How your team acts on site affects your reputation as a builder.
Does your team know what you expect when it comes to your business standards?
Watch the video now, or read the transcript below.
Setting expectations with your building team is probably something that a lot of builders don’t really think about too much. What do you think builders need to remember when it comes to their team in relation to how that can affect clients and projects?
Who’s Watching Your Building Site?
I think builders need to remember that their team is a direct reflection of them in their business and the standard that they’ve set for their business.
And what a lot of builders don’t often realise is how many eyes are on their business all the time. So all you need to have is a team member who’s standing on site, swearing a lot, making a mess, speaking inappropriately, those kinds of things.
And you’ll have a neighbour who is friendly with your client, who is at home during the day, is hearing all of this, might have young children at home, who’s then worried about the fact that she’s hearing through her windows that there’s the swearing tradies working next door, and all of a sudden, you’ve got a problem in your business because of the way that your team has behaved.
And instead, you’ve missed this incredible opportunity that your team can actually be representing you in a far better way to all of the people that are watching your business operate with you even realising.
Yeah, it is one of those things that your team has to understand your expectations and that’s also just not your employees. That’s your contractors and your suppliers. And I think another important part to remember is they’re out with your work shirts on and doing things that aren’t really a reflection of you and those types of things. So setting an expectation with your team is quite important.
Yeah, I think you do a really good job of this in terms of really explaining to your team, what is the standard of DP Constructions. What do we represent, what do we stand for, and then also calling out any behaviour that isn’t in alignment with that. And that can be a difficult conversation for you to have as a builder because you want your team to all get along. It is that concern that you want to be friends with the people that you’re working with, and forgetting that you actually occasionally need to be their boss and call them on their behaviour. I think that it’s really difficult.
Builders get into this slippery slope, where particularly if it’s an all male team, gets very ‘blokey’ on site. And you’ve got to remember that when it comes to family homes, pretty much like in every industry, women are making 80% of the purchasing decisions. They can feel quite alienated in that process, and that’d be really difficult for them.
How have you seen that it’s worked for you in terms of calling your team out if they have been slipping up? Or even things like making a mess on site?
I have so many women saying to me, I had this person come around, or particularly with renovations, where they’re still living in half of the house, and they’re like, “Oh, my gosh, who used the toilet I couldn’t believe it, or he brought his muddy boots in”, and those kinds of things. I know that you do lots of stuff around that.
I think early on, we had a few little issues with some of the people we had in the team, but I think we’ve built such a good culture now. I think it does come down to the example I set. If I turn up on site, I guess poorly dressed, swearing my head off, carrying on like a pork chop, then that’s going to flow through the team.
So I think your team does end up a reflection of you.
How you communicate, and then how that flows through your team then affects other things.
if you’re not acting appropriately and then you’re on-site team’s not, and then your contractors, and then it’s just a flow-on effect. I do think it’s really important to set a standard of what you expect your team to do. How are they expected to wear their uniforms every day? Are they meant to be well presented?
I’m obviously on site, and there’s trades, and we all swear sometimes, but we have regularly pulled up some newer tradies and employees of other tradies that are just carrying on ridiculously.
Even setting a standard for the music on site, that’s probably been our biggest one over the years. Music that’s full of swearing, and it’s up too loud and it’s just annoying the neighbours. So, building a culture that respects what I want and because it is a flow-on effect. Because anyone driving past, walking past, living around the site, even people living around the site having people over and then talking to other people it spreads really fast.
You’ve got all your site signage with all your branding and logo all over it on the front of the fencing.
So you want those people to be seen as a larger part of your team.
It’s also worth understanding too, that your team are all qualified experts at what they’re doing. Their working, either apprentices working through to achieve a trade, or they have achieved a trade.
Who is the Point of Contact?
One of the biggest problems I see is that builders not setting expectations with their team or with their clients about who is the point of communication. And so clients will be having conversations with your team members. Then stuff gets dropped, things get missed, and/or decisions get made that aren’t in keeping with what was in the contract or what was originally agreed, and jobs really start to unravel quickly.
It’s important as well that your clients see that you’re working with a team of qualified experts and that you do set the standard of how communication works.
Unless you’ve actually explained to a client, all communication needs to come through whichever one person you’re nominating, don’t go on-site and speak to my team, that can become really problematic as well can’t it? It’s definitely one of those things, you’re creating your own problems. So, nothing happens to you. It all happens because of you. Most definitely.
Setting expectations with your building team is just one part of growing a successful building business and increasing awareness about your business. If you want to learn more about increasing the level of professionalism in your business head over to read about building your reputation https://www.livelifebuild.com/blog/professional-build-your-reputation. This was a summary from just one session in our ELEVATE mastermind, which is specifically designed for builders who really want to improve their business and their lives. You can find out more about that here: www.livelifebuild.com/elevate