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What Is a Self-Storage Manager, Part 3

Owners: Your manager is a crucial part of maintaining a fully functioning, highly tuned facility. Here are some tips to ensure a smooth working relationship.

Gina Six Kudo

June 22, 2011

3 Min Read
What Is a Self-Storage Manager, Part 3

As we bring this topic to a close, I thought Id share just a little bit more with everyone. Your manager is the pulse of your operation. Without your manager you wont succeed. Of course, were speaking about good managers, not the type in part two of this blog series. Your manager knows the customer base intimately, most times more so than they even want to. Your manager is a crucial part of maintaining a fully functioning, highly tuned facility.

That said, I wonder why so many owners, property-management companies and district managers take this essential part of their operation for granted. When a manager of a facility using roving relief informs the superior of improper conduct on the part of the relief and can even document the conduct, why is the problem ignored? If theres a question of properly executing a task or an issue comes up, why does the supervisor not address the issue with the manager?

A manager can be likened to driving in rush-hour traffic: You know youre not truly psychic, but you inherently know when the yahoo in the next lane is going to do something stupid or dangerous. Your manager isnt psychic either, but he knows when something is amiss. Some call this a gut feeling or intuition.

No matter what its called, your manager has his finger on the pulse of that esoteric thing that makes your property a good investment. Its an intangible skill that no amount of money can pay for, but its one thing that helps him to know who or what to watch, and how to deal with unusual circumstances in your business.

As for being psychic, if theres a problem with your manager have you addressed it? Or do you expect him to have psychic abilities of the thoughts floating around in the recess of your mind? If you receive a customer complaint, do you immediately placate the customer and throw your manager under the proverbial bus? Or do you listen to the customer and offer to address his concerns with your staff? No one person on this earth is perfect, and we all have room to grow and learn. However, without input from a second set of eyes its hard to see anything may be out of place due to the blinders that exist from handling everything as status quo.

Your manager is a human being, fraught with the frailties of being a human. How do you track time away from the job in regards to your employees? Do you use payroll records, schedules or daily log reports? Whichever method you use, take a few minutes, sit down and review those in regards to the people you supervise. Now ask yourself, when was the last time you worked that many hours, weeks or months without taking a break? Could it be that a simple weekend away might be just the thing needed to rejuvenate your employees?

When you compare the cost of firing, hiring and re-training all the while hoping youve made the right call with the new employee, you could have given your existing manager a night away on the house and garnered a much more positive person in your shop who looks forward to greeting each day on the job. Just something to consider before you let a good employee go who may have been overwhelmed for a bit with those human frailties in which we all suffer. The economy is getting to us all, and when things go bad is when you need that valuable employee at the helm.

Its past time to rejuvenate your staff. I know this not because Im psychic or I just looked at your payroll records for vacation days used. I know this because appreciation for a job well done under trying circumstances is an oft-neglected item on our to-do lists. Since I ended the last two blogs on this topic with clichés heres one more for you: All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy. Do any of us really want to work with Jack?

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