If you are looking to expand your septic service business in 2022, it is more than just buying a fleet of vacuum trucks or outfitting your company with the best equipment. While that does play a huge role, it is not the primary factor. Trucks and hoses are not what makes a business great: the people are.
Currently, the job market is booming, and there are many openings and postings for jobs of all types. While you might receive a multitude of applications, there is a secret to recruiting (and retaining!) quality employees. After all, you want to hire those who believe in your business and are willing to grow with you. They should be viewed as an investment in the future of your company, not just people who operate your septic service trucks.
Tip #1: Raise Morale
If your employees don’t feel appreciated, this comes back around full circle and can often be spotted by customers. A sort of standard culture has resonated within the workforce across the board in all industries, and that includes treating employees like second class citizens. For example, if you walk into a grocery or retail store, you might notice that the shelves are stocked, the floors are clean, and everything is bright and well-organized. However, the second you peek behind the ‘Staff Only’ door, you would be met with a dim employee sitting area with uncomfortable furniture and zero amenities.
When it comes to your septic service business, don’t fall into this trap as well. You can put your employees in state of the art equipment, but how are they treated when they are out on the road or back at the office? Do they have somewhere that they can take a break and reset if they need to? The average employee spends over half of their life at work, and treating them like they’re valued when they are there goes a long way. This will translate over to customer satisfaction as well. Happy employees strive to make happy customers.
Tip #2: Reward Met Goals and Hard Work
Have you ever been a part of a team that aimed to reach a certain number for a goal, met it (or even exceeded it!) only to be given a pat on the back or worse, a pizza party that lasts 15 minutes on a Friday lunch hour? This is more of a slap in the face than anything else. When milestones are reached either individually or as a team, it is important to bring a reward that has real meaning to it. More often than not, this means money.
While it is not always possible, even a small bonus to congratulate an employee can go a long way. It is amazing how even a little cash bonus on an employee’s paycheck can raise their spirits and motivate them to keep working hard toward the next set of goals. Being recognized with a card or a congratulations is nice, but it is also important to put your money where your mouth is in certain situations.
Tip #3: Provide Support
Many companies say that they pride themselves on valuing their employees and want everyone to work as a team. That is, however, until the going gets tough and those same employees need more support than what they are getting. This support could entail many things. For example, a day off to take care of a sick child at the last minute, an upgrade to the equipment they are using, or even just a better line of communication between the members of their team.
At the end of the day, employees just want to know that their boss has their back. Be authentic, transparent, and supportive to your employees. Those septic service trucks aren’t going to drive themselves and at the end of the day, your company is nothing without its people.
Tip #4: Involve Employees in Decisions
If there is one thing that is for certain, no one likes to work under a dictator-type leadership. Yes, there are team leads or supervisors for a reason, but when decisions are made time and time again without involving other employees in the process, it can get quite old very fast. This makes the average employee feel overlooked and undervalued, or that their role in the organization or team is just to be a little worker ant and nothing more.
If you have inadvertently created this type of work environment, what can be done? First thing first: you need to have a meeting with your team. Make it in person if at all possible, depending on your workforce and COVID protocols. This will help eliminate any doubt about the intention behind the meeting. Be sure to ask questions, take notes, and really listen to what everyone has to say. Create a process for communication in the future, and schedule regular staff meetings to address decisions, issues, or concerns.
Tip #5: Give Respect
The bottom line is this: respect your employees. They are not just there to do their list of tasks and leave. If they are to be treated like an integral part of the team, then they need to be given that level of respect. When they are out performing service calls, they are representing the company. Your logo is on their uniform, on the side of the truck they drive, attached to the invoice you bill to the customer. They are an extension of yourself in many regards, and should be treated as such. Show them that they are respected and valued by going above and beyond and implementing the suggestions above.
Maybe some of this has been review for you, or maybe you learned something new. Either way, we hope that you walk away with new methods and ideals to implement and improve your workplace culture for your employees. Here at FlowMark, we understand that our employees drive our business, and we strive to make an excellent work environment for everyone. We produce quality products because we have quality people behind those tools.
Make 2022 your year! Invest in the people you hire, and everyone will be sure to reap the benefits.