Max Hirshfeld

One of your most important roles as owner is managing your employees and providing the support they need to succeed at their jobs. This isn’t a touchy feely New Age concept. You don’t need surveys or evaluations to tell you that happy employees perform better. This is especially significant in remodeling companies where employees interact with clients daily.

While attending a recent conference for production managers, columnist Peter Pagenstecher says he was reminded of the need for setting aside sufficient time for production managers to prepare for each job. Pagenstecher points out that if the manager has time to closely review the project, he might see things that the estimator missed or might even have money-saving suggestions. There are enough surprises that crop up on a job; give your team the opportunity to negate the stress of controllable items.

Writer Bridget McCrea reveals Wright Brothers Builders’ practice of bringing in an additional project manager on the Westport, Conn., firm’s large remodels, complicated projects, or jobs on a tight schedule.

In my profile of Tom Glass, I write about the Washington, D.C., remodeler’s decision to create an acquisitions manager position at his company, Glass Construction, to allow superintendents to concentrate on site work rather than on tracking orders. Glass has also created an atmosphere at his company that is supportive of those who are new to the industry. In the past few years, people with previous careers in graphic design, sales, and writing have found their niche at Glass Construction.

But employee support needs to be balanced with defined boundaries on acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Senior editor Leah Thayer tells the story of employees with personal problems that negatively affected not just their own performance but that of the entire company. Consistency is the key. Hold weekly meetings, yearly employee reviews, and companywide meetings. Communicating expectations at every opportunity provides your employees with both a strong platform and a safety net.