Thursday, April 10, 2008

Weekly Manager Meetings

Here's a teeny picture of the interior wall turned gun-metal grey (from Kate's phone camera). And the rest of the walls painted buterry.

And the new parlor is not the only thing that's been moving forward in leaps and bounds!

We now have an official Julep Manager Resource Guide, 2008, which pulls together all of the information, tools and processes we've been developing over the past 10 months. We've been taking some time each Wednesday to meet with the manager teams from our first parlor, and our new downtown parlor (and one new location that we'll announce soon . .. ).

For those of you who have been at the parlor, wondering what the heck all the "Manager Meeting" blockouts are for, here's the inside look.

Over the past few weeks, we've been sitting in rather uncomfortable (but free!) chairs in our Support Center office, taking the time to pull together, improve and share everything we know about how to support you better. In particular, we've covered the PURPOSE, and HOW-TOs of:
- Strengthening and Sharing Julep's Mission and Values
- Delivering Memorably Outstanding Customer Service
- Staff Development, Management and Career Paths
- Optimizing Parlor Performance
- Cash Management
- Inventory Management
- Facilities Management
Jeanne created an tabbed binder that breaks down each of these areas into "Daily," "Weekly," and "As Needed" responsibilities. Then we have the specific goals, metrics, tools, reports, processes and forms in each relevant section. (I was her hole puncher and binder organizer, and I was so amazed by all the rich material! And my hand hurt by the end). It's all what each team makes of it, but we were trying our hardest to enable smoother, more predictable expectations going forward - especially as we launch additional parlors.
We've also had great debates about what Julep IS (passion for touch, job that feeds your soul, passion for the environment, growth, opportunity, openness to be creative, openness to new ideas, team work, customer service driven, excited, asking instead of telling, accountabiltiy, integrity, honesty, authenticity, walking the talk, pride in our work), what Julep IS NOT (first one out the door, dispassionate, artificial (nails or personality), soley money motivated, selfish, "solo artist," chop shop, "because I said so").
And then we've created and shared staffing tools (where I got to dust off my advanced excel skills), goals and metrics. We've created a mentorship program for new team members, as well as a new immersion program.

I'm so proud of what we are today - but it's exciting to think about what we're going to be a month from now.

Of course, it's frightening. We're about to more than double in size. And we're thinking explicitly about how to do this while preserving what is great about our culture and work environment, and strenghening it in areas where we needed to develop.

Like therapy, I think it's powerful to name and detail out our fears. They are justified! And only then we can plan around how to avoid these potential pitfalls.