Reading is Fundamental to a Remodeler’s Incentive and Charity Programs

Experts say three of the keys to team building are offering education opportunities, having an incentive program, and involving employees in giving back to the community. There are many ways to do any of these, but a remodeling company in Bonita Springs, FL, has developed a great way to bundle them all together.

One of the greatest things about our Roundtables members is their willingness to share innovative ideas about running a better business with their peer groups. Progressive Design Build’s Mike Spreckelmeier recently let us in on what his company’s doing to boost their team’s knowledge and tying it into a benefit for them and for the larger community.

Book Smart

Anyone who borrows, reads, and then writes a report about a book from Progressive’s company library is eligible for a cash reward of $100. Mike says it will give everyone a common vocabulary related to the book and the company. It also offers a concrete reward for doing so.

That’s pretty cool. But this is where it ties into the greater good. Progressive is collecting unwrapped toys at a company gathering in November, to be donated to the local Toys for Tots chapter.

Anyone who collects the $100 dollar reward for reading is also eligible to donate back 25 percent of the winnings toward a toy for the drive. So a team member can end up with $75, a toy for the drive, all while learning.

It’s a win-win-win, and just one of the ways Progressive Design Build gives back to its community.

What’s Your Big (or Small) Idea?

If you’ve found innovative ways to build a more cohesive team, have an unusual incentive program, or if there’s anything else about your business you’d like to share, let us know. You can drop an email to liz@remodelersadvantage.com, or let us know below in the comments. We’d love to hear from you and shine the spotlight on your ideas!

Celebrating Safely: Tips for Planning Your Holiday Parties

The winter holidays are coming — displays are already up in some stores. We’re not even to Halloween, but it is a reminder that parties and celebrations for you and your staff are coming soon. Some of you already have party plans in place — it’s not to soon to start thinking about it. Throwing a company celebration is a fantastic idea — it can build team loyalty, reward employees and trade partners for a busy and profitable year, and let everyone have fun and be merry.

If you’re not careful, though, there can be pitfalls and even outright minefields to navigate while creating a festive time for everyone.

Here’s how to find your way through.

It’s an invitation, not an obligation

If you require your employees to attend the holiday party, you’ve got to pay them, according to most employment laws. If you’ve scheduled a holiday lunch on a work day, no problem, they’re on the clock anyway. But evening or weekend parties can be a whole other thing. If non-exempt employees must attend a work function after working 40 hours that week, you’ll need to pay them overtime.

So make it optional. Taking away the obligation will make the event a lot more fun, because it leaves the choice up to them. After all, it’s a party!

Keep an eye on the bar

Companies are liable for the acts of patrons/employees who drink and later injure others. Yes, you’d held responsible — so avoid this at all costs. Controlling alcohol consumption is the key here.

  • Hire real bartenders and experienced servers — they know how to spot, and stop serving, inebriated guests. Have a policy in place they can follow.
  • Issue two drink tickets per person (keep an eye out for potential troublemakers getting tickets from non-imbibing co-workers, too).
  • Stop serving alcohol a few hours before the end of the party.
  • Don’t skimp on food — have it available throughout the night. It will help temper the effects of the alcohol once people start drinking.
  • Consider offering a gift to those willing to be sober designated drivers for their co-workers.
  • Arrange ride services or carpooling for any employees who plan to drink. Use cabs, limos, Uber, Lyft or even a bus to get employees home safely..

Forget the mistletoe

The #metoo movement has brought increased awareness to workplace behavior. While you may be off-site and off the clock, you’re still hosting an employee event. Limiting alcohol is already a help, but inviting spouses and partners extends your generosity and can also can be built-in curbs on reckless behavior. And no mistletoe. Seriously.

Keep your head about you

Yes, it’s a party and you deserve to have fun too. But moderating your own celebrating will allow you to keep an eye out for situations that may be developing and head them off. It will also model responsible behavior for your staff — setting a great example is the best way to set the tone for a wonderful time for all.

 

Any Other Ways to Celebrate the Holidays?

Are you planning anything unique for your team this year? Anything you would like to share with us? What are some ways you have celebrated successfully in the past? Any additional pitfalls to look out for? Use the comments section below to share your thoughts.

 

6 Ways to Motivate Your ENTIRE Team

I was reading an article in INC Magazine about motivating sales teams and I noticed that many of the concepts suggested to push a sales team to succeed, would also work nicely for everyone in the company.

So, this article talked about different ways to motive a sales team, beyond of course a commission check, which is often what so many businesses focus on.

Perhaps because so many remodeling companies out there are sales & marketing focused, I wanted to share these 6 ways to motive your ENTIRE team for success.

1. Set goals

Again, beyond any type of quota or commission, what are some group and even individual goals that you can set to keep everyone moving forward?

Get to know your team… what motivates them? Food? Free time? Stuff for the office? Perhaps create a contest or fun way for team members or departments to compete for a prize.

2. Focus on Purpose

Share the mission of the company at your weekly, monthly or quarterly meetings; make sure everyone is aware of the vision and how each of them plays an integral part.

This is especially important to the younger people on your team… they love that stuff and it’s been proven that turnover decreases as more team members commit to a common mission.

3. Build Trust of Leadership

Nothing kills morale more than when a team no longer respects or trusts their leader.

Build trust by being a “firm & fair” manager, being direct and straightforward as possible and make your team feel appreciated and engaged.

4. Work Across Siloes

As your team grows each department may begin to internalize and “silo” and this can breed finger-pointing and blame when something goes wrong.

Think about how your sales & production teams interact, for example.

Come up with some team building exercises you can do, where teams are made up of representatives from various department and each team must solve a problem, puzzle or challenge.

5. Create a Culture of Recognition

While some team members feel more comfortable receiving praise and recognition than others; it’s a great way to motive the team and call-out individuals who go above and beyond.

Don’t just do it at the end of the year… get on a regular schedule of recognizing these “go-getters” at weekly or monthly meetings.

6. Get Creative

Recognition means way more when it’s memorable and personal…

Monthly winners get to sit in a special chair at the weekly meetings and park in the VIP spot for a month. Send a letter home to the employees family sharing the news of the recognition. That always goes over well!

Call them out on social media so their family and friends know what a great job they are doing too.

How about you?

How do you motivate your team members? What tactics have worked best for you? What tactics haven’t worked? Please share your experience in the comments below.

And, if you haven’t subscribed to PowerTips yet, please hit the button at the end of this video.. right after the bloopers…

Thanks, and I’ll see you next week.

PowerTips Throw-back Thursday: “9 Keys to a Company Wellness Plan”

The Holidays can be a tough time to stay on track of personal wellness, especially when it comes to indulging in the great food, treats, drinks, etc. and exercise gets tougher with colder weather hitting much of the country.

Today we’re throwing it back to a PowerTips TV Episode that takes a closer look at implementing a wellness plan, not only for owners and managers, but for the whole team as well. Get your team on track to hit the ground running (literally) in the New Year… Enjoy!


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Have you ever wished you were in better physical shape? Do you find yourself watching your weight at home but totally ignore calories when you’re at work? Or are you working so much that you’re not taking the time you need to work out and be healthy?

Well, in this week’s episode, I’ll give you a blueprint for creating a company-wide wellness plan that’s sure to get everyone in shape! A huge thank you to the Bellamy Construction team for inspiring this awesome episode of PowerTips TV!

What about you?

Do you have any other suggestions on how to implement a wellness plan for your team? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!


PowerTips TV Throw-back Thursday: “How to Avoid Costly Hiring Mistakes”

Hiring the wrong employee can cost more than the expense of hiring, training and on-boarding their eventual replacement. Your company’s culture is at risk and irreversible damage can occur and if the new hire is client-facing.

In today’s throw-back PTTV episode, I take a closer look at the hiring process and even offer a free tool to help avoid making costly mistakes in bringing on new team members. Enjoy!


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This week’s episode of PowerTips TV comes from Joe Zieba, owner of Zieba Builders in Southern California. Joe has a great tool for avoiding the costly mistakes associated with hiring the wrong employee.

Did you know that on average, a company spends about nearly $4,000 to recruit, hire and train a new employee? That’s a lot of money to be spent on a bad hire! So today I’m going to share this wonderful technique from one of our top Roundtables members. Thanks for your contribution Joe!

What about you?

Do you have any systems or tools in place to find that diamond in the rough? Please share your hiring successes and challenges in the comments below!

Here’s your free download!

Download Sample

PowerTips TV Throw-back Thursday: “How to Keep New Hires From Jumping Ship”

Earlier this week our PowerTips post covered building a positive company culture and a key part of that effort relies on hiring and retaining great employees.

In this week’s throw-back episode I talk about a crucial aspect of employee retention and that is how to properly welcome and onboard a new employee.

After watching this video, look at how your company welcomes new employees and explore your onboarding process. Can it be improved? Ask your newest employees if they experienced any of the scenarios that I cover in this video.

Retaining great employees not only leads to a more solid company culture, but can also be a great contributor to higher gross profits for your business.


Have you ever hired a great new employee, only to have him leave six months later? You’re not alone. According to The Society for Human Resources Management, the chances of a new hire leaving in the first 18 months can be as high as 50 percent.

With the economy heating up, many remodelers are in the market to hire. So what can you do to make certain that your new hire is in it for the long haul? Well, we know that a good onboarding process can make all the difference.

In this week’s episode, I’ll explain how new hire onboarding is one of the best ways to ensure that you keep your superstars around.

What about you?

Do you have any tips for increasing production capacity (without hiring) that I might have missed? Please share them with me in the comments below!

Tips For Having a Successful (and legal) Holiday Company Party

It’s the holiday season, and that means parties, outings and more for you and your staff. While these events can be wonderful team building events, if not planned correctly, they could also be Petri dishes for legal problems.

Here are some things to think about before you throw that awesome party.

Are Employees Paid to Attend?

Most wage & hour laws say that if you require employees to attend the holiday party, you must pay them for the time they spend there.  This comes up in situations where the company president plans to make a speech or presentation about the past year’s performance and upcoming year’s goals, and so deems that attendance at the party is mandatory.

If the party occurs during normal work hours, the employees are being paid anyway.  However, in many companies, the party is scheduled after work hours.  In those situations, if attendance is mandatory, the employees that attend must be paid.   For non-exempt employees that work more than 40 hours that week, including time spent at the mandatory party, this will mean they get overtime pay.   So a best practice is to make attendance optional.  Most will attend anyway because . . .  it’s a party!

Watch the Alcohol

Dram shop laws hold companies liable for the acts of their intoxicated patrons/employees who drink and later cause injury to another.  Yes, you would be held responsible so avoid this at all costs. One way to do it is to control alcohol consumption! This is key to avoiding such liability.

Here are some ideas on how to do this:

  • Issue two drink tickets per person and then keep an eye on certain employees getting extra tickets from their co-workers!
  • Close the bar a few hours before the end of the party.
  • Have plenty of food. It will help reduce the effects of the alcohol once people start drinking.
  • Have a clear policy for servers not to serve alcohol to visibly intoxicated employees.
  • Lastly, have a plan to arrange cab service or carpooling for any employees who plan to drink. Use Uber or taxis to get your employees home safe.

Keep the Mistletoe at Home

Never, ever hang mistletoe at an office holiday party! Seriously. That, coupled with too much alcohol could be a contributor to a sexual harassment suit!

What About You?

Holiday parties are a great way to show your staff and subs your appreciation for all their hard work. Just be sure to do it right! Are there other pitfalls or concerns that you should be aware of that I forgot to mention? Please share in the comments below! And have a happy holiday season!

9 Keys to a Company Wellness Plan

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Have you ever wished you were in better physical shape? Do you find yourself watching your weight at home but totally ignore calories when you’re at work? Or are you working so much that you’re not taking the time you need to work out and be healthy?

Well, in this week’s episode, I’ll give you a blueprint for creating a company-wide wellness plan that’s sure to get everyone in shape! A huge thank you to the Bellamy Construction team for inspiring this awesome episode of PowerTips TV!

What about you?

Do you have any other suggestions on how to implement a wellness plan for your team? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!


How to Combat the Labor Shortage

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I talk to dozens of remodelers each week and one of the most common concerns I hear these days is, “I’m trying to hire more people and we’re not finding anyone.”

Well, unfortunately, this situation isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, experts predict that high employment in the construction industry will be around for years, so it’s time to start creating a strategy that will help you keep production going and quality levels high.

I’ve discovered that there are ways to build a workforce that can handle the growing labor demand and in this week’s episode, I’ll share the four main keys to doing it.

What about you?

Do you have any advice for R.A. Nation? Share your knowledge in the comments below!


Labor-Shortage

How to Keep New Hires From Jumping Ship

Have you ever hired a great new employee, only to have him leave six months later? You’re not alone. According to The Society for Human Resources Management, the chances of a new hire leaving in the first 18 months can be as high as 50 percent.

With the economy heating up, many remodelers are in the market to hire. So what can you do to make certain that your new hire is in it for the long haul? Well, we know that a good onboarding process can make all the difference.

In this week’s episode, I’ll explain how new hire onboarding is one of the best ways to ensure that you keep your superstars around.

What about you?

Do you have any tips for increasing production capacity (without hiring) that I might have missed? Please share them with me in the comments below!

How to keep employees