McCadden: Secrets to Building a Team of Dedicated Employees

by Kacey Larsen

For remodelers, finding and keeping good employees is a big problem that will only get worse in the next 10 years. Rather than accept it, think of it as an opportunity. While other remodelers will use employee challenges as excuses for compromised work quality and job schedule challenges, make your business stand out in your marketplace because you found a way to avoid those same challenges.

Putting such a mechanism in place is not easy and will take time to accomplish. Now is the best time to get started. Here are secrets to success in building an awesome team.

Have and Share a Vision for the Business
Good employees want a job; great employees are seeking opportunities where they can earn success. To attract great employees, you need to create and articulate a vision for the business. You need to tell them what/where your firm will be 10 years from now and how you’ll get there. Part of that vision should include an organization chart with job descriptions, skills and people your business will require as it passes through different business stages and levels of growth along the way.

Because you will need properly trained employees to fill new positions and because those people will be hard to find or may not exist, it would be advantageous if your vision also includes career paths employees can follow and will be offered if they join your team and commit to grow with the business. I did this at my remodeling business, starting with my first hire. I found sharing a vision can act as a filter. Those who were inspired by my vision became excited and wanted to know more. Those who were just looking for a job (and a check) didn’t bother filling out an application.

Give Employees a Purpose in Their Jobs
Employees achieve their best when they feel part of something bigger. Great employees also want to feel and be part of a team that shares and holds each other accountable to common goals and interests. When you mentor your employees, help them find purpose for what they do. Help the carpenter realize the work he or she does changes the way a family feels about their remodeled home. Help an aspiring lead carpenter discover how much happier customers will be because of the way he or she manages their remodeling project. Help the bookkeeper see how and why accurate financial information can help fellow employees maximize their profit sharing potential (if offered) by being able to measure the effects of their efforts. Remember, “what gets measured gets done.” So, be strategic and careful about what you decide to measure, as well as how you go about doing so.

Give Them Benefits They Will Not Find Elsewhere
Although my dad’s generation lived to work, the new generation of workers coming in work to live. In addition to good pay, consider offering employee benefits workers would otherwise not find in your marketplace. For example, offer a family health plan for those who have and/or are hoping to someday start a family. Once they have a family, it will be difficult to leave their job with you unless they find another that offers the same insurance.

Offer paid vacation time, but accumulated based on actual hours worked. An employee who misses time will get less vacation time, and those putting in overtime will get more. I started a profit-sharing plan at my business. In addition to being beneficial to my employees, the plan helped my profits go up considerably. It’s amazing how employees think and act differently when they share in the common pursuit of profits.

Get to Know Them and Help Them Achieve Their Personal Goals
Statistics show most employees don’t leave businesses — they leave bosses. A great employee wants to not only work in a great company, but also work with a great boss. Notice I said with, not for, a great boss. In addition to being thoughtful and respectful, business owners and middle management should get to know the employees they manage. Learn what drives them, what is personally important to them and what concerns them about achieving their personal vision for the future.

I am not suggesting you become their friend, but rather be friendly and show genuine interest and concern for them and their families. To know if you are on the right track, listen to how your employees introduce you to others. If they say they work for you, you will need to work to change their viewpoint. If they say they work with you or your business, you have probably already come to know them well and vice versa. |QR

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More