
Two restaurants that I visited this week gave me a great deal of hope- and made me feel good about the job that I do. These stores are proof that if you train people - and coach them to do the job right - along with giving them the right tools and environment in which to work - they will improve.  While there are some people who just want to do their own thing and will not follow your direction no matter what - I believe that most people want to do what is right and will do it if you should them how.

Store 1 just lost their store manager. He was on a vacation and when he came back he worked a couple of hours - said he didn't feel well and left - then he called his district manager and said that he was quitting.  Just like that - a store that was already struggling with procedures was left without a leader. The other managers who work there (well two of them, anyway) are stepping up and taking charge- the other two are questionable. The thing I have seen is that the coaching and direction that I have given to the team has, for the most part, taken hold. They are not perfect - but they want to do well.  When I correct them they don't push back - they ask for more information.  There is one person to whom I have given the same direction a couple of times and he still does a couple things his way - I hope to see that final piece fall into place on my next visit.

Store 2 has gone through a remarkable change!  Just getting rid of a bad leader took them up a step - putting in a decent leader raised them a little higher - but he decided after only two weeks that he would rather work somewhere else a person who was already working there - who has experience as a store manager has been promoted and the change is WOW!  The mood and atmosphere of the whole restaurant is so much better.  They aren't perfect - but this is a store that has really had it ups and (mostly) downs - even with some "leaders" (I use the term loosely)  who had a ton of experience and should have been able to make a difference.

The lesson for today is - don't quit - don't give up! Keep pushing and training and looking for that right leader who will make a difference.  Eventually it will stick and you will see improvement. Training is always worth the time and energy that it takes!  Sometimes when things seem bad - take a look back at where you came from to help you to recognize how far you have come!

Training is not a one - time event - it is an ongoing journey...Learn it...Live it...Pass it on!

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