Recently, I spoke with a veteran contractor who was having challenges with his business. There was significant budget slippage on projects and poor communication between his carpenters and customers. These challenges were causing significant culture issues among the employees in the field and the office. The owner found himself putting out fires every day. All departments were playing the blame game pointing fingers at everyone but themselves.
I educated them how come it's not working?
We delved into the situation and learned that the carpenters were great craftsman who were educated on the lead carpenter concept. The premise behind the education was once they were trained in the classroom, they would be first class lead carpenters in the field.
We discovered that after the lead carpenter training, the owner and office personnel were suppose to develop a paperwork system based on the lead carpenter concept. Then they were to help implement the system for the field personnel by providing checklists, pre-construction meeting forms, weekly meeting forms and a binder system. Well that was five years ago and the carpenters are still waiting!
All to often, contractor owners pay for education and rah rah motivation for their employees and then without any more effort, assume that their employees will perform like superstars in the field. Education without application, system development and implementation produces poor results. The money spent on education is wasted if it is not followed by application.
In our contractor coaching programs we start with education then follow up with system development and implementation into the contractor's business while the information is fresh. This reinforcement is vital to the success of the coaching program.
Follow up plan
If you are considering contractor education for yourself or your employees, protect your investment. Create a follow up plan for the development of a system that will reinforce the education you paid for. The owner needs to lead the charge and insure that the education is transfered to the field. The resulting outcome will be less slippage, better communication between employees and customers, less workplace stress and maybe a good night's rest for the owner!
mark the coach