Whether you run an independent painting company or you’re contracting with an outside painting company, you want to know how to forge lasting bonds with your employees. Changes in personnel cost your company time and reduce the efficiency of your painting crews. One way to prevent this from taking its toll on your company is to carefully select employees from the applicant pool.
Hiring: Where to Look
When searching for good painting company employees, start with your success stories, the employees that have developed into solid members of your team. How did you find this guy? If you discover that certain channels (Internet, newspapers, job boards, and lumber yard referrals) delivered more than their fair share of great employees, and then focus your attention on employees who come in through those channels.
The method does not matter. Build your pool of employees through word of mouth only, if that is what gives you high-quality employees. The key is to build on your past successes.
Hiring: Who to Hire
Aim for stability when it comes to hiring your crew. If you select employees who desire stability, you will soon have a crew of project tested veterans who are with you for the long haul. Potential employees with little or no experience should be screened for their desire to learn the painting trade as a long term career. Training is costly, and if your employees are leaving after a matter of months, those training costs can cut into your profits. Plus, work crews with a revolving door are less efficient than a stable crew.
Retaining: What to Do
Retaining employees comes down to four simple actions: listening, making room, evaluating and rewarding. Do these four things well, and you will keep good employees.
Listen to your staff. Communication is the most powerful tool you have in your company, if you choose to use it. Ask questions about how employees feel about their jobs. If they complain about things, ask the employees what they want to do to fix the problem.
Give your employees and supervisors the room to do their jobs. Once their training is complete, you should let them make competent decisions that benefit your company. Doing so elevates the employee to the status of a real team member instead of just another face on an assembly line. This increases employee satisfaction and encourages employees to build a career with your company.
Evaluating is the fine art of asking the right questions. The right questions promote growth and valuable change. Does an employee’s suggestion work? How well does this employee perform under pressure? Am I giving my supervisors the room to demonstrate their skills?
Reward the behavior you want to encourage. The method of reward doesn’t matter as much as its sincerity. A few words of thanks that are heartfelt and honest can be as effective as a gift certificate, provided the sincerity of the gesture is without question. Did the employee do something so well that it left you speechless? When you recover, tell him or her about it. Employees leave when honest praise is in short supply.
Hiring and Retaining: The Final Word
In the end, your company’s success at hiring good employees and retaining them is directly dependant on your ability to create an environment conducive to career-growth. As long as an employee sees your company as a fertile place for their abilities to grow, they will set down roots.