I called it the ‘never ending battle’ in my company- the constant sniping between my office staff and my frontline techs.
This ‘continual skirmishing’ affected employee morale and lowered production. Plus it cost me profits and even worse- I wasn’t enjoying myself as much as I used too! So I analyzed WHY this sad situation continued even among my Very Best People. (VBP)
I realized (just like in my family) that the root cause of the problem was a lack of communication which in turn created suspicion, disunity and generally bad feelings all around. So I implemented…
A ‘Feel Their Pain’ Day for all employees! Here’s how (and why) my ‘FTP Day’ worked…
Right after hiring and then yearly on their employment anniversary date each office employee would spend a FTP day working out in the field. Whew! It was always fun to see a bedraggled, sweat soaked secretary or office assistant drag themselves in at the end of a long day!
And yes, even my General Manager would put in a yearly FTP Day ‘down in the trenches’ with the troops. (Her comments to me later were always ‘interesting’!) The goal of the FTP Day for my office staff? To ‘Feel Their Pain’ of our tired and often-running-behind techs AND stop trying to load more paperwork on them! (More on this in an upcoming QuickTIP.)
I would also have each technician help out in the office for their FTP Day. (Now this experience was ALWAYS ‘interesting’!) For example, guess who got assigned to ferret out the answers to a fellow tech’s illegibly filled out Production Day Sheet? Our chastened tech now ‘Felt Their Pain’ of our office workers… and would think twice the next time he was tempted to blow off “all that stupid paperwork”!
This ‘role changing’ during the FTP Day gently forced my two warring camps of Techs vs. Office Staff to know each other better and (dare I say it?) even become friends! And if nothing else they would at least understand the pressures that the ‘other side’ worked under. The result? Better teamwork and good feelings between ALL my employees!
NOTE: Share how you promote teamwork and close knit company relationships in our Strategies for Success: Growing Your Business Facebook Group. (You don’t need to be a SFS graduate to join our thousands of cleaning and restoration contractors that all want to help you in… ‘Growing Your Business’!
This inevitable ‘armed truce’ between your office staff and your technicians is an issue that left unchecked will loom larger as your company grows into a Critical Mass Business. However, if you as the owner or manager take action your company’s philosophy will be the same as my unofficial SFS motto, “We’re all in this together”!