January 30, 2007

A New Name for February

By Paul Bieber

First, My wife will receive roses and chocolate on Valentine’s day. I may write about some off-the-wall ideas, but this is one date that cannot be changed.

February should become “The Train Your Glass and Metal Shop Staff Month”.

I called my Congressman and after explaining my idea, he assured me that he would work hard to make sure that all Americans have proper mental-health insurance coverage. Was he trying to tell me something?

OK, here is the idea. Following on my previous blog about glass shops being slow in February, try this. Switch every body’s job for a day or two.

Be sure to include yourself in this program. Give plenty of notice about the training day. People will want to dress appropriate to their new position. Safety training is key for people who will be new to working with shop conditions. Put a sign up at your front register telling customers what is going on. If your order taker is slow, you have bad customer service, BUT, if they have a name tag or a sign that says TRAINEE, every one will go out of their way to help.

Either you or a Foreman should check every hour how things are going.

This is not observe the other job; it is do the job of the other person. The trainer should be doing just that, training a new person. This allows his/her training skill to be developed for new people coming in, and allows others to learn training skills. Learning how to handle glass and metal is part of this, but the best part is the people-to-people skills.

I promise you that you will hear this at the end of the day: “Gee, I didn’t realize how tough that job was!”, or maybe even better, “I could help fill in when that person is absent for a day”, or the best of all “Can we do this again? I am learning more about the glass business, and that will help me grow”!

You’re right, one or two people will think this is silly. But keep your eye on the one’s that take it seriously, they will grow with you.