Most home services companies have at least some area competition; you may be one of the top plumbers in your town, for instance, but you’re probably not the only plumber in town. Having a little competition can have its advantages, but of course there are drawbacks: Not only do you cede a little market share, but you also run the risk of losing your best employees.
Certainly, the last thing you want is for all your top technicians or front office staff members to jump ship and go work for the competition—but how do you make them stay?
The short answer is that you can’t, and the sooner you realize that the better. Your job isn’t to force anyone to remain on your team and trying to do so may backfire.
With that said, there are some practical ways in which you can boost retention and give your best people a reason to stay.
Boosting Retention at Your Home Services Company
Some strategies to consider include:
- Be an active listener. Employees need to feel like they’re heard, whether it’s because they have constructive feedback for you or they have ideas they want you to consider. Note that you don’t actually have to act on every idea that comes your way but do be willing to receive them! Have an open-door policy and respect each employee enough to sit down and hear their ideas.
- Don’t be punitive. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes. When an employee falls short of the mark, that doesn’t mean you need to punish them. Frankly, that’s a good way to send them scurrying. Instead, sit down and ask them to help diagnose the problem: What went wrong, and what could be done differently next time? Treat them like grown-ups and allow them some ownership in whatever issues arise.
- Invest in education. Show your team members that you care about them—and not just about what they can do for you now, but about their development as professionals. When possible, invest in ongoing training opportunities for your people. Let them know that you want them to be the best they can be.
- Show your employees the big picture. What’s your overarching goal? What do you hope your company can do, and how do you hope that it can grow, over the year? Let your team members know what your hopes and dreams are and tell them where they fit into your vision. Your employees need to believe they are part of something bigger than themselves.
Will any of this guarantee that your top performers stay with you? No—but it can certainly be helpful. Implement these strategies to boost retention and reach out to Contractor in Charge to learn more about growing your plumbing, electrical, or HVAC company.