Construction business owners, project managers, and field supervisors have lots of things to do every day to keep their ball rolling towards the target. They often get overloaded and don’t take enough time to do everything perfectly as they know they should. After a while, they get in the habit of doing things the easy or fastest way, and take short cuts to get things done. This reduces their bottom-line net results.
Think of the little things in your business you know you should do to play your best game every day. When you don’t follow sound business principles added costs, small problems or costly mistakes add up and significantly weigh you down. This drags your bottom line lower than it could be.
For example, when you keep poor employees on your payroll too long or continually use the same supplier without getting other bids, you’re saving time but costing you money. When you continue working for bad customers rather than seeking new ones, or not taking the time to focus on collecting your receivables faster, you’re saving time and losing small amounts of money that add up significantly over the long haul. When you do extra work without signed change orders or only offer what is on the plans and specifications to get awarded jobs, you’re saving time while not maximizing your bottom line.
Whether you’re too busy, stressed out or overloaded, you have many options and choices available to do a better job and make more money.
Clean out the dead wood
Who on your crew or staff causes you the most grief, doesn’t do a good job or has a bad attitude? These poor performers are infiltrating everyone on your team and bringing them down. Poor performers should be cleaned out, fired and removed fast.
Think of employees as trees in the forest. When they die, run out of life or stop growing, they become dead wood. Dead wood gets in the way, is a fire hazard and causes you to trip or fall as you move forward. When you let the dead wood remain, you tolerate poor performance. When you don’t remove or clean out dead wood, other employees have to put up with them, work around them, cover for them and make excuses for them.
Additionally, your good employees lose respect for a boss who won’t do what’s right in a timely manner and accepts less than the best from his people.
I know you’re too busy to get rid of your dead wood employees and find some new people to do a better job. I know you think you can’t find any good help. But, by doing nothing and walking by poor performers, you’re avoiding tough decisions and losing more money than you can imagine. One dead tree can reduce your crew efficiency by as much as 25%.
Make a list of your employees and rate them on the skills you need them to have to be efficient and proficient in their duties. Also rate their attitude, teamwork, enthusiasm and aptitude. And rate them on their desire to take on more accountability, responsibility and leadership. Through this process, you’ll discover your valuable employees, those who can improve and those who shouldn’t work for you. Who knows? You might also find that a few ‘old-timers’ or relatives are not on your ‘keep’ list.
It’s not your fault that as many as 10% to 20% of your employees might not be the right fit suited to work for you or your company. You shouldn’t feel bad about realizing that not everyone you hired was the right employee to work for your company. You did your best hiring them. But some people eventually didn’t fit the required job description or aspire to excellence in your company’s environment.
In other words, a few of your employees are working at the wrong place. It is not good for them or you, and they need to move on and find a place where they’ll contribute in a positive way.
Feel good about cleaning out the dead wood. It’s good for you, your employees and those who’ll be leaving your company. So get out your axe and trim out the dead wood. Then make it your priority to find positive people who’ll make your company a better place.
George Hedley works with contractors to build profitable growing companies. He is a professional construction business coach, popular speaker and best-selling author of “Get Your Construction Business To Grow & Profit!” available at his online bookstore at www.HardhatPresentations.com. To sign-up for his free e-newsletter, be part of a BIZCOACH program, or get a discount coupon for online classes at www.HardhatBizSchool.com, e-mail GH@HardhatPresentations.com.