You can learn a lot by listening to your employees.
- Our employees know more than you think
- They are usually the front line with our clients
- They know a lot about their tasks
- They often have some great ideas
- They know when they are in trouble and need help but afraid to tell you
- Build a culture where employees are heard
- Not just a suggestion box
- Really listen to what they have to say and get their opinions
- Have an open door policy
- Create a habit of walking around
- Check-in on your employees
- Ask how things are going
- Don’t let them off with “great boss” – really dig in
- Take time to brainstorm with them
Successful teams thrive when you have the right people in the right positions.
- Create an elite team for success
- Construction is team oriented
- It takes many working together to complete a project
- Elite teams have the right people in the right positions
- Start with the right people
- Do they have the right mindset?
- Do they support and enhance your brand
- Do they mesh with your culture
- Then put them in the right positions
- Do they have the proper skills and knowledge?
- Don’t fall into the trap of promoting to incompetence
- Do they have enthusiasm and want to be in the position?
Don’t miss out on one of the best, untapped resources in your company.
How often do you or one of your senior managers spend time talking and listening to your employees? Not enough.
- Your employees know
- They know the real values of your company
- They know why your competition is kicking your butt
- They know why Joe in accounting is so unhappy (and how much he is stealing)
- The best, untapped resource – don’t just sit on the well
- Engage and ask questions
- Be open and listen to the feedback
- They are entitled to their opinions and you don’t need to argue with them
- Remember perception is reality even if it’s not true
- Provide constructive feedback that extends the conversation
- A profound effect
- Your employees will know you care and they are being heard
- They will know they are part of shaping their future
- You will gain great insights
When hiring new employees, look at how they fit in your organization more than their skills.
Q: We are getting ready to hire some key employees. Can you give us some advice on how to find and hire good people?
A: Search everywhere then hire for fit first, skills second.
- What is a good employee?
- Someone that knows everything they need to know? Will they accept your ways?
- Someone that will do whatever you ask? Are they going to wait for instruction for every move?
- Someone that argues with others?
- A good employee is someone that fits in with your organization and will do things congruently with your mission/vision.
- Finding potential hires
- Start with your employees – they have networks and will know who might fit well
- Your network – ask around, tell people in your network that you are looking for some new people
- Advertise – post it everywhere you can – there are thousands of people looking for new opportunities – make sure you give people the opportunity to know you are hiring.
- Wich one fits best
- Remember to hire slow and fire fast
- Spend some time preparing for and reviewing potential hires
- Ask questions that give you insight to their values and your core values – do they match?
- Example: You received a final invoice and sign off from a subcontractor (who has been a rela pain in the a**) and realize they missed a $5K change order. Do you let them know or process as is and hope they don’t catch it? Why?
- A client gave us a change order several months ago and we have completed the work and submitted the invoice already. While going through some paperwork, you realize you transposed some numbers and the change order was actually $8K more than it should be. What do you do? Why?
- Let other employees spend some time with you potential hires and get their feedback
- Consider micro-tasks for short-listed candidates
- Take the top 3 and hire each one to prepare a Project Execution plan for an upcoming project. Pay them by the hour for their work. Let them work closely with one of your current PMs for asking questions and getting information. The resulting work effort can help point you in the right direction.
- Remember to hire slow and fire fast