4 Simple Onboarding Tips for Busy Contractors
It doesn’t make any difference if your restoration or remediation business is large or small, not having the right people in every position in your company can mean a huge bottom-line cost in lost business, inefficiency, and missed opportunities.
Unfortunately, many owners and managers have convinced themselves that you just can’t get good people anymore. In fact, some have given up trying! But here is what I believe: the best people have to work for somebody. Treat them right from day one and give them the tools and training they need to be successful and you will keep them.
Not being able to find, hire, or keep great employees is a topic I hear almost daily. If you are tired and frustrated with your onboarding process (or do you even have one?), this article is for you. Most contractors don’t have an in-house human resources manager, and that means important steps at the end of the hiring process can get missed, leaving new employees feeling unwelcomed or ill-prepared. A proper on-boarding system is a big step in correcting these problems.
Hiring Right Is Critical
Your restoration company becomes what you hire! Scary but true. Often we think we just have to throw bodies at a job. Stop doing that! You need to find, attract, and hire top notch talent, not just ‘bodies’. Your problems don’t get solved the day a new employee starts. You have to train, inspire, and empower them to treat your customers the way you want and expect.
Everyone on your team must be committed to specific outcomes, be held accountable for their performance, and rewarded for their success. Also, non-performers must be dealt with promptly and firmly. Everyone must be clear about what you commit and promise to your customers.
They, like you, must know what your businesses values and stands for. Having a motivated, trained, and happy staff leads to operating efficiently with less stress. And, while this is a conversation for a whole different article, make sure your company has structure and accountability, and deal with non-performance issues quickly.
So let’s loop back to the discussion of onboarding. Here are four tips for success.
1. Don’t Let Familiarity Breed Contentment
Does that sound like you? You’ve been doing this for so long, have you ever walked onto a job site and felt yourself go into auto-pilot? Saying the same things, taking the same types of moisture readings, using the same forms, etc. While this can mean you are a real pro, have you ever thought of what your new employees are thinking?
At the beginning, many do not have a clue what to do, what to say (or often more importantly what not to say) to a customer. The lingo and acronym’s we use sounds like a foreign language they don’t understand. And yet we have caused this situation ourselves by not properly on-boarding them.
2. Let New Employee Orientation Be Simple and Interesting
Consider the experience from the employee’s perspective. Come up with ways to make it interesting, exciting, painless, and as simple as possible. Doing this will make your new employee feel wanted, attentive, and excited to do great work and stay with your company.
One way to make this process simple is to implement an orientation schedule. Along with the government forms, Health & Safety protocols, etc., prepare a FAQ about the job and your company so you or your managers are consistently training the same. Another idea is to give them some information in advance to help eliminate their anxiety and get them started off on the right foot.
3. Don’t Make New Employees Learn “The Hard Way”
Every workplace comes with its own set of rules and regulations, benefits and bonuses, nuances and traditions. Don’t make your new employees learn these things the hard way. If your company observes company dress code rules, make sure all new employees know this before they show up at the office on their first day. Every company offers a range of benefits and perks. They’ll seem even more valuable if you make sure your new employees know about them from the onset.
Have policies and procedures in writing somewhere convenient. Verbal marathon sessions with new employee orientation sessions can easily go unheard, mis-understood or forgotten. Similarly, a stack of papers and folders can easily get lost in the shuffle.
4. Make New Employee Orientation Personal
Welcome the person, not just a set of job functions. Don’t make day one all about paperwork. Instead, prioritize them meeting and getting to know the key people they will be working for and with.This day of first impressions will have an enormous impact on the employee experience, so make it a good one.
Get the key documentation in advance or as quickly as you can on day one. When your new hire goes home to tell their family about the first day on the job, wouldn’t you rather have them say something more exciting than, “I filled out over a dozen forms”.
It’s been proven that happy employees are more productive employees. So, if you’re looking to drive bottom line results with state of the art talent management tactics and build real value in your business…. it’s time to get “onboard.”