The mind of a small business owner can be a crowded and chaotic place. Inventory, customer service, marketing ideas, revenue, repairs, and maintenance are just a handful of thoughts flying around at any given time. Hopefully the business grows to a point to necessitate additional employees. But with more staff comes more potential problems. Interviewing and hiring can be a time-consuming process, not to mention the training needed to bring each person up to speed on internal workings of the business. Disciplinary scenarios are inevitable, requiring an experienced and confident manager to resolve the issue.
The last point is obviously the most unpleasant part of hiring a staff. New business owners may not have any experience with interpersonal communication and office management. As usual, Mosquito Joe is here to help! We reached out to some of our experienced franchisees to ask them how they handle hiring and employee turnover. Much of the advice is specifically about Mosquito Joe technicians, but can easily apply to regular office staff as well.
“It’s [managing a staff] probably the hardest part about owning a Mosquito Joe franchise. The best advice I can give is to always treat the technicians the way you would want to be treated. One thing we’ve tried to do to avoid turnover is to tell our technicians about future possibilities and show them opportunity for growth. Always letting the good employees know how much you appreciate their hard work is also important. We also always forward good reviews from customers onto them, so they can see what a good job they’ve done.
Lastly, often it’s just a gut feeling when you interview a guy on whether he’ll work out or not. But we also put our policies and procedures in writing and have each technician sign it so they know what’s expected.”
“I think employee retention comes from several factors:
- Find people interested in growing with you. Dangle that carrot in front of new employees to be lead technician once the business is larger. Make them see the bigger picture and catch some of your excitement.
- Keep them involved in the business. For us, the technician is the most important part of the business. They are the ones who see the customers every day, and they need to be great. If we can’t keep the customers, we won’t be successful. We reward them for awesome work with competitive compensation and little things like having an annual Christmas party.
- Ask their opinions and thoughts on aspects of the business. Then use them!
- We will be involving them in the interview process for new technicians this coming season. They have received raises and will be in charge of training the new guys. I trust them, and I believe they will do a better job of picking the best guy for the job.”
Denise Morris – Director of Local Operations for Mosquito Joe of Virginia Beach-Norfolk
“In order to avoid employee/technician turnover, you first have to know what you’re looking for before hiring. I always do face-to-face interviews because I’m looking for someone who can communicate effectively and has the ability to ask questions as well as answer them. The right person has to display a willingness to learn, take direction from others that may be younger, be self motivated, and able to show passion about something during the interview.
Once hired, I avoid employee turnover by setting expectations, providing a lot of training, building a team environment, and showing respect for each person. I do my best to get to know the person and what is important to them.
They are the face and the voice of this company. With that in mind, always over-hire, giving yourself the flexibility to be prepared in case you do lose an employee.”
If you’re thinking about starting a business or buying a franchise, don’t let this aspect of entrepreneurship scare you! Working with good people is what makes business ownership so much fun. Visit the Mosquito Joe franchise information page to learn how you can become part of the best team in the franchise business.