ISS Blog

The Value of a Relief or Assistant Manager

When blogger Gina Six Kudo goes on vacation, she leaves the facility in the hands of a new employee. Her confidence that she's hired the right person, one she deems trustworthy, gives her peace of mind.

Times of office staff changeovers are never easy regardless of the reasons for the change. Whether it be a wondrous thing of a person moving onto better things in life, or a difficult HR situation, changes can cause stress for managers.
While the qualities in a relief staff member can be as varied as the number of facilities across the nation, the one quality that I believe is the most valuable of all is trust.
I recently had the opportunity to leave town for a few days, which meant thrusting a fairly novice office person onto front desk duty. Was I concerned? You bet. Maybe even a little worried? Yes, to that as well. However, the one thing I knew and could rest assured of was that this person was above all else trustworthy.
Skill sets can be taught, written procedures and policies can be followed by people with varying degrees of industry knowledge, but ultimately the question is: Is this person trustworthy and does he/she possess good morals and ethics?
The value of a person who appreciates employment, and tries his best is immeasurable and a truly great asset to any team. Sure, the telephone calls ensued, which I anticipated and welcomed. This particular team member cared enough to want to do things as best as possible.

One call stood out above the others: "Hi, Gina, I had a sales call, and I need some help on how to respond to this lady and for future reference."  

WOW! An employee asking for feedback in order to perform the job even better? We've all experienced the relief manager who does the minimal amount possible to collect a paycheck, so this was such a nice treat.
The potential customer's question was a bit out of the norm, and my employee did his best to answer the query.  The best part is he told the caller, "I'm new at this, and I know much about that ... May I call you back after I check with my manager for more precise information for you?"
Their is, of course, more to this story and why I can trust this person so explicitly, but the bottom line is every site manager needs a break and mine was long overdue. Having a trustworthy caring employee on site, despite a lack of the finely tuned skills that come with experience was wonderful. Looking for the basic good qualities in a person, and not "storage-knowledge" was a good thing.
Do you have any great hiring concepts? Or horror stories to share in seeking new employees? Self-Storage Talk, the industry's best online forum, is a great place to share and learn with others.

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