“The problem with common courtesy is that it’s not too common.” Remember that old saying? It’s true on the roads and in many workplaces. However, in these tough times a little kindness may be what gets you more work. This is particularly important for those in the field because so many clients and potential clients see construction workers as a little rough around the edges. Here are some tips for more courteous site behavior.
Be friendly with neighbors. By speaking to or waving to neighbors of your clients, you will open up lines of communication. Even if they do not initiate a connection, it can still create opportunities. If they approach the jobsite, introduce yourself and shake their hand. This can create a bond that will pay dividends later. You can even go a step further and hand them a business card and ask them to call you directly if they have any issues with parking, debris, or deliveries during the project.
Say thank you. This simple phrase will help you create better working relationships. This is true of fellow employees, the clients, and the neighbors. If you are a lead carpenter and you say thank you to a carpenter or helper, it may help to motivate them. When you are speaking to the neighbors, thank them for their patience with the dust and disturbance.
A thank you can also help bridge the divide between sales and production. The sales and design teams need to acknowledge the help of the field crews with a thank you, and vice-versa.
Take responsibility for your mess. Nothing will hinder getting referrals more than trash and debris strewn around a jobsite. Clean as you go so the site stays neat all day — not just when you do your end-of-day clean-up. Always pick up debris from neighbors’ yards as soon as you spot it.
—Tim Faller is president of Field Training Services and author of The Lead Carpenter Handbook. www.leadcarpenter.com.