Archives for August 2021

Recruiting & Retaining Employees (Part 2 of 2) Retaining Employees

By Rob Rusniaczek Grandy & Associates

In July we published an article titled “Recruiting Employees”.  As we discussed in the article, we need to develop a system of Recruiting Employees.  The outlined system was to use the TRUST method.

TRUST – Recruitment System

  • T – Treat Candidates Like Clients
  • R – Referral Program
  • U – Use Sponsored Job Listings
  • S – Social Media Strategies
  • T – Try New Things
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In this article we will discuss the strategical and tactical approaches you can call upon to Retain Employees.

Looking across the labor landscape, retaining personnel to get the work done is truly a challenge.  Perhaps you have heard yourself saying:

    • After 20 years why would they leave?
    • Why do I have such turnover within my company?
    • I just trained this person and 2 months later there leaving, are you serious????
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Simple question… do you have a strategy for retaining your people? Below you will find the PRIDE Reward and Retaining method to buildup your TEAM.  We are curious to hear your thoughts and we are always happy to discuss the content deeper with you in a conference call etc.  Should you have questions, please feel free to reach out to me at: [email protected].

PRIDE – Reward and Retain

  • P – Positive Working Environment
  • R – Recognize, Reward & Reinforce the Right Behavior
  • I – Involve and Engage Team Members
  • D – Develop Employee Skills and Potential
  • E – Evaluate and Measure
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P PRIDE Positive Working Environment

About one-third of your teams’ lives are spent at work.  One-third is for sleeping, another third is for spending time with family and finally a third is designated for working.  I would often half-jokingly say, if I want this kind of abuse, I’ll just stay home.  Well, do you ever think about and consider, what is your employees home life like?  Do you ever wonder, how can I lessen the pressure on my staff and create a positive culture at work?  Does your company have a culture of picking on people or do you have a work culture and climate based on fun, inclusivity, welcoming, respect, no-gossip, collaboration and trust?  

  • Make a List. Create a list of everything that is negative about the work environment and eliminate those things, simple right.  Get rid of the gutter snipping-gossip, toxic, stress, micro management, and hostile environment.
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  • Moving Forward.  Do everything through the lens of including the positive element and eliminating the negative aspects of the work culture.
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  • Come Along Side. Be a coach and a cheerleader for your staff.
  • Continually evaluate and ask yourself does this support a positive working environment?

As you are moving forward, look to create collaboration through an employee suggestion box, perhaps implementing 4-10’s or 4-12’s,  or staggered starts?  Do you have an employee of the month program or do you know how to implement an employee of the month program?  Have you considered changing or modifying the On-Call Service schedule?

R Recognize, Reinforce & Reward the Right Behavior

Other than a paycheck and an annual dinner, do you thank your employees for the work they do?  Do you have a reward system that reinforces success?  Here are some things you can consider.

  • Level 1 – The simple thank you: You’re thanking individuals for their actions which can be efforts as well as results.
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  • Level 2 – Reinforcement: Besides thanking individuals for what they’re doing, you’re acknowledging them for the specific actions they’re taking. They’re not only expending effort but they’re also making progress; or if they’re high achievers, getting results already. By calling attention to the new behavior, you’re helping them shape it, repeat it and bake it into their daily routine and the organization’s culture.
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  • Level 3 – Reward: Giving individuals something, you show you appreciate what they’ve accomplished.  This could be done publicly in a morning meeting. i.e. Gas Card, Grocery Card etc.
    • 5 or 10 Perfect Installs, No Call Backs, Safety Related, Organizing the Parts room etc.
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I Involve and Engage Team Members

These are the fast facts – When you involve your employees they become stakeholders.  When you involve your employees in the hiring of new people, your existing employees will sell new prospective candidates on joining the company.  The better the culture, the better success you will have in attracting new hires and growing your team.  From hiring to retaining you can involve your team members in the:

  • Interview process of new candidates
  • Creating a new reward system
  • Decision making or process changes
  • Position shifts or promotions
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Simply speaking, involve your team.

D Develop Employee Skills and PotentialWhen does a new hire become productive within your company?  Day 1, Week 1, Week 10, Week 30?  Where do I start with getting employees productive?  With the current labor pool of candidates, you will need to attract employees outside your existing industry.  The most basic of concepts will need to be taught to these new hires.  You need to have a documented and developed process for onboarding these new team members.  One suggestion is to start with our Onboarding courses.  At a minimum, we hold these classes twice per month and the course ramps up your staff quickly.  These courses cover the basics of:

  • Understanding major and minor system components
  • Different parts of the system and system design
  • And so many other aspects of your industry.
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E Evaluate and MeasureEspecially when things are busy, many little things fall by the wayside.  However, it is important to consistently have a process for checking in with your team.  Do you currently do any of the following?

  • Schedule one-on-one meetings – Set a time to meet quarterly with each team member. Find out what’s going on in their lives.  Listen to them and understand what is frustrating them.  Work toward resolving these items or they will move to another company that is more attractive.
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  • Transparent & Simple Evaluations – Explain clearly and concisely what it will take to make more money within the company. It is no longer acceptable to give annual pay increases and employees need to know what will get them to the next level.
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  • Prepare improvement Plans – When an employee is not performing, use your one-on-one to talk about and document how to get better.
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When looking to expand your team, keep in mind you need to have/create an environment for your team to want to stay.  There are many employers out there looking to poach and take your employees away.  I distinctly remember having our main Installer quit.  Joe was offered a position with a flexible work schedule and five dollars more per hour.  While Joe was resigning, we immediately matched and exceeded that offer and this is what Joe said, “If I was this important and valuable, why did I have to quit to be offered this?”.  Simply speaking, Joe was right!  We don’t have to wait for someone to quit to finally show them they are valuable. 

We know the methods described with PRIDE recruiting work.  Again, should you like to explore this information further, please reach out to me, Rob Rusniaczek at:  [email protected].

Having Trouble Finding Techs?

By Tom Grandy, Founder

The economy is coming back.  The phone is ringing, people are spending money and business is good.  Suddenly, it seems like everyone that had ever thought about having their equipment repaired or replaced now wants you to do it…yesterday!  Sales are skyrocketing.  There is only one problem: a serious shortage of qualified technicians.  Unfortunately, the problem is throughout the entire trades industry. 

If you were hoping for a silver bullet that would enable you to immediately hire as many techs as you need, I am afraid you are going to be disappointed.  There are no instant answers to the tech shortage but here are a few ideas that might help attract a few extra techs in the not-too-distant future:

  • Techs are attracted to companies that reward performance.

Every employee needs a bit of a carrot in front of them to increase productivity.  Likewise, all techs want YOU to know they are doing a good job.  The solution is pretty simple: create a system that rewards performance.  If they work a bit harder or more efficiently, award a bonus.  You have probably heard this little tip before – “reward the performance you want repeated”.  How does that help recruit new techs?  Techs are looking for companies that both appreciate their work and provide rewards for outstanding performance. 

  • Increasing your hourly rate may not be as costly as you think. Several years ago, I was doing some consulting for an HVAC company (principles are the same). Most companies in their area were paying techs $18.00 to $25.00 an hour.  This particular company was paying $35.00 an hour!  I asked how he could afford to do that.  His reply surprised me a bit.  The owner explained that paying the highest wages in the area not only attracted the best techs but those higher paid techs were more efficient, seldom called in sick, grumbled less, had a limited numbers of callbacks and were more respectful to management and customers.  Turnover was down which also which minimized the need and expense for training.  Simply having a workforce he could count on more than made up for the extra dollars he was paying.  Make sense?  I think it does.

 Where is the best pool of potential techs located?

Let’s face it, not everyone excelled in high school.  I for one, did not wake up to the fact that I was going to have to make a living one day until I was in the middle of my junior year.  Guess what, there are a lot of quality individuals that woke up late too.  Where are they?  Believe it or not, many are in the retail or food industry or perhaps at Walmart. 

I’m sure you have been in a situation where you walked into a store and were immediately impressed by an employee.  They were friendly, helpful and respectful.  When I or my wife run into an individual like that, we always turn to each other and say, “I’ll bet that person is not here next time we come!”  Why? Because others will notice their work ethic and attitude and will offer them a job. 

When you run into an individual that impresses you, hand them a business card and tell them how much you appreciate their attitude.  Tell them if they ever consider changing careers to give you a call.  I have had contractors tell me they have done that and they received calls months, sometimes years later.  The principle is simple:  hire for attitude and train for service.  Finding new techs in today’s market is a 24/7/365 job.   

  • Is your company a great place to work?

Family is special.  We talked about this a bit in an article a couple months ago.  I am guessing that when you were growing up you had at least one special friend and that you wanted to spend as much time at their house as you could.  Why?  Because you felt loved and accepted.  How many times have you heard someone say – the place where they work is like being part of a family?  Family works hard together, relaxes together, meets each other’s needs and is willing to lay down their lives for other members.  Really great families are hard to find but when you do find one, it’s really, really special.  It’s a group you want to be part of for a very long time. 

That leaves us with a question.  Are you a good company to work for?  Is there a family environment?  Do employees want to be there?  Family environments attract others that want to be part of it as well.  When you found that special family when you were young, I am betting it wasn’t long before other kids in your neighborhood ended up spending time at the home as well.  A true family environment attracts employees who want to be part of the family as well. 

Creating a family environment, paying above industry wages and benefits, recognizing and rewarding outstanding performance and being around others with great attitudes may not instantly create new employees.  However, doing these things will attract new employees over time and I would be willing to bet, most will stay for an extended time.  Remember, happy employees tell their friends who just might want to work there as well.

Grandy & Associates is now offering a brand-new program called Contractor Academy.  It has three levels to choose from, each with its unique member benefits.  Even the first level (for only $29.95/month) includes membership to the Profit University Audio Series (over 300 audio presentations with a new one being posted each month) and access to all of current and future on-demand courses.  Purchasing one course alone would cover your membership!  Check it out and sign up today!

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