By Taylor Tuomie
Taking the time for employee development can often be tough to do for field service businesses. In the green industry or snow removal industry, you have a smaller window of time to get work done because of their seasonality in most areas, typically you won’t staff employees year round. So when can you take time to develop your team?
High employee turnover is (unfortunately) a fairly common trait for companies in the green industry. While some of the reasons are unavoidable for businesses, one of the biggest reasons that employees remain at a job is the development they receive. If they aren’t getting what they need with your company, they are going to be looking for outside opportunities real quick.
While it can be tough to take the time to develop your green industry or snow removal employees, you can still work on their development while on the job. Here are 7 tips on how you can develop your employees on the fly:
Have mentorship opportunities
Employees need the opportunity to learn. Give them opportunities to shadow a more senior member on the crew, someone who has been in the industry long enough to be a good teacher.
Know their goals
You have goals for your business and your employees have their own personal goals, too. Get to know what your younger or newer employees’ goals are right off the bat. Try to tailor your development approach to each of their objectives. Maybe their goal is to run their own crew in a couple years or maybe they want to learn how to plow snow, everyone has to start somewhere.
Prep them for their next job
Fact of the matter is, your employees won’t be your employees forever. This might seem counterintuitive, but focus on preparing them for the next step in their career. If they want to be a project manager or a supervisor, prepare them for that role. If your business is growing and you know that you’ll be needing to hire more people, it makes your job easier in the long run. You’ll already have groomed an employee to fill that spot and you can then proceed with hiring entry-level workers. Even if you won’t be expanding, preparing employees for their next role will make them more productive and it will have them thinking more like an owner.
Get your crew collaborating on and in between jobs. Host a weekly meeting to share some best practices of the trade or simply give them a chance to improve the way your crew currently operates. If employees have an environment that promotes collaboration, it will not only develop them in their careers, but also your business could improve because of it. What a great side effect of developing your employees!
Demonstrate and explain
Show your employees why you have certain processes in place. Demonstrate the methods you have learned over the course of your career. Teach them what it takes to be an owner/operator. If possible, try and document your processes in writing. It might take a little time to do, but it will help you refine your own process and will help explain to your employees why you might be doing certain tasks.
Everyone has to start somewhere. Not everyone you hire will have the same skill set. It might take longer for certain employees to get in the swing of things, but be patient through the process.
Let them drive!
In order to develop your employees, you need to give them a chance to demonstrate their knowledge. Showing them that you trust their abilities in the field is a large part of employee development. If they prove they're not ready, that is ok. Give them time, and go back to a few of these techniques until they are.
Development is extremely high on the list of importance for job satisfaction. Employees want to grow in their career. Give them a chance to learn and be patient, they will become more skilled and more competent in their role, making your business a lot more efficient and profitable.
Now that you've read about development, download our free eBook on hiring the right employees for your green industry business. You're going to have an awesome crew this season!