It’s not easy to create a good team. Why? Because it’s not simply a matter of finding skilled workers (which is a job in and of itself). You might think that all it takes for a successful roofing company is a handful of excellent roofers, but it’s not that simple. Finding workers, training them in your procedures and keeping them happy is imperative.
The first thing you have to do is understand what you need in a crew or worker. Sit down and make a list of the qualities you’re looking for. And again, it’s not just a matter of finding a great roofer, for example. This person has to work with your team, and most importantly, work with you. Establish standards for cleanliness and safety, as well as performance metrics like working hours, time, pricing, etc. This is the legwork that can help you understand not only what a great crew person looks like, but is the basis for the ground rules for working with your organization.
Referrals – the first and best way to find laborers
Try to get recommendations from members of your team first. In my experience, I have had better luck with workers and crews that were referred to me by people already working for my company. First of all, you know that these are workers that your crew is willing to vouch for. They’ve had direct experience working side-by-side with them, and they have seen their skills and performance in action. Secondly, I have always felt like people will work harder knowing that their performance is a reflection on someone who referred them and, usually, people value those opinions highly.
If your team is not able to give you any referrals, it’s time to solicit for the position. Use any job boards you like, they’re all pretty good. The most critical thing here, in my opinion, is to write an accurate and detailed job posting. This is why the first thing you did was to make a list of what a good worker looks like for your organization. Be specific in your qualifications and job demands. This way you don’t need to waste time with candidates who are not going to be a good fit.
Have a process for onboarding workers
As you’re well aware, I am a process-driven guy, and bringing on new workers is no different. You must have an established on-boarding process. This serves a few purposes – first off, there is a lot of stuff to go through when someone starts working with your team like how they get paid, when they get paid, all of those standards we just talked about, rules and regulations – a ton of details. If you don’t have a process in place to impart this information, you’ll be spending your days on-boarding employees and doing little else.
Perhaps just as important, an onboarding process demonstrates a level of organization to that new team member or crew when you have an established process that answers their questions about your organization, their role and how they can be successful. We use BambooHR, a program that allows us to consistently onboard people, record their information, disseminate their contact information to the rest of our team and keep up to date on their paperwork, insurance certificates, pay information, and more. Give me a call and I’ll show you how to set up this program for your office.
Skilled workers doesn’t mean “finished” workers
Train your team! Training shouldn’t be an after-thought or a foregone conclusion about your new worker’s current skills. Training should be deliberate and prescriptive as well as planned out. Have a formal training process or checklist that allows your crew to continue to develop. Involve your other crew members in the process. They know your culture and your processes better than anyone, so ask them to help the new guy to learn the ropes.
This is important: train your new people so that they can leave but treat them well enough that they won’t. It’s generally much more cost effective to train your team than to let them go and hire/recruit new staff. If you’re having issues with a new team member, ask if they can be “managed up” to solve the problem. You’ll save yourself a lot of headaches. This is also a good time to remind you that when you start making that list of what you want out of a new team member, the ability to learn and be managed is critical.
Finally, reward their performance. This can be things like monetary bonuses, gift cards, thank you letters, whatever works for them. Employee and staff recognition is important to morale and retaining good staff. Treat your people well and they will stick around.
Finding, training and retaining good workers is no easy task. It’s more than just hiring someone skilled, it’s about integrating that person into your culture, building trust, and training them to do the job in a way that leads to your mutual success. If you need help with this critical part of your business, give us a call!