It all started out in 1981 for me. I enjoyed radio, but soon realized that there wasn’t much money in that field. I started a mobile disc-jockey service and for three years operated by myself successfully. The calls for reservations were coming in on a steady basis, and I was turning down gigs left and right. I hate turning down clients!! I decided to get a radio DJ/friend to start helping out with the work I was turning down, and all of a sudden, I had two sound systems and music libraries. We got lucky and landed a great night club five nights a week(with lots of single brides-to-be) and the next thing I know I have a five system multi-mobile disc-jockey service with six DJ’s on staff. Sound familiar? I was a successful disc-jockey, but I was totally un-prepared to manage a multi-mobile disc-jockey service and supervise six part-time DJ’s.The expected headaches and problems developed with managing a DJ service that performed at 200 plus events annually. Employee problems topped the list. Specifically, the people who represent you make or break your reputation. How do you convince a part time DJ to take their job as seriously as you do? In my judgment, there is a greater challenge in successfully managing five part-time DJ’s than managing twelve full time employees in most other professions. Simply put, when you manage full time employees who have a career at stake, it is easier to get them to perform to an acceptable standard. A part time DJ who works for you on weekends, presents a greater challenge.
The way that my company evolved from a single operator DJ service to a five system mult-dj service is common with a lot of DJ’s across the country. Most of us were not prepared to handle the added managerial and supervisory tasks, and had to operate by trial and error. As most of you know, this is not the preferred way to operate and manage a business. High employee turnover is a direct result of managing and supervising by trial and error. A lot of DJ’s that I know gave up on having DJ’s work for them because of the problems and headaches. Perhaps they were simply not prepared for the task of supervising others.
I had my share of problems in the early stages of supervising part-time DJ’s and decided to go back to college to take business management courses, as well as become a certified instructor in supervision courses in Virginia. After sixteen years in the DJ business, I have found a lot of self satisfaction in the management portion of my job. For those of you who have been in the business for a while, the new challenge of being an effective supervisor can be refreshing and exciting when you start to burn out on the DJ work itself.
In this column, I intend to discuss a number of management and supervisory issues in the future. Some of them include:
The Hiring Interview
Setting Job Standards
Teaching a New Job
Improving Employee Performance
Correcting Problem Behavior
Overcoming Resistance To Change
Handling Employee Complaints
Developing a Company Training Manual
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