Mike Diamond 0000-00-00 00:00:00
Management Blues Always train two behind you If there is one tried-and-true rule I’ve discovered in my time in the contracting world, it’s to expect the unexpected.You’ll always get busy when you least expect to, and it seems that you’ll always lose someone from your team when that’s the last thing you can afford. While losing a plumber is hard, you can at least hire someone new and have them up to speed in a few weeks. But what happens when you lose one of your managers? Or worse, what happens to your business if something happens to you? If you’re like most owners in this industry, you’d be in a tough spot if your general manager decided to leave you suddenly. To combat that scenario and keep my company growing into the future, I’ve developed a unique program to ensure I always have people when the unexpected happens. ‘Train Two Behind You’ Basically, every manager in my company is required to constantly be training two potential replacements for them.Wherever you are in my company, you must be training at least two people under you to do your job. For instance, if you were the service manager in my company, you would be training our top two lead technicians to take over your position in the future. To keep this program going, we stress the importance of training and education. For one thing, everyone takes an active role in learning how our business operates. Everyone on our team is excited about training opportunities, and we also support outside educational opportunities.Also, we work with an open book philosophy. All of the managers must understand financial statements and how they contribute to the profitability of the company. Why do I do it? No, it’s not to keep my whole company looking over their shoulders, but one of the benefits is that it does keep everyone on their toes. They know there is always someone capable of taking their position behind them, and that keeps everyone focused on what we need to do to be the best. It’s not all about peer pressure, though. In a fast-growing company, the only way you’ll be able to move forward is if you have someone who can take your place. By training two people at every position, we often have a choice of whom we want to move up into an open spot, allowing us to promote from within and keep our best people growing. If you implement this type of program, your people will be nervous at first that you’re replacing them. That’s only natural But in a growing business, they’ll soon see how this program creates more opportunity for them. In short, “training two” keeps my business running like clockwork. If something should ever happen to me, I have two very dependable managers trained to step up into my shoes. It’s insurance against the unexpected, but it also changes the culture of your company. Suddenly, everyone is excited about the opportunities they have. Your team will be more motivated to succeed once they see that the best will rise to the top. But that culture shift is only one of the benefits of the program.In the end, everyone benefits: Customers: When you have a culture of growth and opportunity, customers receive better service because everyone is looking forward. Your team will be looking for every opportunity to provide the best service possible. Employees: Obviously, your team will prosper with this type of system.For those that want to advance their careers, they will have no better opportunity than with your company under this program. Managers: This type of program will also keep your managers at an incredibly high level. When your managers are training those under them, your team will be offering tremendous service, and if you have a bonus program in place, everyone will benefit from that attention to improved service. Plus, when the time comes for your managers to move up to a higher level, they’ll be ready. Owner: As the owner, this program provides you tremendous flexibility. Now, I have the ability to take a vacation without having to worry about whether or not my business will crumble while I’m gone. Plus, when the time comes to expand your business, you’ll have a core of managers ready to get a new location up to speed quickly. Having others in your company trained to take over takes some of the pressure off of you to do it all. Mike Diamond is CEO of Plumbers’ Success International, an organization dedicated to providing plumbing contractors with a competitive edge by providing the newest, most cutting-edge proprietary tools, management expertise, marketing systems, training and buying clout that leads to market dominance, freedom of time and financial independence. For more information on Plumbers’ Success International, call (800) 505- 8885 or visit www.plumberssuccess.com.
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