Your plumbing business is profitable and you have well qualified staff in place. It probably took a lot of work to find qualified plumbing technicians. So how do you make sure your plumbers stay happy and have every tool they need to get the job done efficiently?
We’re here to help with four ways to make sure your plumbing technicians are engaged and ready to rock while your business continues to thrive.
In this blog we will show you how to:
- Improve your onboarding process
- Retain your top plumbing technicians
- Set up an employee recognition program
- Use plumbing service software to make plumber’s lives easier
1. Improve Your Onboarding Process
“50 percent of new hires quit or are let go during their first six months”
Recruiting is not for the weak hearted. Businesses spend a lot of money trying to hire and retain employees. But hiring is just the first step. How can you ensure you are doing a great job with your onboarding?
When a new employee is hired in any business, it’s critical to get them up and running as quickly and efficiently as possible. But there’s usually a good amount of processes, software and company-specific training that an employee must go through. You also don’t want to rush them through important information.
Then there’s the training or shadowing of an established plumbing technician in the field.
How can a company make the most of this situation?
This challenge is no different in the plumbing industry. But a strong onboarding process can help!
By having all your ducks in a row on day one, onboarding will move smoothly for the employer and the employee.
The Five C’s of Onboarding
Many companies follow the “5 C’s” when developing their onboarding program: Compliance, Clarification, Culture. Connection and Check Back.
- Compliance: This is usually the first training that an employee encounters and is coordinated with an HR representative or office manager. It covers a company’s policies and procedures and runs through typical legal rules and regulations that include harassment, confidentiality, procedures, etc.
- Clarification: Clarify the new hire’s role in the organization and the expectations for job performance. When stated up front, it will be much easier for them to understand their role.
- Culture: This has become a big buzzword in today’s employment and very important to employees. It encompasses the beliefs and values of a company. 79% of US employees believe company culture is an important factor in job satisfaction.
- Connection: New hires want “to belong” as soon as possible. Make sure they can connect with groups in the organization. Set up 1-1 meetings between the new hire and yourself and other team members. It’s also a great idea to assign a mentor or buddy to check in with them during the first month to answer any questions they may have.
- Check Back: Use 1-1 meetings and surveys to measure how new employees rate your onboarding. Collect anonymous surveys several times during the first 3 months. This will shape your onboarding going forward.
Once your onboarding system is good to go, we can focus our intentions on current employees.
2. Support & Retain Your Top Plumbing Technicians
It’s no secret that today’s market is competitive. “Help Wanted” signs are everywhere and more and more employees are jumping ship for higher pay and better benefits. So what can you do as an employer to keep your plumbing technicians happy and engaged?
One key way is investing in employees: whether that is through compensation or looking after their development and wellbeing. Here are 3 key ways to retain your plumbers:
- Give Competitive Wages and Benefits: It’s not everything, but it’s important. Make sure you are paying your technicians competitively with the market. You can check this on many sites including salary.com and payscale.com. Also make sure you are providing benefits such as health insurance and paid time off (PTO).
- Provide Further Education & Growth Opportunities: Providing certifications and paying for educational opportunities or trainings for employees shows that you are willing to invest in your people. Do you have a top-performing plumber who has been on your team for a while? Consider giving them a raise and promotion! Today’s trade workers want growth opportunities, so be sure to provide a clear path for them to follow!
- Encourage Engagement: Scheduling fun time outside the normal work day can help your employees bond with each other. Team lunches or a social event after work paid by the company can bring plumbers closer together. Employees that get along make for a productive team!
- Support Work/Life Balance: Plumbing technicians, like professionals in every other occupation, can get burned out from working too much. 72% consider work/life balance when looking for a job. A few tips for proving balance include:
- Make sure techs are taking PTO
- Review timesheets to divide work as evenly as possible
- Limit late or weekend work when scheduling assignments
When employees are rewarded and recognized, it forms a culture in which the workers want to go to work and contribute. When workers feel under appreciated just the opposite may occur.
3. Employee Recognition
There are many studies that link employee recognition to job satisfaction and retention. Consider implementing an employee recognition program if you don’t already have one in place.
What is an employee recognition program? In a nutshell, it’s when an employer recognizes their staff for exemplary performance. It can be an actual program where gift cards or awards are given or it can be an entire software-driven program.
You can set up an employee recognition program yourself or choose a service that already offers software to achieve it.
If you’re not doing enough to recognize and reward your employees (or you have high turnover!) consider implementing the following:
- Spend more time recognizing employees. When workers are given props for hard work they are happier. A happy employee is a productive employee. In fact, happy employees raise productivity by 31% and sales by 37%! Recognize employee achievements by calling them out in team meetings and 1-on-1s, for example.
- Recognize the milestone anniversaries. It not only acknowledges the individual employee for their loyalty and longevity, it encourages others to follow suit. Five, 10 and 20 year anniversaries are the standard but some reward workers every five years. A gift or monetary reward will do the trick!
- Implement a peer-to-peer recognition system: Not only do employees care about being recognized by their company, but it’s also noteworthy to allow employees to recognize team members or other employees in their business. This will build a culture of encouragement. Examples of free or low cost employee recognition programs are Nectar and Reward Gateway.
“When a company recognizes an achievement of an employee they are 63% more likely to stay at their current job for the next three to six months.”
4. Use Plumbing Service Software
Your plumbing technicians and the rest of your staff deserve the best tools to get the job done – and this includes the most efficient software possible.
If your plumbers are still writing work order notes on paper and scheduling your jobs on an excel sheet, it’s time to look at professional plumbing service software.
Depending on which service software you use, basic features of many of the leading service softwares:
- Connect the entire staff
- Feature robust dispatching capabilities
- Sync to QuickBooks
- Include sales enablement tools
See how FieldEdge can secure your technician’s success! Book your FREE personalized demo today!
Your Plumbing Technicians are now Ready for Success!
Now it’s time to give these four strategies a try. You should have a great handle on how to do everything in your power to make your employees feel engaged, recognized and excited to perform at work for a great company. Today you learned:
- How to improve your onboarding process
- Strategies for retaining your best technicians
- What an employee recognition program is and how to put one in place
- How plumbing service software can be a game changer for plumbers!