Woman bending over to pick up trashBy Jennifer Carroll

My management philosophy is to lead by example. If I can do it, you can do it too. In my first parking manager position, I worked in all the different positions we had–cashier, auditor, shuttle driver, etc. I remember when I trained with someone in maintenance, he said, “Now you can go sit in the office and take a break.”

“Is that what you are going to do,” I asked. He said, “No, I am going to clean the bathrooms.” I said, “Well, if you are going to clean the bathrooms, I am going to clean the bathrooms too!” So we did.

Having a dirty parking lot is poor management, whether it is a restaurant, office building, department store, or airport. It sets the tone and gives the first impression of the building. It says either, “We don’t care how dirty things look or are,” or “We pride ourselves for being clean inside and out.” Maybe I am too picky, but I notice these things–if there are cigarette butts all over a restaurant parking lot, will the kitchen be dirty too? If there are food wrappers all around the parking lot of a hospital, do they care about how clean their instruments are?

It’s important to set an example for your team and pick up some trash. Now I am not suggesting that you pick up all trash you see everywhere, but if a member of your team catches you doing it, they are more likely to do it, too. So let’s pitch in to be a great example and maybe even save some labor dollars while we do it!

Jennifer Carroll is regional director with REEF PARKING.