If you intend to grow your business past yourself, then dealing with staff is non-negotiable.
This can be enough to scare any trade business owners pants off, managing and handling a team of varying people and personalities can be tough!
Anyone can be a boss, hiring, praising, disciplining, firing… but it takes a GOOD LEADER to invest in their staff, and work with the tough bits in the right way.
Where trade business owners go wrong is…
They treat everyone the same
You might be thinking “why wouldn’t you? Equal playing field!”
Whilst this is true for the most part, the reality is every person in your team has a different personality. Everyone is motivated by different things, unmotivated by different things, likes to be praised certain ways, and likes to be disciplined certain ways.
Understanding each of your team members at a different level will help your individual connections and help you form a tighter bond. Consider completing DISC profiling with your team at your next Toolbox meeting. This way, you can understand exactly what type of personality they are, and in turn, how to manage and treat them!
For example, those with D(ominant) personalities may have trouble understanding other people’s viewpoints especially if they are ‘feelings’ focused and without facts to back them up. So, if someone in your team with a D personality isn’t performing, consider using KPIs to show them exactly what’s happening.
They’re too strict OR the opposite (and worse)… they’re a pushover
These trade business owners simply haven’t found the balance between dictatorship and a ‘free-for-all’, which is where you get the best out of your team.
In the case of a dictator, they can often think it’s their way or the highway. So, they can start acting like a bully.
In the case of a pushover, they perhaps don’t care, or don’t have the knowledge on how to communicate. Either way, they give no leadership, no guidance, and no one in the team knows what’s expected of them.
Both styles of leadership run the risk of having your team up-and-leave. Find the balance between the two, your team will be set up to succeed under your mentorship and guidance, you’ve struck gold!
They constantly give up
With the trade shortage so prevalent right now in Australia, no one wants to lose their staff.
So what do they do? The boss dances around tricky situations in the hopes they don’t upset or anger their team.
For example, if you’re trying to implement systems within your business but the team are adamant they won’t follow them, they’re not interested, and you’re the worst thing since sliced bread… do NOT give in or try and appease them.
Find the leader amongst the pack, whether that’s literally your leading hand or just someone who has influence amongst the team and sit them down for a one-on-one chat. During this chat, explain what’s going to change, why it needs to change, how it benefits them, and why you need them on board with the change. This information gradually filters through the team and because it’s coming from their peers, they are more open to the idea.
It's all about baby steps, and not giving in out of fear.
Becoming a GOOD leader that can handle the difficult situations, is what will take you, your team, and your business from D-grade to Superstars. What are you waiting for? It’s time to deal with the tricky stuff.
Want MORE strategies on how to deal with the tricky stuff?
Listen to our episode of ‘The Tradie Show’, ‘Dealing with difficult staff’ for more information. Click here to check it out!
Article written by Andy Smith
Andy Smith is the former owner of award-winning Dr.DRiP Plumbing,co-author of ‘Start Up, Scale Up, Sell Up’, co-host of ‘The Tradie Show –Together in Trade Business’ podcast, and co-founder of Lifestyle Tradiealongside wife, Angela Smith. Lifestyle Tradie is an education hub and communityfor tradies and their partners in business, where the pair share theirknowledge and lived experience to help others.