We may not realize it, but oftentimes we set our employees up for failure.We can easily fall into the trap of thinking, “I don’t have time to teach them exactly what they’re supposed to do—it’s easy, they’ll figure it out,” or “They already know what they’re doing.” And, more specifically in our industry, “It’s summer. The phone’s ringing off the hook—I need another dispatcher, and I need them NOW!”
While these are all valid points, the miniscule amount of time that you save cutting corners on new hire training really comes up short in the long run. We fall victim to these lines of thinking, and we fail to show our employees what to do and/or how we want things done…then, we get mad at them when it’s not completed to our satisfaction…
In addition to skimping on the proper onset training, one of the biggest mistakes that we can make as business owners is failing to adequately compensate our employees. Almost nothing can deflate an employee’s motivation to perform at his/her peak potential like inadequate compensation. As the sayings go, “Green goes with everything!” and “Nothing comes for free”—we can’t afford to neglect their importance. People are motivated by money, and if they work for it, they deserve the money!
Sure, it’s a normal reaction to look at our overhead, wages, and salaries and think, “If I weren’t paying so-an-so this much, I’d have more money for myself…” But just because we might think this doesn’t mean we should act on this train of thought. The fact is, this line of thinking is very short-sighted, and it fails to take into account all of the hard work that your employee does to deserve that compensation. That saying, “Nothing comes for free,” is a two-way street: You won’t pay your employee for doing nothing, and your employee won’t work for you without getting something in return.
Speaking of compensation: In addition to ample compensation for standard work, we should also incentivize our employees with compensation—it’s one of the greatest motivators out there!
As EverRest’s model suggests, whenever we close a sale from a tech-generated lead, the technician who set the lead receives 3% of the sales price.
Some owners see this and say, “But why would you pay your techs EXTRA for doing what they’re SUPPOSED to do?”
The answer is simple: 3% of the replacement sale is no sweat off my back, and it’s a win-win for everyone. They generate more replacement sales, and we all make more money!
Here’s a condensed 3-step approach to ensure your employees’ motivation and success:
1. Make sure an employee knows exactly what they’re hired to do—be task specific.
Don’t assume anything. In an ideal world we would write detailed job descriptions for each employee; however, that isn’t necessary to clearly define responsibilities. It can be as simple as listing their daily tasks on a sheet of paper. Whatever the method, it doesn’t matter how it’s done—it just matters that it’s done.
2. Give them the “tools” and training needed to do their job.
Whether it’s a managerial, clerical, or technical job, you need to make sure that your employees have the necessary tools to both do the job you trained them to do, as well as do it the way you want them to do it.
How many times have we hired a new dispatcher and thrown them in the fire almost immediately without training? How well has that worked?
3. Have the correct compensation in place to motivate them to do their jobs.
Maybe it’s as simple as a fair salary or hourly rate, or it could be a commission structure for technicians and salespeople. Whatever it is, it needs to be structured to serve as a motivational tool to encourage the desired performance.
If any of the previously mentioned guidelines are missing, you may be setting an employee up for failure. Plus, these 3 simple initiatives can even make up for some of the flaws we have as owners or managers! Don’t shoot yourself in the foot—regardless of how kind, positive, enthusiastic, and hard-working you and your management team may be, those characteristics won’t make up for failing to:
- Define employees’ jobs.
- Train them properly.
- Compensate them adequately.