Here’s a common problem today within the trades: it is hard to find good, qualified people. As I talk with HVAC contractors across the country, I also hear them say, “It is difficult to retain good people once I get a good one.”
Years ago, I remember the owner of a specific HVAC company say his secret was, “Train your people that they can start their own business, pay them so that they cannot afford to start a business, and value them so they never want to leave.” These are wise words, and I truly believe that is a key.
However, there are a few more things that you should consider to have in place.
#1: Have a Lot of Work
A person may make a great hourly rate, but they only get paid when they are working. It’s important to remember they have bills, families, and major expenses as well. The minute they don’t have a full week, they may be tempted to leave for greener grass. Therefore, you need to learn how to take the weather out of your business, build up service agreements, so your techs are always busy, sales can be made, and everyone is working.
#2 Make It Fun
I have a large client in Texas and the way they treat their people is unbelievable: breakfast day, barbecues for birthdays and anniversaries, a barber for free haircuts at the shop, and more. These are little things that make employees ask, “Why would I leave?” As a matter of fact, I have been back many times for training over the years and always see the same people.
#3 Have Contests
These are another way to have fun within the company. However, don’t just limit them to the service techs. Host different ones for installers, CSRs, and comfort consultants. Nothing happens in a business until the phone is answered properly, an appointment is scheduled, and a sale is made.
#4 Stop the Complaints from Coming In
There is nothing worse than picking up a phone from an unhappy customer and listening to all of the problems they have regarding the work that has been done. What’s more worse is the poor person that is scheduled to have to go back out to the home. With that said, make sure you have quality control in the business, and there are various ways to do so. Stay tuned for later articles when I will cover this point more in depth.
Be smiling every day, and leave your problems at the front door. If the owner or managers are in bad moods when they walk in, then that attitude will soon multiply in the business.
Here’s the Bottomline: Employees want to work for companies that are successful, a fun place to work, and a place that acknowledges and values everyone. It’s the little things that really count.