The manager’s to-do list

What is the life of a manager…

  1. Reconciliation of payments
  2. Price strategy
  3. Cash flow statements
  4. Profit and loss statements
  5. Operations management
  6. Maintenance of facilities
  7. Human Resources

What a to-do list…

Suffice to say, that list could keep going. Out of all of those ingredients that define the “life of a manger” which ingredient means the most?

Pondering….pondering…ponder some more.

  • So.. it’s easy to say “no money no business.” So making money is most important…Very true and you wouldn’t be wrong!
  • It’s easy to say “if we can’t figure out our pricing strategy there’s not enough gross margin will lead to no business.” Very true very true and you wouldn’t be wrong!
  • It’s even easier to say…well “if you don’t have good operations management, then you can’t ensure a quality product that the customer will enjoy.” So true!!!!!

So… no money no business, no strategy no business, and no operations management no business.

But before all of that the most important ingredient in my opinion is the word “PEOPLE”.

Without good people a manager can scream about strategy until they’re RED in the face. Strategies can’t be implemented without quality people that are passionate about the task at hand.

Human resources in business school to me seemed to be this shadowy figure in the back of the room. It seemed to be too distant and cold. It felt too gray when what I wanted was black and white facts!

We go to business school to learn profit margin calculations. Those formulas are easier to calculate than an employees formula to how to have happiness at work. Reconciling accounts receivables and payables is easier than talking with an employee about their two week notice.

So what are some principles too consider when it comes to the topic of human resource management? These are broad topics on some things I’ve learned over the years…and maybe you can consider these points of discussion in your own manager’s playbook.

  1. Communicate—it’s easy to tell people what time to come to work. It’s not so easy taking the time to delve deeper and forming a true line of communication with your staff. Take the time to learn about their lives. Communicate with them about the things they’re doing well and the things that they can work on.
  2. Interview—always take new applications. Interview candidates even when all the positions are filled. By taking the time to interview, you will already have a short list of potential candidates when a position opens.
  3. Evaluate—hold evaluations twice a year if possible. Mid year and annual evaluations give both you and your staff an opportunity to reflect and recharge.
  4. Designate—find a leader within your staff and begin to develop their abilities to lead small groups. In doing so, you will help the employee develop leadership and become less of a micro-manager.
  5. Listen—be open to your staffs opinion. You will learn more about your business in 30 minutes by listening than you will by talking.
  6. Define a process—don’t rush the process. Take your time when making a hiring decision or worse a firing decision. Be methodical in your rationale and create a template that will help you define your current and future decisions.
  7. Understand roles—how can you understand your staff if you’ve never completed their daily tasks? Take the time to learn and perform the tasks of a staff employee. This will go a long way in helping to communicate expectations.
  8. Observe—don’t immediately jump in to save the day. You have to let people learn by at times allowing them to make mistakes. Observe the mistakes that were made and then take the appropriate steps to correct.
  9. Boundaries—there are boundaries that can be crossed. Define to your employees that work can be fun but that professionalism must be maintained.
  10. Teach—a managers teaching never ceases. Take joy in teaching your staff new ideas and ways to consider various topics. Stay informed and read about the latest ideas. Remain committed to your core foundational principles and reaffirm these principles by reviewing your company’s literature.

Nothing in this article included a discussion of how paid days accrue, or how to complete background check documentation. Thats the paper side of human resource management. This article is about being a manager that can help create an atmosphere conducive for success. Stay committed to your company’s foundation. A manager’s life is full of to-do lists but remember that without people those to-do lists never get completed!


Sam Blakemore is a graduate of the McWhorter School of Pharmacy. Sam is the Pharmacy Manager of Peds Rx Pharmacy Solutions.  Feel free to connect with him via LinkedIn

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