One, two, three
Leslie, assistant manager for a restaurant chain in Yakima, Washington, told Session 9B of the Leadership Development Lab:
"Two weeks ago we were in the middle of a busy transitional period in the restaurant and I needed a cashier that had worked for us for about six months to count down her till so that I could put her in a different position. I sent her to the office to count down. About ten minutes later, she was still in there counting down her till. This process should only take five minutes at the most. I could feel my frustration setting in and my temperature rising. I started thinking things like 'How long does it take? Why can't she get this? She's been here long enough to know this.'
"Even though I was very busy, I went to the back office to check on her and see what the problem was. She said she couldn't get her drawer to the correct starting amount. As my frustration and temperature rose, I almost said something I would have regretted. Instead, I started thinking about Turbo and what I have learned that might help this situation end well. I thought of the 3- Step Training Model and even though at the time I thought of her as a true 'time stealer,' I knew it was important to try one more time to get her to count out her till to comply with the company standards. I stopped, took a deep breath and said, 'Let me show you how to do this.' I then counted down her till the correct way with her watching me while I explained each step. I then put everything back in the till and asked her to do it while I talked her through each step. That worked out well, so I asked her to count the till while explaining each step to me. This took about ten minutes and we had counted the till three times. After she was done with the last time, she looked at me with a great big
smile and said, 'Why didn't anyone show me that before? That was so easy!' I felt good that maybe I saved all the managers in the store from a little frustration in the future. I am proud to say she is counting her tills much faster and doing it correctly now.
"The lesson I learned from this experience is that when I spend a little time with a struggling employee, it will save a lot of time and frustration in the future. The action I call you to take is to spend some of your valuable time teaching, even if 'they should already know.' Sometimes they just haven't been shown in a way that they learn from best. The benefit you will gain is a smoother running business and more productive, happier employees."
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