January 2, 2018

OK, You Celebrated the New Year, Had A Good Last Year, Now What?

By Paul Bieber

The “what” is: how are you going to continue to find qualified workers for your business?

It’s easy…call all of your relatives and give them a job. Well, not really a good idea.

Double the pay you offer and people will come flying through your door, for the three months that you stay in business. Here’s my plan, and in fact, I can tell you that this will work 99 percent of the time. Would I kid you?

You need to hire good, hard-working people who want to learn a trade.

Step one – have a training plan in place that teaches people, respects their knowledge and challenges them to grow. Like planting a tree, find the right seed, water and fertilize it and it will grow.

Step two – find the good people. Every time you receive great service at a gas station, give out your business card and ask if this person wants to learn the glass industry. Every time you see a person working hard at what they are doing, in any industry, ask them about their future plans. Have your leaders, your foremen and your office manager do the same.

You can place ads or go to hiring programs set up by the government, but you don’t see the work ethic on display. Work for Habit for Humanity, and see which people work hard, and which sit around and complain. Do the same for the Red Cross, or any organization that asks people to work.

Step three – have a financial program that will attract these hard workers you have found. The magic number for attracting top talent seems to be $15 per hour. You will be paying this as a minimum wage in the near future anyway, so begin now with a program that will achieve $15 after six months of work. For glaziers you may have to give higher numbers, depending on the location you are in. Have a good medical program. Cover the basics, let the employee contribute between 25 percent and 35 percent of the cost, and sponsor their additional learning by covering college costs when A’s or B’s come on their report cards.

Step four – actually train and teach at work. This should take between three and six months before an employee is productive. So, three months at $15 per hour will cost you $7,800, plus benefits. You will invest $10,000 in training this person. That is cheap today. If you hire the wrong person, you are going to spend this anyway, and then throw it out the window. I will expand on this next week detailing the training program.

Step five – give continuous feedback to your candidates so they know what improvement is needed to stay at your company. Get feedback from the training folks at your company to confirm that this person is growing. Counsel the folks who lag and give additional training to the ones who ask for more knowledge.

Step six – get out of the way and let your company grow. By hiring people who deserve to work at a company like yours, at a good wage package, you will be staffed for years. Their work ethic will be strong and leaders will grow.

You can hire consultants like me to find you special employees, but your everyday people who send out the invoices, contact the insurance companies and most importantly, handle and install glass, should come from your local labor pool.

Don’t forget, next week I will give details on exactly how to set the training program. And, I wish you a happy, productive and safe New Year.