Manage your people with kid gloves. Don’t create a high pressure environment. Make sure people leave on time. Pull people up, don’t push them! All of these previous sentences are littered throughout business books. Books written by college professors and managers of large corporations. It’s a bunch of bologna. No if, ands, or buts about it. It’s crap. You’ve done a great job building your junk removal business with the sweat off your own brow. You are now at the point where you have to kick it into the next gear. The only way to do that is to start hiring more people. But it is imperative that you get the same or better results from them as you got from yourself. And always remember one thing: the reason you hire anybody is for profits. It is to make you or your business partners more money. That is it. Get rid of any pie in the sky mentality that you want to hire people in order to provide needed jobs to people and better your community. Don’t kid yourself. You need people to make your company more money. That’s it.
Here are the keys to managing your people to get them to make you the most Guala Guala.
- Understand that you hired them to make you more money: Don’t ever hire someone because you feel sorry for them. That will never turn out well. Instead you will start feeling sorry for yourself that you ever hired them in the first place. You hire people to save you time and make you more money.
- Train them to properly do their job: Make sure you have documented training manuals and a well thought out training program complete with checklists to ensure no training is missed. You are setting your team members up for failure if you don’t properly train them. Train them to meet or exceed your well documented work standards.
- Monitor them to make sure they are doing their job correctly through meeting and occasional supervision: Once a week have them meet with you or their manager/team and have them outline tasks and deadlines for the week ahead. When they are new check in with them daily to monitor progress. Once they are more established you won’t have to check over them as closely. If they still require close supervision after months of working with your company they might want to find another position or another job. You should have people that can complete tasks and meet deadlines without direct supervision. In the case of truck team members you should ensure they are placing courtesy calls, do customer follow up calls, check over truck cleanliness, make sure they are getting review requests out, etc. Everyone should have firing orders on what they are expected to do and you should be ensuring they are carrying out those tasks completely.
- Call them out on anything they are doing wrong: Let them know if anything is not being done correctly. Make sure they know how to do the job properly. Meet with them a time or two. If they can’t fix it then you might want to get rid of them or find them a different position they would be better suited for. Remember, all tasks are important. If you let them slip on one task they could very well slip on another.
- Hold regular performance evaluations: Make it clear to them that they know how they are doing and what they need to do to improve. If you aren’t meeting with them they don’t think you care. If they think you don’t care then they won’t care. Not a good thing.
- Expect your people to meet deadlines and stay however long it takes: By making it clear that your people are expected to meet deadlines and complete their days tasks no matter how long it takes you will find that people will become more efficient. They will cut out the extra long lunches, the water cooler talks, the extra coffee break, etc. They will stay focused on achieving their task. If they have to stay way late all the time you need to look into their efficiency and try to help them get things done quicker so they don’t have to stay late all the time. That isn’t good for their family life. And if their family life suffers. And if they suffer and get depressed their work will suffer. Not good. Also, if they are hourly you are paying them for the extra time. Also, not good. Expect your people to complete their tasks every day no matter what.
- Turnover is a good thing: Nothing kicks people into high gear and puts them on their toes like a constant round of hiring. Treat your organization like a college basketball team. Be constantly bringing in the best people you can. Train them up and see how they perform relative to others in your organization. The ones that perform the best get the playing time. The ones that don’t ride the bench or get cut. Management books caution against turnover. I like it. I like constantly bringing people in and kicking people that can’t perform out. Bring em’ in. Kick em’ out. This has been the greatest change we’ve ever made to managing our people. We had guys that just did as little as possible to get a pay check become kick ass team members from this one change. They saw new people coming in and passing them. They didn’t like it and got motivated to perform. Turnover is a good thing. Always be hiring!
- Longevity doesn’t matter: Experience matters. Longevity doesn’t. Experience helps you make better decisions. A motivated and experienced team member is worth more than a motivated and inexperienced team member. However, longevity doesn’t matter. The present is all that matters. If you have a two month guy who is outperforming a five year guy then the two month guy should get the PT or the spot. The five year guy needs to pickup his game or leave the organization. If you have a five or ten year guy in your sites and they tell you or act like they deserve it because they have been with you for ten years. Because they have been so good for ten years. Make sure they understand that you appreciate what they did int he past but presents results matter. Either pickup your game or leave.
- Everyone, including you, goes lame: All race horses go lame. All employees, including you go lame as well. It is important that when anyone goes lame you try to figure out why. Is it something that can be corrected? Are they simply bored? Can you move them to a different position to get them re-enthused? You will lose interest in doing certain things within your business as well. It is important at that point to hire someone to do the task you aren’t interested in doing anymore. Otherwise your whole organization will suffer.
- Don’t allow anyone to get to comfortable: This applies to yourself probably more than anyone else. It is easy for the business owner to get comfortable. He has to self motivate himself. He doesn’t have someone threatening to cut his job if his performance slacks. The only way to not get comfortable is to constantly be setting and achieving goals. Every time a goal is achieved you should be ready to have another go back in its place. Always have something you are working towards or your performance will suffer. And as far as your team members make sure they feel the pressure to perform. If they don’t have the pressure they will start to slack off.
- Consider tying peoples pay into performance: I do believe in some types of pull management. Try to motivate your people by allowing them to share a piece of the pie. When they perform better they make more money. Come up with a structure where people are rewarded for the success of the company. DO NOT CAP THEIR PAY. If you set up this structure do not cap their pay once they reach a certain level. The only reason this is done is because of selfishness. You don’t want them to make more than a certain amount. Maybe you don’t want them to make more than you. Do not do this. You want your people super motivated. Once they hit their cap they are going to start being resentful. And the late business is just as good as the early business.
- Recognize and reward performance that exceeds expectations: Anytime you get someone who is constantly exceeding expectations recognize and reward them. These people are few and far between. Make sure to take care of the few ones you find. Try to promote them into positions if possible.
- Always remember you owe it to yourself to have the most profitable business possible: You’ve taken on risk and devoted your entire life on your business. You are always thinking about your business and working a ton on it. Even with your family you are often thinking about your business. Don’t get caught in the trap of cutting team members slack all the time because you “don’t need the money”. That is a bunch of malarkey. You owe it to yourself and your family to make as much money as possible. And you aren’t doing your team members any favors. Expect them to perform and they will enjoy their job much more. And if they don’t you need to get rid of them.
This whole article is pretty ruthless. Your environment should not always be ruthless. It should be filled with a culture that rewards people who are doing well. You should wish people happy birthday and celebrate their work or life successes. But everyone must know that you expect results in your organization. By expecting and enforcing deadlines and results and by constantly bringing in new people, you will find that an organization will form with a crazy good culture that makes a bunch of money. Every business owners dream.