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NEW MANAGER RESOURCES

QUESTION FOR DAN O’DAY:
I am about to step into a management position with my current full-time employer, as Operations Manager. Are there any resources I should be looking at to help me become a better manager? I've seen quite a few items in various catalogs, including your own, but the problem is that they are all geared towards managers of on-air personalities, whereas I am working for a Christian Information & Bible Teaching format. (I use most of what I order from you in my moonlighting position at a very successful large market Country Station.) Do you have any suggestions of where I should look? Here are some of the problems we are having that I'd like to remedy right off:

  1. People not paying attention and screwing up their commercial breaks. It's not hard, but for some reason they're just not getting it!
  2. Not filling out discrepancy reports. This is a big no-no around here. If the owner calls to ask about a problem he heard on the air and there is no discrepancy report filled out for me to refer to, then I don't know what he's talking about and I look like an idiot.
  3. Morale. BIG PROBLEM! We all like our jobs, and we like who we work with....But no one likes the boss, and big brother is watching and waiting for mistakes 24-hours a day. There is nothing we can do about that, but is there something we can do about the attitudes it causes?
  4. Finding good part-timers. Really, problems # 1 & 2 are mainly with out part-timers. Practically everyone in radio in (Market) has heard about this operation and avoids working here like the plague. The only people we get to apply here are new radio people who have no experience, or people who have been fired from everywhere else in the city. Of course, when I begin my position, I'll start screening these people a little more closely, but in the meantime I'm stuck with them. Maybe there' s a resource on how to create an application for employment for radio and maybe on how to interview someone?

DAN REPLIES:

Questions 1 & 2: Reading between the lines, I'm guessing there are no real consequences for the people who screw up commercial breaks and don't fill out discrepancy reports. As I stress in THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MANAGEMENT, "Consequences are more important than instructions." If the consequence of not filling out a discrepancy is no worse than the consequence of filling it out, your jocks will take the easier, lazy way out...and do nothing.

Reading even deeper into the lines, I'd wager that your boss (the one no one likes) is the only person in the building with any power at all and even as Operations Manager you'll still have none. If so, then this is a battle that is not worth fighting, because it is unwinnable.

Question 3: Morale does not exist where employees (or volunteers) are not respected by management. Another losing battle.

Question 4: I don't think interviewing candidates for a radio job is especially different than interviewing for other industries. There are lots of decent job interviewing books at your local bookstores and libraries.

You might start by quietly examining the traits of those employees who do a good job for you. What patterns emerge? (Education level, previous work experience, reasons for wanting to work there, etc.)

Finally, an unabashed plug: My audio seminar, THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MANAGEMENT: How to Motivate Staff to Peak Performance is NOT aimed specifically at motivating on-air personnel; it's comprised of world-class management techniques that can be applied to any industry.

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