Over the years, Tina has taken on the human resources, payroll and bill paying for Acapello. June was performing all roles at the then sole shop. She was running the desk, doing hair, and all of the employee and administrative management. She wanted to grow the business, but couldn’t unless she freed herself up. Tina recalls “June was so used to doing everything herself. Then she said to me ‘I don’t know why I have you if I’m not going to use you.’ She oriented me towards procedures and expectations. We worked side-by-side for a long time. June would say ‘You can do this now.’ Over the course of a year, she said ‘I don’t need to do any of this anymore.’” June was able to come off the floor as Tina grew her expertise.
June took Tina to a lot of classes to learn the business. They often spent transportation time debriefing, as June helped Tina evaluate learning. They would pick something they particularly liked out of a class, and implement it at Acapello, sometimes together, sometimes separately.
June still mentors Tina, who continuously takes on increasing responsibility, but not side-by-side any more. Tina says “I still second-guess myself sometimes as I work with the very different personalities. I do scheduling, for example, and it can be frustrating for both the staff and me. I hear all of the issues from the coaches, the people on the floor, and June. June helps me stay calm and confident.
Not surprisingly, Tina mentors others, and uses her own example to help them deal with different personalities. She works with them to learn how to talk to each other and the guests. She coaches on communication and cheers success.
Tina is creative in providing hands-on learning opportunities. Tina says “I invite people to set their own goals, and find their own answers.” She is working with a couple of people who are learning how to do inventory, manage the desk, and assign non-guest tasks, such as cleaning. She and June both train and mentor them. They role play, with Tina and June taking the roles of guests and co-workers. The mentees practice their greetings, telephone interchanges, etc., six to ten times with Tina and June before they graduate to actual guests. Tina works side-by-side with them as they polish their skills.
Tina reflects, with a big smile, “June has made me what I am today. I couldn’t go to a different environment. I couldn’t work behind the scenes again. I love it here. We have fun and we make everyone happy.”