While working with Chesamel on the Google Digital Garage project, I had the pleasure of line managing up to six Team Leaders. These leaders were based in three Google stores across the UK and between them managed up to around 60 coaches who worked in these stores.

The very first highstreet Digital Garage store was in Sheffield (I wrote about a blog about its launch here) and since then Google opened stores in Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh, each opening for about 12 months and getting a little bigger and better each time.

The stores are in popular city centre locations, open to the public to offer completely free digital advice in the form of seminars, workshops and one to ones (check out some of the #DigitalGarage activity here.)

Chesamel, the agency I work with are involved in the process from start to finish – beginning by recruiting local digital experts to work in-store and being heavily involved throughout.

leadership

Each store has two Team Leaders, onsite every day to manage their team on a daily basis. My role was to line manage the Team Leader’s performance and ensure strong two-way conversation between stores, agency, Google and other partners.

Communication | This involved lots of visits to store, spending time with Team Leaders, the wider team and customers. Plenty of video calls also allowed us to stay in contact remotely. I made it my priority to be open and honest with the teams I managed, filtering down information from agency and client. I took the responsibility seriously to filter back the great work the teams did back to the agency and client in the same way.

KPIs and Objectives | I met individually with each Team Leader each month – a time to discuss personal and store progress. We set objectives and KIPs together. We reviewed store numbers, the performance of the wider teams as well as personal goals. Good performance was rewarded with monthly incentives and group recognition.

Being Accessible | The stores I managed were open long hours, every day. There were also many events running alongside the stores in different venues around the UK. Being on call to support was key to being able to manage such a large and dispersed team. Setting expectations for how I could be reached and when was important to this working well.

I was lucky enough to work with and manage some highly talented and inspirational professionals on this project. Sharing knowledge and respect was imperative to the success of our working relationships, as well as promoting learning and opportunities for development.