Why You Should Manage Systems, Not People

 In 1. David Scott Peters, Employees, Leadership, SMART Systems

Not every business owner is as lucky as I am in knowing what exactly it is that gives my company a heartbeat and drives my team and I to continue forward.

Our driving force is the incredible restaurant owners and managers we work with every day. Learning from them, watching as they change their own lives implementing systems, and then seeing the results of the systems is inspiring and motivating.

After working with these restaurant owners on the ground in their restaurants, one of the biggest lessons we’ve found ourselves teaching in our consultations is:

Managing people doesn’t work.

I cannot tell you how often we start with a Management Consulting Services (MCS) client to find their biggest challenge isn’t the implementation of systems, but rather their people. We see really good hard-working people — owners and managers both — absolutely frustrated because they feel members of their team don’t have any common sense. They struggle with their staff members and feel that they are almost impossible to manage. And for my loyal readers you already know that there is no such thing as common sense.

So what is it that makes one manager better than another? What is it that makes some restaurant managers more effective than others? What makes a great manager?

Those Who Manage Systems and Develop People Are Successful!

You want your managers to manage the systems and then develop your people as they hold them accountable to the systems.

Systems allow you to virtually eliminate conflict and make it easier for you to manage your restaurant. In other words, implementing systems allows you to capitalize on the people part of the business.

The development of your team starts when your employees know what their job is, how to do it and how well it should be done. This is because you aren’t fighting them to do what you need them to do. With systems in place, you can now focus on what makes your team members unique, identify their talents and instill a belief that their work is critical to the restaurant’s success.

We see this play out on a weekly basis with our MCS clients. As we help them implement systems, the natural progression is that we teach management how to hold people accountable to the systems. Ultimately this means coaching them on how to get the most out of their team.

Notice the progression starts with systems. Developing their people comes second.

The reason for this is that without systems in place, most restaurants operate on some level of chaos. Order comes with systems that are used on a daily basis. And where there is order, there is time and opportunity to develop your people.

The secret is to stop managing people! Implement the systems that give you the ability to hold people accountable for doing their jobs to your standards, and you will be on your way to developing your team. Ultimately this is what takes your restaurant to the next level.

David S. Peters
Aside from being the founder of TheRestaurantExpert.com and serving as a Member coach, David is also a dynamic and engaging speaker. He is available to present in large group settings targeting independent restaurant owners, whether they own one location or a multi-unit chain.
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