A manager might be looking for another opportunity because he doesn’t feel appreciated for the job he’s doing or isn’t being allowed to do the work for which he was hired; hence, he’s willing to take a lower wage just to get out of what he feels is a bad situation! If a manager is looking to make more money in a new position, it’s because he feels he’s underpaid or underappreciated. Perhaps he feels he’s worked hard to hone his skills as a site manager and now’s the time to move on to a better-paying position.
Another reason managers look for a change is burnout. Perhaps the current owner didn’t realize that slavery was abolished more than 100 years ago and the manager works six days or more a week. If you’re one of those owners who have your managers working six or even seven days a week and your facility is not performing to its potential, perhaps it’s because your manager is exhausted! People need time to recharge their batteries.
If you’ve hired a couple as a management team and ask them to split their days off because you can’t or won’t hire a relief manager, then they can never spend their time off together. They can’t leave the facility, visit family and friends, or spend any quality time with one another. More than likely, they won’t stay with you very long.
Lastly, some managers seek new opportunities that present a new challenge. Perhaps they like opening new facilities or turning around distressed properties. Maybe they get bored out of their minds once the facility is running smoothly and their current owner doesn’t have other facilities on which to focus.
Another reason is some larger owners or management companies seem to have constant turnover in their higher-up management. One week the site manager will have Bob as his supervisor, the next month Susan will be the new boss. Three months later, Susan is replaced by Mary, and each supervisor wants things done differently. Yes, the paperwork remains the same, but how the manager does certain tasks (for example, makes bank deposits) could change from one supervisor to the next. This just makes the manager ask who’s really in charge here. It becomes frustrating when there’s no consistency every time a new supervisor comes on board.
The self-storage industry has changed so much over the past 20 years, and there are so many more facilities today than in the past. This means site managers have more employment opportunities, and they seem to be looking for them!
The moral of the story is this: Owners, if you have a good site manager, pay him well, treat him with respect and allow him to do the job for which he was hired. Managers, if you’re working for a good owner who does these things, then open communication is the key for you! If you’re unhappy, discuss why with your owner before you look for another position. Remember, sometimes the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence.
Pamela Alton is the owner of Mini-Management Services, a nationwide manager-placement service specializing in placing self-storage management staff since 1991. For more information call 321.890.2245; visit www.mini-management.com .