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Conal Mulreany

If you are following the Summit Leadership system, you may have put your crew leaders through training over the last winter.  If you have, then they are now aware and understand the Crew Leader’s role is to manage (1) the job, (2) customers, and (3) employees.  The goal is to bring jobs in “happy and Under.”   Over time, as training continues, they will take on more and more responsibility in each of these areas.

What’s appropriate for each company is different. We recommend beginning by focusing on the first element- managing jobs better.  Perhaps you’ve rolled out the pre-job visit, or the job “closing” process, or other elements of crew leader planning.  With the season in full steam, the tough part begins– getting it to stick.  Here are some suggestions to impact the “stick factor” in a positive way.

Understand That Change and Growth Happen Over Time.

Don’t try to roll everything out at once.  Pick one topic or area and find as many ways as possible to reinforce that behavior.  Remember is that it takes a couple of months (not weeks) to change behaviors/habits, and to realize consistent results.

Catch Your People Doing Something Right.

Praise causes good behavior.  In our experience, it is much less likely that the praise will “go to their heads.”  Make an example of them with both public and private recognition. The crew leaders who are not doing it will want to because they too want recognition.

Incorporate the Topic Into Your Weekly Operations Meetings.

Take 5 minutes at your meeting and either role play or discuss the script.  Find out what’s working and not working.  Ask the crew leaders how we can make it better. For example, they may say they’re having difficulty scheduling the pre-job visit.  The answer may be to have the official schedule the visits.  They may be having difficulty planning the job.  In this case, role-play how crew leaders can find other methods to make the “closing” happen.

Track Your Account’s Receivable by the Crew Leader.

Every dime you’re owed is assigned to a crew leader. Give each crew leader their AR report on a regular basis. This will give you a lot of information about who is planning jobs the best.  It also measures the bottom line: the reason we are implementing these things is to grow and make more money.

Consider Benchmarking Your Crew Leaders Against Other Critical Indicators.

Among others, these might include:

  • Revenue per person (on the crew)
  • Hours over/under
  • Percentage of “A’s” on customer report cards,
  • Number of call-backs
  • Safety incidents
Manage by Exception.

If someone is not doing it, don’t reprimand the entire group.  Have a private conversation with them.  Praise in public, reprimand in private.

Fail Forward.

It will take a couple of months, not weeks, to see consistent results.  Allow yourself and your people the opportunity to make mistakes. Experience is a great teacher.  Success will only happen if you continue to reinforce the same topic week after week.

Crew Leaders need to see that this is not going away. By tracking results and reinforcing new behaviors/habits in positive ways, you will send that message loud and clear.

Have a great week

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