“You don’t build a business. You build people and the people build the business.”
A great team is essential for a business to grow and reach its full potential. The key ingredient to a thriving organization is having the right employees working with you. However, one of the understated aspects of building a great team is the owner or founder finding the comfort and confidence to relinquish control of certain aspects of the business. What good are talented and smart employees if you don’t trust them to do a great job in your absence? As a business grows and has more clients and more jobs, it becomes physically impossible for the founder to meet with every potential client, generate every estimate, complete every job, and remit every invoice. While turning over control of some or all of these activities can be a challenge, proper ongoing management can help make the process easier for everyone. Here are five things you can do to make management of a paint team a great experience for you and your painters!
- Communicate clearly and often. The key to great team management is to make sure that all team members understand what is happening on a regular basis. No, you don’t have to share financial data with the entire organization. However, it is useful to let painters know how many jobs are in the pipeline, their upcoming schedules, who will be working with who, etc. You can never communicate with your team too much. At the same time, make yourself available to them as well, either through an open line of communication (like giving them your cell phone number) or regularly scheduled face-to-face meetings. Your team will work harder and smarter when they don’t feel in the dark about what the next day may hold. Let them know that they are key to the business’s success and share details with them along the way.
- Set clear expectations. If communication is the most important part of good management, then setting expectations isn’t far down the list. Making sure your painters know your exacting standards means they have a blueprint for how you want the work to be performed. As long as they clearly understand your expectations, then there should be no ambiguity or confusion about not only the work being done, but also about how you want clients treated and how you want your company represented.
- Treat everyone equally. Nothing will fracture a paint team faster than different painters being treated differently. If a particular painter is always given jobs inside away from the heat or is allowed to show up to work late, the rest of your paint team will notice. And when they do, they will begin believing that the expectations you set for them are pliable and subject to interpretation. If you bother to set rules and guidelines, then you need to hold everyone to the same standard when it comes to following them.
- Make irregular visits. “Trust, but verify” is a common saying in management. It means to trust that the worker is doing their job correctly, but don’t be afraid to verify it. Visiting job sites regularly – and not just when the work is finished – will let your team know that you might show up at any given moment to not only review their work, but also to make sure they are on time, appropriately dressed, and representing your company and work quality the way you like. If your painters think you might arrive at any moment, they are significantly more likely to work like you are looking over their shoulder than if you only show up to their job site every few weeks.
- Provide formal feedback. Make sure your team knows you are keeping a running record of their performance. Whether you perform employee reviews or simply keep a file for each painter that includes jobs done well and notes from conversations you have had, take a few minutes on a regular basis to let them know how they are doing. Employees appreciate regular feedback and doing so gives you a mechanism to help your team improve in all areas.
Paint team management doesn’t have to be difficult for you. But to do so successfully requires a clear understand of your expectations and the constant possibility that while you do trust them to do a good job, you will confirm that trust through inspection on a regular basis. Talented painters don’t need constant oversight, but they do need to know that your standards must be adhered to for every job. Click here to learn more about building a great team so your business can thrive!