No one readily hires a “bad employee.” All new personnel are selected with the highest hopes and the best qualifications needed to help move the company along a desired path. During the course of employment though, many forces can change an employee’s feelings about the company and subsequently have a negative impact on their performance.
For business owners and managers, balancing personalities and work habits among multiple employees can be a difficult task. Dealing with lack-luster enthusiasm from techs, installers who are chronically late to work, laborers who frequently damage client’s property, employees who punch out at five with more precision than they practiced during their previous eight hours- leaving after-hours calls for “someone else” – can easily corner the entrepreneur or manager into a scenario where employees are running the company more so than the people intended to be in charge.
With less-than-optimal employees running the show, the entire company can quickly lose sight of management’s vision and even spiral its way out of business. Here’s a couple of ideas to help instill the desired company culture in your employees and put you back in the driver’s seat when it comes to running your operation.
Fill Your Truck’s Empty Passenger Seat
The best asset any service-based company has is the passenger seat in their trucks. To get on the fast track to regain control of your company, assign assistants to your prized veteran techs. When picking assistants for your techs, it’s important to focus on individuals who are motivated, eager to learn and positive. An assistant may not be able to do your most complex jobs initially, but will be eager to learn what needs to be done to earn a veteran tech’s respect and pay levels.
Having an assistant ride along side your model techs will teach them how you expect the company to operate and soon add another valuable member to your team. This type of on-the-job training helps instill the values you want to promote within the company. Assistants will be able to tackle smaller jobs quickly, allowing their mentor tech to focus on the more challenging work at the jobsite. Also, with this type of training in place, your work force will be able to recover quicker when a problem employee decides to cut and run. Let your competition deal with those employees for a while, your company will be a stronger one because of it!
Connect Brain to Pocketbook
Many companies reward employees for working above and beyond normal calls of duty by paying commissions for upselling while on the jobsite or completing a certain number of jobs within a given time frame. Use a similar principle with any accidents that may occur as well. Hold techs, installers and other employees accountable for any damages they cause to company vehicles, tools or (even worse) client property while on the job. Keep inventory on company owned tools and hold your techs responsible for missing tools or tools damaged through obvious abuse. In some cases like vehicle or property damage, the company insurance policy will cover the bill; have the employee repay the company for any deductibles or increases in premiums resulting from their actions.
Showing employees the costs associated with their clumsiness or inattention to detail will certainly stick with them next time they’re in a similar situation and they will surely use more caution to avoid having to fork over additional money for repeated mistakes. This management style may temporarily increase turnover, but you’re really only losing the prima donna attitudes and unqualified employees not willing to conform to your company’s commitment to excellence – these are the exact employees who were holding your company hostage in the first place.
Utilizing these simple practices will put the reigns back in your hands and your company back in line with your original visions of quality, excellence, growth and success.