“Every problem is an opportunity in disguise.” ― John Adams

Today, the hiring challenge is consistently one of the biggest strains on everyone in the industry. There is no crystal ball as to how long this challenge will exist in both the short and long term. As we continue to try everything to overcome the hiring challenges and labor shortage, we must carefully balance our focus and resources on other areas that may help us attract and retain talent. It is equally important to also focus on optimal use and management of existing resources. The following are three key areas to address:   

  1. Onboarding:  After investing our resources and efforts in finding a new person, we must have a deliberate and effective onboarding system. There are a variety of tools, resources and inspiration available to review and formalize the onboarding process. In addition to Are you On Board with Employee Onboarding, there are a many great articles and videos in the R&R vault that can give you and your team the tools to develop or retool your WOW-boarding program.
    1. WOW-Boarding:  Make the onboarding experience amazing so the new hire will talk about the experience and possibly influence others to apply. Onboarding is a reflection on the company, its values, and the opportunities within. It is not unlike a first impression with a customer. We must be organized and have a plan to make a wow impression on our new hire.
      • Give them everything they need to succeed and grow in their new career.
    2. Written Plan: Make sure the onboarding process is documented so the team can engage and execute. The new hire will know what to expect as the tone is set for a solid beginning.         
    3. Onboarding Committee and Onboarding Officers: Engage the team in the concept of WOW-boarding and take the process to a higher level.
      • Get creative.
      • Designate and train team members to be onboarding officers.  
      • Ensure onboarding officers are consistently positive and engaged in the mission, purpose and values of the company.
      • Define the period that the new-hire spends with a designated onboarding officer.  
  2. Employee Retention and Morale: Many companies benefit from employees who step up, are highly engaged, and work hard to keep things running and serving the customers in the midst of this labor shortage. However, strained human resources can be a stress inducer for many on the team. It is critical that we exercise care and give our attention to protect them from burnout; keep their sprits high.
    1. Burnout in the Restoration Industry Part 1, by Dr. Jake Avila and Dr. Randy Rapp, explains the dimensions of burnout and the findings of their 2019 study, which will give insight and understanding to the threat.  
    2. We must be diligent on keeping a pulse on team morale. Not only are employees likely experiencing increase stress at work, but the world we live in also has many real dynamics and pressures that everyone will handle and process differently.  
  3. Capacity and Productivity: Increasing capacity and improving productivity are as important as ever in the face of a labor shortage, and they aren’t impossible.
    1. In 7 Areas Restoration Companies Can Reduce or Eliminate Waste, Tim Hull presents seven categories of actionable areas that can improve the use of your resources. Upon execution of his tips for waste reduction/elimination, you can increase capacity and improve the bottom line.
    2. In Burnout in the Restoration Industry: Managing Workload | Part 2, methods for controlling and expanding capacity are explored. It should be noted that when workload exceeds capacity, managing customer expectations becomes of the highest importance.
    3. In Burnout in the Restoration Industry: Effective Workload Management | Part 3, there is a variety of approaches for managing each individual’s workload and potentially expanding it. Pay particular attention to the opportunity to evaluate the field staff’s functions, workflows and duties. Also consider adjusting, restructuring or reassigning certain functions to office/administrative staff to allow for expanded capacity of skilled team members in the field.
    4. Investing in the right technology, tools and supplies is of particular importance.  Properly deployed, everything from mops to saws may yield significant gains in efficiency and productivity.

These three key areas of focus may help overcome the challenges of today, but may also present opportunity for long-term improvements that will serve your company and team well when the next challenge arises.  

I share with you what started out as a plan to make everyone lunch and turned into a bit of a fun, lighthearted series of lessons on: employee morale, tools, efficiencies, quality, development and more. Check out our video, Lessons Learned from Making Peanut Butter and Jelly.

May you have much continuedRestoring Successand find opportunities.