Axis Insurance Group’s Shaw Sabey is a proud partner of the Roofing Contractors Association of British Columbia. We work with many BC roofing contractors to place liability, course of construction, fleet and contractors equipment insurance. Roofing contractors insurance is one of our areas of particular expertise.
From the Roofing Contractor Magazine:
Mistakes Roofing Foremen and Supervisors Make
Workforce shortages place more and more challenges on front-line supervisors and foremen in the roofing industry.
Managing people has always been and will remain a challenge. The good news is that contracting cannot be outsourced to China, so there will always be a market for contracting services. The bad news is that fewer and fewer Americans and Canadians see the trades as a career opportunity. Such shortages have placed more challenges on front-line supervisors and foreman. This article is designed to identify some of the more common mistakes foreman make.
You’re not Managing Yourself
Common sense isn’t always so common. Everybody communicates differently. Learn to adapt to individuals and understand how they communicate, what they’re good at and not good at. The willingness to learn is key to being a good manager. Culture and learning differences can heavily impact people’s learning and communication styles. In many ethnic cultures, asking a question can be seen as a sign of ignorance or disrespect. Make sure your expectations are clearly understood and communicated back to you.
Gifted craftsmen can quickly become frustrated by the inability of others to see the obvious. For the gifted, technical things may have come too easy for them. The same thing applies to craftsmen. Just because you’re a great craftsman doesn’t mean you’ll be a great supervisor. My father was one of the most gifted tradespeople I’ve ever known. I am not. He would do and see things I just couldn’t grasp as easily. Such graphic and mechanical thinking just wasn’t my gift. Once I got it, I had it, but he had a hard time understanding why I didn’t see what he saw from the start.
Don’t “Should On” People
No matter how hard you try, correcting a field employee’s post-job performance can be taken as criticism, not coaching. People don’t like to be “should-on.” You should’ve done this or you should’ve done that. No matter how hard you try, some employees are going to react negatively.
The best way to train people is to start before the job. Pre-job training is a phenomenal tool. Ask people how they would do the job. Where would they start? How much will they get done each day? What types of obstacles do they foresee? You can gently correct and coach their answers. Try, “Well, what about this?” Or, “Have you considered this?” Collaborate and agree on reasonable goals and then hold the foreman or craftsperson accountable.