By Gregg Basse
I recently interviewed Victor Parrales Sr., Vice President of Operations at Professional Grounds. Victor has been successfully managing Proground’s Employees for 30 years. He is a role model to so many people, not only those he has managed but also to those who have worked with him over the years. Victor says that he feels the most important trait a successful manager needs to possess is the ability to genuinely care about the people they lead. Victor also makes a point to mention that the keys to effectively manage employees don’t end with the simple ability to care. Victor stresses a successful manager should also have the ability to:
- Encourage your employees to succeed. You should genuinely care about your employee’s success on the job and in their personal life because a happy employee is always a more productive person. Victor enjoys providing his employee’s with little goodies such as candy, cookies or whatever else he may have on hand as a reward for a job well done. Many of his employees also have kids so those small goodies are nice for employee’s to give to their kids. Other managers at PGI see his efforts to manage our employees and help renew his candy stock pile during the year. As you can see, giving is a contagious thing at Professional Grounds!
- Be mindful of your non-verbal communication. You always want to be careful about your body language and tone around the people you manage. If you use an upset tone of voice or body language you may give an unprofessional impression to your employees. As a leader, you want your employee’s to see you as a calm and approachable person who is able to handle difficult situations in a productive manner. Victor always makes time during the day to visit with his employees and reinforce the relationship he has with our guys. Victor says, “It is ok to discipline employees to correct to a possible problem”, but he stresses that the employee’s know he is always available to support our guys and to take pride in our team’s efforts.
- Utilize and highlight individual employee’s strengths. Each employee is an individual and holds their own unique strengths. Finding the optimal role for each person is key when you have people working in crews because they are all part of a team. We want our guys & gals working together productively and being efficient on the job! Each member of the crew has a specific job to do and a time to do it in. Victor told me, “I want our crews to work like a well-oiled machine so if you can get all the moving parts working together well then the job is completed much more effectively.”
- Always be ‘available’ to your employees. Being able to listen to your employee’s and having the ability to solve problems that arise is an important quality a good manager must possess. If an employee is having difficulties with another employee or duty they perform they must know that as their leader you are always available and approachable for their needs.
- Be able to apologize and accept apologies in a respectful manner. Finally, Victor stressed that a great boss understands that people make mistakes and sometimes an apology, either by the manager or the employee at fault, can go a long way to help to smooth things over because the individual relationships we have as coworkers are a rewarding experience and everyone deserves the respect of an apology when an apology is due.
- Lead by example. People will only work as hard as they see other working. If everyone on a team, including the manager, is performing at peak levels and is prideful in their ability to do a job well then it will keep others inspired to continue to do their best. As a manager, I always try to lead by example by being on time, doing the best job I can, and enjoying the work I do.
Victor Parrales has been an integral part of the success of PGI over the last 30 years partly due to his strong ability to effectively manage employees. Victor continues to be a success because of his ability to care about all employees and the passion he has for work to be done properly. Victor is a strong role model for our employees and a great example of a highly effective leader.