The market slowdown has made job security a real concern for many remodeling professionals. If you foresee slowdowns, I suggest these practices for shoring up morale:
- Be honest. Everyone needs to know what's coming down the pike, whether it's more work or less. Use weekly meetings or one-on-ones to keep staff apprised of leads, sales, and workflow. Employees will be more inclined to offer solutions if they trust that they're in the loop.
- Project accurately. Carefully plot out your workflow so you'll know when jobs will start and end. If you anticipate lag time, ask staff if they'd like to plan their vacation for that time or pick up some side projects.
- Create solutions. Encourage your crew to help fill the gap. Have them distribute door hangers or flyers. Train them to ask for referrals when complimented, and reward them for results. Invite handyman work: Inform clients of your carpenters' availability for small jobs. Make good on your warranty program, or create one retroactively.
Help your production crew think of themselves as vital members of your team both on and off the job-site. Trust me, they want to help!
— Tim Faller, Field Training Services, www.leadcarpenter.com.