Time and time again I’ve expressed my thoughts on the importance of building your business through the successes and growth of its people – your
people. With a strong team, comes a strong company; and this doesn’t just simply happen overnight – no – we must work at it in order to see results. In fact, attaining and retaining employees
is a topic of interest of mine that I had the great pleasure of speaking upon at a recent Operations, Health and Safety Seminar for the OSSGA in Toronto.
I started my speech with a simple question, “How do you want to be remembered?” Nobody will be talking about the car your drove, the house you lived in, or the toys you had, but we will all remember what a great leader you were. For many years, while working in the aggregate industry, I was more concerned with making profits than developing people until one day I realized: the harder I worked developing the people, the more money we made.
Finding good and skilled people is a challenge facing many industries these days. You need to go out and find them; don’t let anyone tell you that the great ones will just come to you. Paint a picture of what you want and carry business cards to hand out to someone who fits that picture. Don’t be afraid to hire young workers if you see something in them; it’s easier to grow boys than it is to change men. And don’t forget, we don’t attract who we want, we attract who we are.
New employees need to be trained and mentored and this is where we tend to falter. We need to take the slow cooker approach with training rather than the microwave. Companies need to invest in their employees. All too often, a company will spend thousands on maintenance of equipment but never consider the operator. Build your farm team and pass on your knowledge. And remember, we rarely leave the company, we usually leave the leaders.
I would like to conclude by thanking the OSSGA for having me speak about the importance of team building, the significance of hardworking employees, and the followed success of such companies who abide and/or are inspired by these guidelines. I will leave you with the wise words spoken by a true friend of mine, George Tackaberry, as mentioned in my speech at the Seminar: “we are nothing without our people