It is no secret that finding dedicated employees that possess both a strong work ethic and a thorough understanding of their craft is getting more and more difficult as the days go by. As a business owner, you have two options for filling open positions within your company. You can pay a premium for vetting and acquiring a team comprised of top-notch individuals, or you can depend on managing unskilled labor crews, and hope that they will be able to successfully carry out their assigned tasks.
Develop the Art of Communication
When it comes to managing an unskilled labor crew, communication is everything. Being an effective communicator is key to being a good leader, no matter what line of work you are in, or where your position falls in the chain of command. A good leader must not only communicate expectations for how a job is to be performed, but he must also be able to relay important information related to how, when, and where the members of his labor crew are to do their duties. He must be able to transmit a vision for how their tasks, however menial, will be bringing good into the lives of others, and he must create, in the minds of his workers, a cause that his crew can rallying behind.
Set High Expectations
When working with a crew of laborers that may or may not possess all the qualities of an exemplary employee, it is important that you communicate to them your high expectations. Just like a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, your business is only as strong as the work ethic of the employees that actually perform their assigned tasks. While a leader, whether an owner or a manager, may be seen as the face of the company, it is actually the workers with whom the customers interact that have become the hands and feet that will carry out your company’s purpose. By keeping your expectations high, and communicating those expectation to your crew, not only will it set your business up to win, but it will also give your crew members a sense of self-confidence and pride that they may not be able to attain elsewhere in life. As a leader, set your sights high, and your crew will love you for it.
Be Willing to Pay a Price to Win
When working with an unskilled labor crew, you must be willing to pay a price to win. If working with a crew of trained professionals, you pay that price during the vetting, hiring, and training process, and the price may also be reflected in the employee’s weekly paychecks. When working with unskilled crew members, that price takes on a different form. Rather than seeing your crew members as disposable commodities, look for the value that their individual lives bring to your company, and contribute to the world. This value may at first appear to be hidden, and may take some time and effort to discover, but getting to know your crew members on a personal level can help reduce employee turnover, and contribute to the long-term success of your business. Is it going to cost you some time? Yes. Is it going to take a little bit of effort on your part? Absolutely. Is the investment worth it? We hope that you will agree that it is.
Be Patient, but Be Discerning
As with all things in life, change takes time. People take time to develop into who they are destined to become. As a leader, don’t underestimate the influence you may have on your crew members. Take every opportunity to have a positive effect on the lives of those around you, and speak hope into their lives on every occasion.
A good leader, no matter what position they hold in a company, is a person who is able to make the hard decisions. Letting an under performing crew member go is not a decision that should be made in the heat of the moment, nor is it a decision to be made carelessly. If, as a leader, you discern that a crew member fails to progress in his development of desirable skills, personality traits, or personal work ethic, it may be time for him to be replaced. When communicating this to the crew member, always express a high-level of respect, and always express your thanks for his time spent with your company.