8 Tips That Help Fabricators Retain Installers and Fabricators

Few things are more disruptive to your business than losing critical production personnel, which can be even more disruptive for stone fabricators. Most likely, your production workforce is constantly utilized, with just the right number of employees to meet your installation schedule. Losing an employee at the wrong time could result in severe schedule disruptions.

Your process of delivering for your customers is complex, as you must fabricate the products you install, all while storing, moving, and handling very heavy stone slabs. There’s a lot that can go wrong with the loss of one person.

Losing employees can be costly for fabricators, especially in a very tight labor market where finding a replacement is extremely difficult. So what are some things you can do to retain great employees? We have a few tips for you.

It’s the Little Things

The easiest way to increase employee retention is to ensure you’re doing the little extras that tell your people they’re appreciated. Little acts of appreciation give employees a sense of belonging and have a value worth far more than any cost in money or time.

Little things would be ordering pizza for a surprise lunch or ensuring everyone has new shirts with the company logo. Statements of appreciation and a gift card go a very long way. Making sure the work area is tailored for employee comfort and offering the little things like free coffee and muffins in the break area cost very little and tell your people they are appreciated.

Consistent, small statements of appreciation are easy and inexpensive, but employees will perceive them as having tremendous value. No one wants to leave an employer that shows them they are appreciated.

RELATED ARTICLE: How to Attract More Business in the Stone Fabricator Industry in 2023

Find Out Why They Leave

You can’t remedy unknown problems. When an employee leaves the company, a quick survey about why they left, where you can improve, and what attracted them to their new employer will potentially alert you to problems that need addressing.

Ask Their Opinions and Empower Them

Your production employees have great ideas that will tremendously improve your business. Ask them for those opinions. Furthermore, try them out. People want to work for an employer where their views and ideas are valued.

Is an install team experiencing a challenging situation on a job? Don’t micromanage them; use empowerment. Ask your installers or fabricators if they have ideas to resolve the issue and empower them to institute them. Most people are conditioned to turn to management to resolve problems, and making them part of the process signals that you respect them as professionals and experts.

 Offer Benefits

The minute you read that headline, you immediately thought, “benefits cost a lot.” Still, if you don’t offer them, you must consider offering medical insurance and time off, as the cost of losing an employee and delaying cash flow costs you far more.

If you don’t offer benefits, but another shop does, that creates a substantial hiring advantage for them. People will leave you for health insurance provided by another employer even if the pay is slightly lower.

Benefits have tremendous value for employees and will be a serious consideration in every employment decision.

RELATED ARTICLE: Customer Experience is King: How to Make Your Memorable

Hold a Weekly Production Meeting

A weekly meeting is a perfect time to motivate employees, solicit feedback, and get through that boring required OSHA training. Updating them on their performance without any judgment will result in each employee working to improve. At the end of the meeting, always tell them how much you appreciate them.

Make sure to recognize the employees that outperformed in the prior week and reward them.

A 20-30 minute weekly meeting builds cohesion and tells them how they are appreciated.

An Occasional Event

Once or twice a year, a fun event for everyone in the company builds close teams and is remarkable for employees. It can be the annual Christmas party, group attendance at a baseball game, or a BBQ.

You’ll have a great time too.

Benefit Their and Your Incomes

Offering employees a chance to make more money could make you more. Many fabricators use a bonus structure that rewards employees for outstanding performance and beating deadlines. Some move to total piecemeal compensation, where employees make much more than they usually would.

How does it benefit you to pay them more? 

These models reward those who work harder and beat their deadlines, meaning your company completes more installations in the same period. Saving time results in accelerated cash flow, and you can take on more work without needing to hire more employees.

Would you pay out $4,000 more monthly if it results in an extra $15,000? Of course, you would. Maybe it’s as little as a shared $200 more for a job completed early. If you save a day of work among four production employees with a $50-75 bonus to each one, that’s a tremendous saving. Now think about how you saved even more by retaining valuable employees.

You could pay more to retain them in a competitive employment environment with the same production, or you could pay more and increase production. It’s not a hard choice, and they’ll be happy bringing home larger paychecks.

Keeping Valuable Employees Is Worth Every Effort

Your company and its profitability matter when creating your legacy. Retaining valuable fabricators and installers is an essential component of your profitability. In a competitive environment, finding new employees is complex, and every employee you’re short deprives you of profit. Growing sales does you no good if you can’t accommodate the volume.

Make employee attention one of your most essential prerogatives, and dedicate a portion of every day to retention.

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