Process Manager Jennifer Link practices what she teaches.
When Jennifer Link headed to Southwest Minnesota State University to pursue a degree in history and secondary education, she had a teaching career in mind. As it turns out, she did become an educator—but it’s not geography or world history that she’s teaching.
As the process manager at Quality Forklift Sales & Service (Shakopee, MN), Link is responsible for training new hires on the administrative support side of the business. From service managers to receptionists, she trains them all. She isn’t just teaching from a book either—in fact, she writes the book. Link researches and writes the procedural manuals for all of Quality Forklift’s positions.
Early on, Link understood that if she was going to train and create training materials, she would have to know the ins and outs of every single position within the company. It was with this in mind that she made the decision to spend time performing every job—or at least shadowing someone doing each job. “Actually sitting in each position lets me experience the job before I teach it,” she says. “It helps me realize what each position goes through—the daily challenges and rewards for each employee.”
Link is also responsible for some of the financial operations of the business. For example, she prepares and follows up on every service quote that comes through the office. She also helps Quality’s head of finance prepare and analyze daily reports. “There’s no typical day for me. Whatever comes my way, I take care of and then I’ll work on the procedural manuals during the downtime,” she says.
Following in the Footsteps
Having several different responsibilities comes with the territory for Link, the daughter of Quality Forklift Sales & Service owner Todd Doege. She has been working around the office since she was a teenager. “I started out doing all sorts of odds and ends,” Link says. “I worked on the Web site, I updated the different units that were for sale, and I also had a hand in designing and creating a lot of our literature.” Her experience as a teenager helped make the transition to management an easy one. “I basically grew up with the management team here, and they’ve been incredibly supportive of my coming on board,” she explains.
If there is one thing Link always tries to carry with her regardless of the day’s tasks, it is an optimistic outlook. “We’re big on positive attitudes around here,” she explains. In fact, when interviewing prospective employees, the most important trait she looks for is a positive mental attitude. According to Link, an impressive attitude is every bit as important as an outstanding résumé. “I want people who understand that mistakes happen, and the most important thing is to correct the mistake and move forward in a positive manner,” she says.
This outlook isn’t just empty rhetoric either. In fact, she is so passionate about it that she considers spreading that positivity to be the most important thing she does every day. “I try to be the cheerleader,” she says. “I want to be a positive support for every single position here.” Having experienced everyone’s job, she has an understanding of what each employee goes through—and is eager to put that understanding to work. “I always try to look at our procedures and figure out if there are any changes we can make that will affect our employees in a positive way,” explains Link.
Whatever the future holds for Quality Forklift Sales & Service, the outlook is bright with Jennifer Link in the fold.