Apathy in the Self-Storage Workplace
As managers, we’re often pulled into conversations with tenants that have nothing to do with self-storage. They turn to us to vent, discuss their lives or even ask for advice. We often hear complaints from our tenants about how their bosses don’t care so why should they.
With everyone working harder to hang onto their jobs, have we each fallen into our own echo chamber where we only hear ourselves and like-minded co-workers and only believe what we want to believe?
Let me give you an example. Let’s call our “boss” Joe. Joe asks an employee named Sam to perform a work task. Sam’s a detail-oriented guy who gives 110 percent. He jumps in feet first, researches, gets pricing, does market analysis—whatever he needs to do to get the job done.
Sam puts in his work hours, talks about work over dinner with his spouse, mutters about it in the shower, and spends many more hours honing his report to be the nothing less than the stellar project he wants to present to reflect his dedication.
Deadline day approaches and Sam proudly, yet humbly, presents the fruit of his labor to Joe. Joe looks at Sam either absent-mindedly or not at all, and murmurs an, “Oh, yeah, thanks” as he walks away. Sam lets it go for now. He knows his boss is a busy guy. After all, Joe has all the people in the company to look after, plus report to his superiors and get all of his own work done. Yes, I’ll give Joe a day or two then follow up, Sam thinks.
Another crisis hits, or time passes by so quickly it’s now hard for Sam to ask Joe about the project he submitted. Or maybe Sam has sent an e-mail, or left a voicemail or two with no response. Sam now feels isolated, as if his efforts are for naught. Enter our unwelcome friend, Apathy.
More of our tenants are sharing stories similar to this. Hints of this have surfaced in the Self-Storage Talk forum as well. People avoid unpleasant tasks since no one will notice anyway. Right?
Take a peek around your own operation. Are you a Joe? Or maybe you’re a Sam. No matter what your position, just as with our customers, to have a well-oiled, fully functional operation we need to remember that each team member has value. Do you value your co-workers or employees as much as you do your paying customers? If not, step back and rectify the situation.
Communication is the key. Determine the other person’s comfort zone and step into their world. Maybe your relief manager would like to chat over a cup of coffee, while your boss may prefer getting together over a sandwich off site. It’s up to you to see where you fit in and make the adjustments necessary to be a part of the outstanding team you want your business to represent.
No one enjoys feeling apathetic, and there’s no satisfaction in apathy. If you need help adjusting yours or a fellow team member’s attitude, your peers are just a few mouse clicks away at Self-Storage Talk, waiting to help you along the path.
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