Just as regular maintenance of your shop’s equipment and facility is critical to keep it functioning well, “maintenance” of your employees is just as important.
After all, replacing a good employee can be every bit as costly---and often more difficult---than replacing a welder or frame rack.
It was that goal of maintaining ongoing two-way dialogue with employees that led me, when I had my shops, to conduct employee reviews on an annual basis. I know some shop owners avoid such reviews because they assume employees will expect increased compensation as part of the process.
But before I even sat down with employees, they each would fill out a questionnaire, rating how they think they were meeting the company’s standards for attendance, quantity and quality of work, teamwork, organization and enthusiasm. It asked them to rate their supervisor, and how they are treated by coworkers. It asked them what they feel they need to improve, what their specific goals were for the coming year, and how we could help them meet those goals.
And it asked specifically about pay, including this important follow-up question: What would you be willing to do to make more money this year? This helped emphasize they have to take a role in increasing their income, not just come into the review expecting a raise.
I would look over their responses and their employee file before I met with them. And I came into the review with an agenda.
First item on that agenda: Ensuring we had their current home address and phone number(s), that their emergency contact information was correct and that their insurance needs hadn’t changed, maybe because of a change in dependents or because they were now covered under a spouse’s plan.
We also collected information on...