Your glazing business can be the busiest in the world. Sales could be flooding in, installation lead times growing, profit margins nice and healthy. But if the staff at your business are feeling the pain, are stressed and tired, then very quickly your business could find itself drowning under the workload and very quickly spinning out of control.
This is where staff morale and focus becomes one of the most important focuses for your business.
Risks of low morale
A busy business doesn’t always equal a happy business. And in all businesses, it’s the staff that make it. That is why each and every member of staff has to feel like a productive member of the team. There is plenty that could go wrong otherwise.
Overworked staff quickly leads to that person becoming fatigued. Especially those that have been asked to increase their workload as the company becomes busier. This I suspect is something that has happened in our industry over the past few years. During the recession lots of businesses shed staff to lower costs and help the business get through the worst. Now we’re in full blown recovery mode, with lots of glazing companies a lot busier than just a few years ago, many have kept lower staffing levels and tried to facilitate that extra business with less staff than before.
This leads to overworked, fatigued staff. And this can cost a company money. It only takes a small mistake at a crucial stage, say the ordering of product from an installer to the fabricator, for it to cost big money. What then follows is stress at both ends to put the mistake right, effort to keep up the existing schedule with the home owner, and at some point some blame is appointed. A situation that helps no one.
Productivity also suffers. It is very clear that staff who are motivated and happy are far more productive. Staff who are overworked, stressed and concerned about things other than the job at hand are less productive. This costs the company money in potential lost revenues. Imagine a glazing company with sales staff who have too many lead to go on, who don’t have enough time to process existing quotes and are constantly rushing around knowing there is work out there but not enough time to make the most of it.
It seems like an odd problem to have, being too busy, but if it is not managed well, a business can suffer badly.
Personnel the key
There’s only so much work people can manage. No matter how much clever management plans you have, staff will become overloaded at some point. There is one very simple solution though, and that is to hire more staff.
That’s it. That’s the key. Nothing more complicated than that. Company owners should not be asking their staff to do more and more, without giving them or the business the support to actually do more in a productive and mistake-free manner. And in reality it shouldn’t actually cost the company any money at all.
If a business is struggling to make the most of extra opportunities because of low productivity and low staffing, the act of employing more should help a company make the most of the new opportunities, which will help pay for the extra wage, or wages, of the extra staff taken on board. The existing team has some weight taken from their shoulders, improving their morale and productivity. It’s a win-win for all.
I am writing about this because I know that across the country, there are installers and fabricators who are looking to grow, or have grown, but are struggling under the extra workload. I know that at our place this year has been particularly tough, as we’re becoming a tad strained under our own success. We have a plan for that, to ease things up and bring on even more business. I hope that other companies are doing the same. Because Brexit or not, our industry, I do believe, is going to get busier over the coming few years. And we have to be ready for that.