I cannot believe that May is just around the corner. As a kid, I’d make funnels out of bright construction paper and fill them with wildflowers and weeds, and hang them on my neighbors doorknobs on May Day: an attempt at a May Day Basket. In other countries in the world, May Day is recognized as a Workers’ Day. In the US, Labor Day is celebrated in September – which is probably better since May is smack-dab in the middle of Backflow Testing season. However, Workers’ day is about celebrating the achievements of workers. It’s a good reminder to consider your employees during these busy months!
Keep your workers happy and healthy this season!
Set expectations early on
Set expectations early on
When backflow season strikes, it’s easy to expect your backflow technicians to put in hours of overtime. But you should you be doing that? Early in the season, establish some guidelines. Inquire which of your workers wants overtime. The single 20-year-old putting herself through college might jump at those overtime hours during summer, but the 40-year-old family man might want to work regular hours. Think about this type of thing earlier, so you’re less likely to see burnout in your employees, and you’ll be able to keep morale high. Unless part of the job description, never expect that anyone will automatically be fine working longer than an 8-hour day. Instead, offer incentives to those who are willing to.
Summer time can be hot hot hot! While you might be sending invoices to customers and writing up quotes for large facilities in a cool office, your team is often out there repairing sprinklers and testing backflow preventers in the hot sun. What can you do to make sure your techs stay hydrated, healthy, and cool? Make sure any company cars or vans have working a/c. Offer free water bottles. If possible, suggest that your testers start their mornings earlier so they’re finished before the extreme heat of the day hits. Heat stroke is a very real thing. If temps are too high, let your customers know they won’t be getting their outdoor devices tested during certain times; there’s no reason to jeopardize the health of your employees. Also, make sure your employees know the warning signs of heat sickness.
Reward great workers with more than just a paycheck.
What kind of rewards should you be giving your employees outside their friday checks? Take the time to recognize when an tech is doing a great job – recognition can go far! Just a, “Hey, thanks for doing a great job,” is a huge morale booster. Consider incentives – if testers perform a certain amount of backflow tests each month, why not a gift card to a coffee shop they like? It doesn’t have to be big! Something that can help people get on the same page is actually being in the same place. What about pizza lunch once a month, or getting drinks after work? Some of my best memories with my coworkers are those of us cajoling at happy hour – even if we are talking about work, getting out of the normal atmosphere can create bonds quicker. It’s also an incredibly good reminder that we’re each a lot more than just a co-worker. This attitude can translate back into normal business hours, and helps create camaraderie.
Keep your workers happy and healthy through the busy season is an essential part of managing your business. What you sow now, you’ll reap throughout the season!