District managers are hired to oversee specific geographical service areas within companies. They make sure their products and services are represented well and that morale is up in their districts. District managers train and support the managers in each location by helping them set goals; they serve as key supporters to the managers to achieve their companies' missions. District managers typically spend a lot of time on the road visiting the locations throughout their assigned territory. A bachelor's degree and experience with the company or product are typically needed to obtain such a position.
Introductions to All Contacts
The first action a district manager should perform while new to the job is to meet the people he'll be supervising. Building successful relationships is key to being an effective district manager. During the first 30 days, a district manager should visit every assignment in his district and get to know the managers and leaders at each location. Depending on the size of the territory, a manager may need more than a month to make it to all locations but visiting all of them should take place as soon as possible.
Discover Problem Areas
While making the initial rounds, district managers should inquire about problem areas for each location. Managers should ask where each location's needs are not being met by the corporate office and investigate how services could be more efficient. For example, the district manager for a restaurant chain could find out from the manager and team leaders that they're having a hard time retaining employees and discuss ideas to hire better quality candidates.
Set Goals With Contacts
When meeting with locations in an assigned territory, district managers should develop initial goals for each location. District managers are spread thin in the sense that they don't spend eight hours a day, five days a week keeping watch over those in their charge. Therefore, it's important that each meeting is productive. For example, a district manager over a large department store could investigate merchandising efforts and analyze what's working and not working to sell clothes. After that, the district manager meets with the team on-site to go over how to implement more of what was successful in the past and brainstorm new ideas to further increase sales.
Educate About Products or Services
While the district manager is visiting his territory, he trains and educates personnel about the company's products, services and mission where needed. If the district manager oversees a product-based company route, part of his first visit is spent educating each stop about what's new in the product line so that the staff can better sell it to customers. A district manager informs his locations of new warranties and services and keeps the managers up-to-date on company policies and innovations.
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