And is perhaps REPLACING your LAPTOP?... well... not yet, for me anyway.
Laptops are amazing (says the guy writing this blog on his laptop), though I'm starting to recognize that most of the really COOL and engaging things I do with my staff and new hires is on my smartphone! But perhaps not in the ways you might think...
Smartphones are just so much more nimble than a laptop, and the creative ways you can engage and shape your staff are faster and more accessible on your phone.
Here are some of the ways I use my phone at work:
CULTURE: things that keep your staff "on brand" and feeling appreciated
When I walk the floor during our rush I often hear a staff member saying something awesome to a student. I try to, in the moment, POST about it on our teachers' Facebook page, hoping other coaches might "steal" the phrase or concept.
If I SEE something I really like from a coach, maybe a drill or obstacle setup, I'll snap a quick picture or video, post about it, and throw the coach a quick compliment as well to give them credit for their great work.
When I find something on social media that is great for coaches and kids I will tag an employee, or copy/paste it into our facebook group, or throw it into a group text. It is SO FAST, and allows me to keep our "culture of learning" consistently present.
TRAINING: new hires and ongoing
How freakin' easy is it to make a training video these days?!? Seriously! So make oodles of them! You don't need to be Stephen Spielberg, you just need your phone and a GREAT APP, like INSHOT.
Almost every day one of our managers is showing off their acting chops by getting in front of a smartphone camera to make a gym mini movie. Here are some of the subjects we make videos on:
Bi-Weekly Class and Course Setups
Class Structure Tips
Skill progressions in our space
Team Routine Choreography
ENGAGEMENT TIP: Make your training videos FUN!!! So often I see training videos that feel stuffy and OVERLY professional. To me, this is a miss... Are people really going to retain textbook style information? Kids don't, so why should adults? Be clear, and direct with the information, but PLEASE don't be BORING!
ACCOUNTABILITY: using all the apps to say all the things
Accountability is all about communication, and what better tool than the super computer in your pocket. It's also nice that all your staff have smartphones, too! That way they don't really have an excuse for missing out on information if you are attacking multiple angles of communication. For Example:
"Hey, Brian. I didn't see you at the mandatory staff meeting. Everything ok?"
"There was meeting!? I had no idea!"
"Did you email that? Sometimes those get lost..."
"We emailed everyone... AND we texted everyone through iClass. AND we posted it on our Facebook Teacher's group. AND we messaged everyone on WhenIWork, our scheduling App. AND we talked about it in shift meetings this week. You texted me last week, so I know your contact info is correct. What am I missing?"
Smartphones also make it easy to quickly shoot someone a recap of a conversation on the floor. Whip out your phone and send them, in writing, all the things you expect to see moving forward based on your quick chat.
MINI TELEVISION: don't just say it, show it!
This is my favorite use for my smartphone... When I'm having a hard time explaining something, then I know that I can just google it and find a video.
It's a quick and easy visual solution for anyone who needs to SEE what they are supposed to be doing. When there is a gap between expectations and reality then find the information and show it to your employee THEN and THERE!
And then, of course, shoot them a quick message/email with links and a recap. Which is easy to do... because you have a smartphone and you're a smart manager. :)
Check out more of my favorite management tips at www.ninjamonkeygym.com/blog