Good employees are hard to come by and, at times, even harder to keep. In the wonderful world of disaster restoration, it’s not uncommon to have an effective marketing rep that spends a year telling insurance agents around town that ABC Restoration is the BEST restoration company in town and they should all call with their next water damage job. Then the same rep spends the next year telling those same people that “ABC Restoration has a lot of problems. That’s why I’m with Premier Restoration now! They’re the best.”
Now try to remember all of the halfway decent water damage technicians, crew chiefs, or project managers you’ve lost over the years. How many ended up working for your competition? How many have YOU hired from your competition?
The old adage “You take a job for the salary and stay for the management” holds true even in these tough economic times. More money doesn’t always mean happy employees and isn’t always in the budget, so here are a few simple ways to help keep YOUR water damage employees happy. Hope they help.
1. Keep Them Motivated
Motivation comes in many forms (not all motivation is financial!) and everyone is motivated in different ways. If you’re having a marketing event, make sure you include everyone on staff. Technicians, crew chiefs, project managers, marketing reps, office managers…everyone. Use it to build camaraderie and make sure everyone feels like they’re part of the family. This also has a great marketing effect with your attendees as well. Once your referring parties feel comfortable with your technicians, they’ll be MUCH more comfortable referring your restoration company for that next water damage job.
Daily motivational quotes, pictures or videos can go a long way. Simple, free and quick – what else do you need?! Got 5 minutes every morning for an inspirational video? Here’s one of our favorite playlists:
2. Have weekly “Help me help you” meetings
How many times do you have meetings with your water damage technicians? What about with your office manager or marketing rep? Now how many times do THEY meet with YOU? Have 5 minute “Help me help you” meetings with everyone once a week. Yes, everyone. Individually. Find out what you can do as an owner/manager to help make their jobs better and make them better employees. Unless you give your employees the ability to let you know when something’s wrong or something could be better, how will you ever know?
3. Practice random acts of kindness
The most powerful phrase in the English language is “Thank you”. Use it and use it often. Working in the disaster restoration industry means your technicians get to wake up at 2:00 am on a Friday night to go across town to a water damage job in someone’s basement. Repeatedly. And it means your office manager gets to spend countless hours with a stack of papers after a flood to make sure the company gets paid for the 100-hour weeks the techs are working. Marketing reps? They essentially ask 15 people every day to call you with a water damage job and a GOOD day is when only 14 of them say “No.” Your employees work hard. Let them know you appreciate it and they might not end up working for the competition. Here are a few ways to say “Thank you”:
• Company outings (mini golf, go-cart racing, bowling, etc)
• Hand-written thank you cards (write them and sign them yourself)
• Thoughtful gift cards (it doesn’t have to be a lot – a little goes a long way)
These are just a few things you can do to help keep your employees happy. What have you tried in your disaster restoration company that has helped? We’d love to hear your successes!
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