My family and I traveled for Christmas and as tradition would have it, the airports were packed with people. The Delta Airlines counter in Salt Lake City was overrun with passengers trying to check their bags. Amidst the chaos, a supervisor was grabbing baggage tags and handing them out to people before they got up to the counter. His extra hands sped up the process and eased the burden on the rest of the staff.
What if that supervisor had just sat in his office and done paperwork? The lines would have been longer, customers would have been more stressed, and employees would have been overwhelmed.
How does the management at your company react to busy times? Do they sit in their corner office and complain about delays? Or do they get to work and help alleviate the problem?
Management shouldn’t be afraid to get their hands dirty. By jumping into the fray and helping with daily operations they can see what improvements need to be made. Keeping the connection between management and the grunts on the ground is essential to having realistic managerial expectations.
An occasional hands-on experience for management is a good thing. However, if the boss is always stepping in to save the day this is a sign of bigger problems with your company. Management should take the experience and combine that with their vision and strategy prowess to better the situation. By stepping away from the immediate problem, viewing the bigger picture, one can see patterns and possible solutions. Don’t get so caught up in solving the problem yourself that you overlook longer term solutions that would prevent you needing to step in again.