3 Crucial Topics for New Manager Development

Author: Marla Rosner

Date: JAN 13th, 2015

Topic: Industry Experts

Whether you are a franchisee or a general manager of company owned locations in a franchise system, it is crucial to be aware of the numerous adjustments new unit managers need to make, least of which is to gain some of the same business perspective that you have. On top of learning how to get results through others rather than performing certain tasks themselves, new managers need to gain a broader perspective of the business Think for a moment of how a scene might look from the peak of a hilltop compared to that same landscape viewed from the forest floor. It’s the perspective from the hilltop you need to impart to new managers; if they’ve been promoted from within your organization, they already have a clear view of the forest floor.

Three key concepts to impart to new managers are:

1. The business’s vision, mission and measurable objectives

Some new managers may already be very clear about the company’s vision, mission and objectives by virtue of having worked at a location before becoming a manager if their prior manager conveyed these concepts. But if this information is lacking, it’s time to start backfilling. The tale of the bricklayers’ varied motivations based on their perspective of whether they’re laying bricks or building a cathedral is legend. Not only will your your manager’s motivation be stronger as a result of understanding the high level “cathedral” view, understanding how each store feeds into achieving the overall corporate goals, drives the manager’s priorities and day to day activities on the job. Managers who “get” the big picture will always stand out because they direct their teams in alignment with the needs of the business.

2. How their store and team contribute to the business

Once a manager gets the big picture, it’s time to drill down to their individual store’s metrics. Talk with the new manager about what the key success factors are (or key performance indicators) in your business. What are the actual behaviours behaviours they need to train, coach and reinforce every day to achieve those metrics? What ultimately contributes to the bottom line in a store and what can detract from it? If product waste, spoilage or damage prevention increases profitability by two percent by minimizing loss, then the manager understands the need to avoid over stocking inventory for example.

3. How their new role interfaces with the corporate office

In a franchise, the corporate office will typically communicate directly with the franchisee or general manager and the location manager. Though the manager may have had prior contact with the field representative from headquarters, promotion to managing a location marks a different relationship.

Orient the new manager to the field representative’s role as it is defined in your organization. Some franchises have more than one person who visits locations breaking up training, business consulting and compliance monitoring into different roles. Others combine these functions in one or two roles.

Bring the new manager up to speed on what the field representative has conveyed in prior visits. Are there written action plans, goals or corrective actions you and the field rep have agreed should or must be pursued for your business? What progress has been made? What does the manager need to do to help achieve any goals or corrective actions?

You may also want to engage the field representative in a development plan for your new manager; the staff from the corporate office typically bring strong operational expertise to their jobs and their charter is to support locations to succeed. Additionally, make sure to take advantage of any training program the franchisor offers for managers and be aware of any certification requirements.

While these three tips are crucial in helping your new manager succeed in their position, they are three of many training topics to address. The best approach to manager development is to begin long before a manager position becomes open in your location. Building bench strength through a structured management development program means you have a pipeline of management potential prepared to take on the job when a position becomes available. By providing ongoing training sessions to assistant and shift managers, you lay the foundation for a successful management transition.