Henry Ford was quoted as saying, “coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” In the construction business, a good team could consist of freelancers and independent contractors all tasked to complete the project on time. However, for our purposes we will discuss creating a good team of employees that your contractor business can count on to get things done efficiently and with professional results.
First off, keep in mind that a winning team in the contracting business doesn’t mean every member has to be an All-Star. The goal shouldn’t be to ensure that every one employee is great. It should be that collectively they are great. Knowing the mechanics of the job is important. How to safely operate tools and equipment and possessing the know-how to do the job correctly are very important. But on the other hand, if you have a master carpenter who cannot work well with others, then it brings the whole team down. There are things to bear in mind when assembling your team of employees that cannot be so easily quantified. Things like their work ethic, ability to be a team player, initiative, and their ability to hustle are the sorts of qualities that collectively can lift a team into realms of success. By selecting people who process these skills and have this attitude, you will build a good foundation. With that foundation, training can be used to fill in the gaps from there.
Conversely, it is important to bear in mind what negative attributes there are. These are the things you should be on the lookout for when looking for new help. Potential employees with lousy people skills, bad work ethic, or a big ego can be detrimental to what you’re looking for. Even if, as mentioned above, they are a well reputed carpenter, plumber, mason, etc.
When seeking out new employees, ask your connections first. People talk, and by listening to those you trust, such as your friends, colleagues, and others in the business, you will get a feel for potential employees’ reputations -- whether good or not so good. Remember that you’re not just trying to fill a hole, but you are looking for a person who will blend well within your company.
Having the right people in place is critical to the success of any organization. In the construction industry, when there are deadlines to meet and clients to keep happy, that sentiment is as true as ever.