Inside Self-Storage

DEC 2018

Inside Self-Storage (ISS) is an information source for industry owners, managers, developers and investors covering news, trends, facility operation, finance, real estate, construction, development, marketing, technology, insurance and legality.

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Ongoing support and feedback will also improve the employee-owner partnership. Schedule periodic training sessions through Skype, GoToMeeting or other video-conference programs. A 15-minute meeting before the start of the day can be used to train, motivate and encourage all managers, new and experienced. It's also important to give your new manager guidance and room to make decisions. If he makes a choice that's contrary to one you'd make, let him know but use it as a positive teaching moment. Unless it's a gross violation of company policy, support his decision and give him "next time this occurs" feedback, explaining how he should handle a similar situation in the future. A manager who won't make decisions is in fact deciding. Relying on superiors for every choice prevents him from taking ownership and accountability. Lack of confidence will affect initiative, so create a support system that allows a manager to grow in his position. Consistent follow-up by the training manager or supervisor can help an inexperienced employee gain self-assurance in his role. Retention Retaining great employees can be nearly as difficult as hiring them. Not only does there need to be a strong trainer, a supervisor should continue to nurture their success within the company. Be a mentor for your managers. Too often they go through an initiation period and then are left to figure things out for themselves. This leads to frustration that can result in them leaving for a company that's better about onboarding new talent. As you continually improve your training program, ask yourself the following: • Will the new employee work best on his own or in a group? • What motivates this person? • What reward or recognition would he appreciate for a job well done? • When he needs to tackle a new task, does it motivate or scare him? • Is he a self-starter or does he work better with consistent oversight? • What type of feedback does he need from his supervisor? • How does he handle negative feedback? Does he take constructive criticism well or does it make him resentful? Find out what motivates your new hire. Is it recognition, praise, encouragement, challenges, goals or financial rewards? Some people need a cheerleader while others only require an occasional "good job on this task" so they know someone is paying attention. Each team member will have his own motivation level and desire for reward. By focusing on the achievements of each, your company will also excel. ONGOING FEED-FORWARD Communicating with employees and letting them know how they can improve is a key aspect of upholding standards. All staff must be held to the same set of benchmarks and reviews. When they aren't, issues arise. Make sure your staff receives appropriate training when hired, and regularly thereafter. This helps to reinforce standards and minimize the need for future disciplinary action. Provide them with the tools they need to succeed and follow through with communication and support. This demonstrates respect and understanding, which may be necessary to help your team fully blossom. An introductory training period is standard in most positions, but regular follow-up with feedback and goal assessment is integral to ongoing success. Source:, "Managing Self-Storage Staff: Setting Expectations, Policies and Disciplinary Procedures," by Susan Haviland The Unteachables Work ethic is the driving force in employee success. Taking initiative and ownership, being accountable, seeking additional responsibilities, expecting excellence in themselves, setting a high standard and striving to exceed expectations … These are things that can't be taught. It's embodied in the person or it isn't. An effective training period that teaches policies, procedures and expectations can reveal your new team member's work ethic. On the other hand, failure to train can have an adverse effect on work culture, employee retention and facility success. The economy is improving, more jobs are being created and competition for great staff is becoming fiercer. Having an environment that's inviting for new hires and rewarding for existing members will reduce staffing issues. The challenge is to create a workplace that fosters the success of your property and people. Donna Edwards is a manager at Plantation Self Storage in Bluffton, S.C., which is operated by Southeast Management Co. She joined the company in 2013 and has more than 10 years of experience in property management. Her marketing experience includes setting budgets, designing marketing plans, and creating all types of advertising. For more information, call 843.815.8000; e-mail; visit 40 ISS I December 2018

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