For some people, a job is just a job. They don’t particularly want to be at work, and though they may not hate it, they would rather be doing something else. As a self storage manager, you no doubt wish this wasn’t the case. You’d like your employees to do a great job, but also to enjoy their work.
The good news is that you can help to make things better, make the workplace a more rewarding and enjoyable place to be, while seeing improvement in performance.It’s all about team building.
Having a great team starts at the hiring stage. No doubt, you already vet your potential hires well. Just make sure to look for people with good ideas and the desire to work well with others. You want a talented staff you can nurture. Consider introducing applicants to other members of the team. It’s important for your employees to respect and trust each other.
The book Tribes, by Seth Godin, talks about how leaders can arise anywhere in an organization, and how that’s a good thing. For example, a desk clerk may come up with a way to increase your tenant retention through social media marketing. A maintenance person may recommend a software platform that allows many facilities to work better together.
Get team input. Allow your employees to come up with great ideas. Each employee should feel a sense of ownership for his or her ideas, and for the job, and ownership helps to get them excited about work. It gives a feeling of pride.
No doubt, you have a vision for your facility. Maybe your mission statement is something like this:
“My facility serves the storage needs of the immediate community and beyond. We have a friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable staff, fair prices, clean grounds, and respond quickly to customer needs. We offer both standard and climate controlled storage, have expanded hours, and due to all that, have a high tenant retention rate. Tenants who do move out often recommend us to others. We help the community with a recycling program and are part of the Neighborhood Watch program. Locals are happy to have us around.”Get your team to buy into the vision! One great way to do that is to have meetings where you talk about how things are going, and what you see for the facility’s future. They should know that it will benefit them by making the workplace more enjoyable. Also, do something special for the meetings. Take the crew to lunch.
When things go great, reward your team. Have a pizza party, a day at the park for the team and their family members, or maybe an evening bowling. When a company treats its employees well, the employees love the company.
This may sound contradictory to the idea that anyone can come up with new ideas, but it’s not. Big ideas should still be encouraged and shared with the manager and the team, but it’s also important to remember that you hired each person to do a specific job. When each member of the team does what he was hired to, things run more smoothly.
That doesn’t mean the roles need to be completely rigid, however. Say Jeff stocks the sales items and does light janitorial work every morning. Perhaps you should train him on the register, because at some point, he’ll be stacking boxes when Janet has to run out for a few minutes and a new customer comes in wanting to rent. Jeff can then set up the rental while Janet is out.
You may also want to set up a team discussion board. People are used to social media these days. A private group on Facebook, for example, would allow your team to ask everyone else questions or to share new ideas.
These tips should help you to build a fun, effective team of employees who enjoy coming to work.