Implement a “Give it Away” Policy with Your Construction Team
Updated: Jun 23, 2020
Last time, I talked about making decisions concerning whether a change order is necessary when dealing with requests from clients. If you haven’t read that post, take time to do so. Otherwise, what I’m saying from here on out might not make much sense to you. Because, this time I’ll tell you how to go one step further in the process.
Ever thought about telling your team to give time and service to your clients at no additional charge? Ever thought about implementing a Give it Away policy?
Whoa, I know what you’re thinking. “I can’t possibly allow the crew to give it away, I’ll go broke!” That would possibly be true, unless you have a specific strategy in play concerning what and when to give away.
There are 3 levels involved in developing a Give it Away policy
Model the behavior
Model the behavior you want your team to emulate. Be the man or woman of integrity, conscience, and kindness you want every person on your team to be. When at all possible go the extra mile, give your clients more than they expected, be the guy or gal they want to recommend to others.
Teach your team
Teach your team what is acceptable in the give-more-than-expected category. Each trade will have its own set of approved above and beyond measures. Take the time to think about what will be on your “yes we can” list and make sure your team knows what they are. You’ll also have to let them know there may be things which pop up that aren’t on the list. Give them the metrics for discerning which are worthy. Should it be added to the list? You decide. And yes, there are likely to be mistakes made. Learn from it, teach your crew from it, and move on.
Reward the team
Reward those of your team who follow your guidelines and your model. Consider having a once a week Tattle and Reward session during your morning huddle. Fridays are a good day to practice this as events will be fresh in your team’s minds. It will likely take a few weeks to get the idea rolling, and its likely you’ll have to do much of the initial “tattling,” yet your crew will catch on. Encourage people to tattle on themselves also.
Here are some examples of what you want to hear from your team:
“I saw Dave helping our client unload some heavy boxes from his pickup.”
“I noticed Leslie installing a door knocker on Mrs. Smith’s new door.”
“I fixed the catch on the electrical box, so the client could open it from his wheelchair.”
You get the idea. The reward could be as simple as a round of applause for the person who is being tattled on. Or, you may wish to have a number of gift cards ready to be handed out to the hands who excelled. A five-dollar coffee shop card, a ten-dollar fast food card, a fifty-dollar gift card for a department store, or even higher denominations to a tool store might be in order. Some other rewards you may wish to include are branded coffee mugs and water bottles, lunch with the boss, books, lottery or movie tickets, a car wash certificate, or any item you know would be appreciated. It is up to you or a supervisor you designate what you’ll be giving, depending on the level of engagement from your crew members.
More for you to consider
The actions involved as well as the rewards given can range from the humble (screwed a latch back on a window) to the impressive (saved a client’s life.)
Training your team to be thoughtful won’t happen overnight.
The rewards you and your team receive by practicing going above and beyond won’t always be easily measurable.
Be sure to bring your sense of humor to the Tattle and Reward meeting, because . . . well you know, construction hands “just wanna have fun.”
If a mistake has been made, remember rewards take place in public, yet admonishments are taken care of in private.
Consider your social marketing angle and think about asking your team to provide pictures as often as possible. A phone and a specified email address could be all the tools they’ll need.
You can reach our construction accounting specialized team by calling 866-629-7735 or getting in touch here.