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Educate your employees!

Posted by Josh Strehle on 10/30/19, 6:15 AM
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At larger roofing companies, you might have employees that never get on a roof, visit a job site, or touch a shingle. That doesn’t mean that those workers shouldn’t have an idea of what the rest of your company does all day. Educating employees about your company’s core competency is never wasted effort, even if their particular role has little to do with it. Giving all your employees the vocabulary, hands-on experience, and knowledge of your industry will help align them with your company’s goals and improve their working lives. Read on for details.

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Help them Talk the Talk

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One of the first things an employee learns at a new position is the company's unique vocabulary. This can be done explicitly, like when a trainer gives a tour of the office or warehouse and starts introducing the various people, equipment and inventory to the new hire. It can also be done through osmosis, where the employee starts hearing everyone talking about “take-offs” and builds an understanding without ever being explained what it means. (It can also be done through hazing, where you send the new-guy off to the warehouse to find the “roof-jangler” and don’t see him for an hour.)

Leaving your employee’s company vocabulary up to chance is, well, chancy. There might not be any issues with letting someone flub a couple of words or misname some equipment; it might even be funny! But then again, someone putting together material orders and mixing up starter-shingle quantities for your primary shingle might be an expensive mistake.

Show and Tell

Explaining to your office personnel the difference between starter-shingle and regular shingle may go a little bit easier if they could SEE the difference. If you have the opportunity, giving your office personnel a look at your warehouse, or taking them on a field trip to your supplier can go a long way in giving them context for what your business does. Trips to a job site can be hard to organize but will give both your office staff and your crews the common ground to understand where the company’s money is really made.

Training and structured onboarding help employees pick-up vocabulary faster, but you can also point them to less time-intensive resources like videos from the industry, blog-articles, and more to help round out their knowledge of your company, which leads us to our next point.

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Chelsea takes a turn cutting slate.

Make everyone an insider

Staying up on the news of your industry is key, but it often falls on the shoulders of the leaders of a company to share that knowledge. We know not everyone pays attention to company emails, but sharing articles about developments in your industry, or even just local news that relates to your business, is a good way to increase your employees’ knowledge and their buy-in to the company. Posting articles around your building, getting an office subscription to an industry magazine, or sharing interesting posts in company-wide emails are all good ways to promote shared knowledge in your company.

As the roofing industry continues to search for solutions to our labor-shortages and employee-retention problems, we’ll continue to post blogs like these with advice on strengthening and developing your company’s team. If you have any questions on this article or how RoofSnap’s software can help your team share their workload and increase efficiency, don’t hesitate to comment below or reach out to our sales team.

 

Topics: Labor Shortage, Best Practices, Onboarding