I'd Like A Few Management Tips Please.

August 29, 2010

Q: I just purchased my first manufacturing plant which will probably test my management skills to the max as this will be my first entrepreneurial venture at this level. The company has about 45 employees and I want to approach this entire process in a highly professional & effective manner.
(Any suggestions for the “new girl on the block?”)

A: I could probably write books on the do’s and do not’s if I knew more about your life experiences and the new company. But let me to provide an extremely short version of items that just pop into my head without much of an in-depth or detailed thought process.

1. Work on being consistent. Employees like to know where “YOU” stand on a given day. Try to present the same game face almost every day no matter how stressed you may be or problems on your mind.
2. Do not attempt to micro manage as this would be the kiss of death. Instead become a sponge, ask questions that show employees you truly are trying to learn. It gives them an opportunity to show you what they know and once they know how you are and that you care, they will open the flood gates of knowledge.
3. Don’t burden them with massive amounts of meetings. Start slow, gain knowledge and then move forward accordingly.
4. Do not make sweeping changes in the first few weeks of ownership. My personal belief is that change brings opportunity but most rank-in-file employees’ thought process doesn’t necessarily embrace change when it’s forced upon them. Learn how to be subtle and while allowing “it” to be THEIR idea.
5. You have a business to run, but always remember that employees like customers like to know W.I.I.F.M.? (What’s In It For Me?)
6. Sense of humor is very important. Please do not walk through your manufacturing facility with a stoic or offended look on your face.
7. Do not forget the words, “thank you, please, looks good and great job!”
8. If you are a workaholic remember that most rank in file employees are not. They have families and lives to go to and that should always be respected.
9. Keep employees informed. The office staff knows when good things happen so why not have regular and/or impromptu plant meetings and updates everybody? i.e. Big sale, New customer that will be bringing business, job security issues, new ideas, issues that affect all are just a few suggestions of topics.
10. In all manufacturing environments, safety is a huge issue. As the owner, practice what you preach. i.e. Wear eye/ear protection, no loose clothing, watch where you walk etc.
11. Be a great example of being a team player. And I define a great team player as one who knows when to lead and when to follow.
12. Don’t ever have critical or disciplinary discussion in public.
13. And finally remember this; A manager is a person that employees are directed to follow. A leader is a manager that employees WANT to follow.

So “new girl on the block” I wish you the best and hope these few tips are of value to you. I salute you for your determination, definition and CAN DO attitude. I look forward to hearing about the great results from the fruits of your labor.

As always, your comments, opinions and suggestions are always welcome. Go forth and make this a tremendous week by making an outstanding contribution in someone’s life. If I can help in any way, please call or write and I will respond immediately!


George F. Mancuso, CPC