How To Steadily and Predictably Help Your Employees Meet Expectations
You’re running a construction business and doing your best to get “all the things” done correctly. You must consider cost, quality, time, safety, performance, employee fulfillment, and customer delight. So, having employees who meet your company’s expectations is vital to ensuring the wheels don’t come off the bus as you move along.
Why “Go Cut Me Some Boards” Won’t Cut It
All rookie jokes aside, you know better than to tell said rookie to “go cut me some boards.” Instead, you guide the rookie to the pile of lumber; you carefully explain lumber grades, dimensions, and board-cutting tools. You discuss the measurement methods, the importance of accuracy, and the best cutting techniques.
Yet, regarding the non-rookies, you may forget that an employee doesn’t know how to meet expectations because you haven’t expressed them. The baseline is that you must give employees clarity. Communication is the name of the game.
You Must Draw the Picture
It brings a fond memory when I remember the humor my dad brought to the conversation when he would ask (perhaps in frustration,) “Do I have to draw you a picture?”
Sometimes, drawing a picture is the best way to convey an idea. Getting people to see what you’re saying is essential. From napkin sketches to drywall or stud notations to blueprints, there are pictures that get the message across. Another example is found in the actions taken to document processes and procedures; you draw on the power of images by including screenshots of supporting information.
BTW, there were those times when Dad had to draw a picture to convey the idea, to get me to see what he was saying. Let’s not even consider the time he had to make a cardboard mockup to get me to understand that the pulley system I was devising (and insisting he install) just wouldn’t work.
Pour the Foundation
The foundation for steadily and predictably helping your employees meet expectations is for you to be an example of what you expect from them. Some things to consider are:
Raise the Walls
Set up your employees for success. Start by giving clear employee expectations for individuals and teams. Don’t be ambiguous. Make the intentions measurable by providing specific targets and metrics. Be sure to include these three influential messages:
Explain the importance to the project, the company’s overall well-being, and to them as individuals.
Provide helpful resources such as people to contact, online links to information, classes they can attend, or books they can read.
Clearly define how you will support their achievements and specific results through pay raises, bonuses, and company recognition.
Install the Mechanicals
There are always those “hidden amenities” in the build, the things that make the building operational. From plumbing and electricity to HVAC and “smart features,” the mechanicals hidden in the walls are nonetheless imperative. Here are some ways to provide your employees with the “hidden amenities” that will engage them in meeting your expectations:
Tell them what priorities to focus on.
Conduct planned and unplanned one-on-ones.
Occasionally, check in to see how they’re doing.
Coach for improvement rather than railing on imperfections.
Don’t Forget the Primer
You know the importance of applying the primer before proceeding with the following steps on the job site. And when you’re working to help your employees to meet expectations, you must provide the primer. In this case, the primer includes access to things like:
The employee handbook
Standardized operating procedures
The company mission
A chart of company hierarchy
Any foundational documents or concepts you consider important
Installing the Roof
All your building will be for naught if you don’t include the roof. If you miss this critical factor, the ultimate protection of all that has gone before will be lost.
Just because you know something doesn’t mean your employees know it.
Making this aspect even more challenging to deal with is that you often don’t even realize that you’re taking something so obvious into account when your employee doesn’t know what it is or how to look for it.
To help overcome this difficulty, here are some things you can do:
Watch for repeated pain points, errors, or mistakes.
Look for signs you’re not being understood (facial expressions help here.)
Ask questions to uncover missing information on your side or the employee’s side.
Be sure your employees know they can and should clarify when unsure.
The Capstone on the Roof
Finding ways to steadily and predictably help your employees meet expectations comes full circle back to communication.
If need be, say it over and over and over. Use your company newsletters, emails, texts, office walls, private conversations, company meetings, or whatever it takes to let your employees know what you expect and how they can succeed.
Keep communication channels open!
One more thing: Whether your construction company is large or small, be sure your employees understand the chain of command. This article, Chain of Command, will help you know more about implementing one to help you and your employees.
Ambitious Construction Contractors look to The Profit Constructors to provide advocacy in dealing with:
Clients and customers
Employees and subcontractors
Vendors and service providers
Working with The Profit Constructors gives Construction Contractors the means to organize their operations in ways that help them:
Ready for action? Or want to know more? Get in touch today to schedule a complimentary discovery call. 866-629-7735