Irons Brothers Construction Inc.

by Emily Blackburn

Shoreline, Wash.
ironsbc.com
GQ All-time Recommend Rate: 97%
GQ 2022 Recommend Rate:
100%
Number of Jobs in 2022:
32
Type of Firm: 
Design/Build
CEO:
Melissa Irons, Joseph  Irons

QR: Your team was able to achieve high rates of customer satisfaction during the pandemic, a time of greater scrutiny because clients were at home more. There were also supply-chain delays. What measures did your firm take to maintain client satisfaction?

There are several measures that we take to maintain client satisfaction, most of these did not change during Covid, but instead were enhanced. For example, in July of 2021, we added a new position to our production team, specifically for client relations and communication. This Production Coordinator role was integral to our success in providing timely and effective communication with our clients. Having one point-person for all clients’ in-construction built trust and reliability. It also increased our carpenters’ productivity, giving them time to focus on their craft, while the Coordinator handled daily and/or weekly client communication regarding scheduling, material deliveries, and more.
To maintain Guild Quality’s 100% client satisfaction rating in 2022, our firm continued to be open, honest, and transparent with client communication. This included communicating about scheduling delays and cost increases. Our team also was flexible and worked diligently during the “new normal.”

Knowing our clients were working within the same footprint as our team, we worked hard to co-exist and this required more client management than prior. Thus our new Production Coordinator role was integral to our success, leading to increased satisfaction at a very anxious time for all of us. Having one person to discuss their concerns or questions with was invaluable. In addition, virtual communication and cloud-based systems helped us adapt to meeting our clients when they or we could not be in person. This helped us collaborate with them and our design / trade partners, as well as inspectors, to locate alternatives if needed and avoid delays.

The Ironsway is how our company does business. It’s a motto and our culture at Irons Brothers Construction. It’s how we treat our clients, partners, vendors, and team members. It also is a way of thinking. We use the Golden Rule when working with our clients, putting ourselves into their shoes and treating them how we would want to be treated. This mentality in customer service, along with having integrity in our craft, is how we continue to maintain optimum client satisfaction in this 24th year of business.

QR: Firms with happier employees have higher levels of customer satisfaction. What are the top ways you are able to keep your employees happy and satisfied?

Our employees are happy and satisfied. Not only with our company, but with the relationships they have with their team, our trade partners, designers, vendors, and our clients. Albeit from time to time we don’t meet eye to eye with all of these people, however it’s how we work together to create solutions that improve our relationships and work out our differences, that leads to our employee’s success and satisfaction.

Some of the ways we celebrate our successes with our employees is through team-building events, like our annual company strategic planning retreat, which everyone in the company attends. Not only does this event help us come together to celebrate our accomplishments of the year, but it also gives each employee an opportunity to help create solutions to the pain points at work. Being a part of continuous quality improvement projects and helping to invoke change rank high during annual reviews.

Another area we believe our employees rate us at the top is providing them growth opportunities. We give our team opportunities for personal and professional growth through continuing education. We strongly believe in elevating our team to be their best, and through continued learning and certifications they become confident in themselves and in their daily work.  We are not just referring to CPR and First Aid training, but annual trade shows, conferences, quarterly lunch and learns, and showroom tours, all make up some of the opportunities we provide. 

This past April, our team participated in a half-day communications training on emotional intelligence and teamwork. This curriculum helped us to better work together, ultimately being able to better serve our internal and external customers. Provided by our human resources consultant, this training is now extending into our bi-weekly all-staff meetings through videos, articles, and activities to keep us communicating well as a team.

By focusing on learning opportunities and creating a supportive environment for our staff, they want to be part of the environment, and everyone enjoys working together.

When dissatisfaction arises, which it does, we focus on training and learning opportunities in a supportive way. We refer to the IronsWay – our company’s purpose and North star for guidance. Of course we also review the matter practically and with our employee handbook, policies, and job description if needed.

Some employees train-up and grow out of their role and move on. This is mostly exciting for us to see, as we pride ourselves in employee growth and believe we have helped to create some of the best construction professionals in our industry.  A better and more educated workforce is better for the whole.

QR:Purpose driven” companies, those that exist to effect change or take action on something bigger than their products or services, attract a younger, higher skilled employees who tend to be more engaged workers. Some firms connect their “purpose” to a written mission statement. Do you operate a purpose-driven organization? And in what ways does your firm extend itself to outside causes.

Yes, we certainly do operate a purpose-driven organization at Irons Brothers Construction. Our mission, vision, core values, community impact and team statements guide our organization daily.

We are not just focused on our own company but improving the residential construction industry. We volunteer when not working for our local, state, and national building associations. Our General Manager, Joseph Irons was the 2022 Building Industry Association of Washington’s President. Melissa Irons, our Marketing & Operations Manager, was the 2022 Remodelers Council Chair of the Master Builders Association of King & Snohomish Counties. Both are leaders in their industry and at the company. We all are stronger together.

Our work transforms our clients’ lives by providing them with a modernized and aesthetically pleasing space to call home. Throughout their journey with our company and team, their experience working with us is of utmost importance. We are proud to use our Mission to help guide our company’s annual goals, and all decisions regarding our operations.

Our company and team enjoy using our skills and talents to help others through several philanthropic projects annually. One of these is Rampathon. This is an event through our local builders association where we captain the build of a free wheelchair ramp to a local resident in need. This year we built our 17th consecutive ramp. Each year the experience is just as rewarding as the last. Not only do we help others regain freedom with our service, but at the same time we are team building. It also engages our family members, including children, and our friends in the skilled trade.  Lastly, working as a team during the build provides an insight into each other’s workdays, especially for those who do not perform carpentry or labor daily.  It is such a fun experience to plan, execute and complete a project in one day. The ultimate reward is when the recipient uses the ramp for the first time! 

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