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Business Tips

5 Steps for Giving Productive Feedback to Your Plumbing/HVAC/Electrical Employees

Feedback is an important part of any plumbing business. Sometimes it is hard to know how to approach feedback appropriately so that the employee receiving it will understand correctly and use the feedback to become more productive.

It’s crucial that people giving and receiving feedback feel secure, or it is unlikely that the feedback will be useful enough to affect any long term changes. Studies cited at the NeuroLeadership Summit in Boston, claim that people who receive feedback apply it only 30% of the time, according to Columbia University neuroscientist Kevin Ochsner.

The following are some tips to help that percentage rise when you give feedback to your Plumbing/HVAC/Electrical employees:

Be kind.

Remember that it is very important when giving feedback that your attitude is courteous and encouraging. You can’t make the person receiving the feedback feel belittled or shamed in any way. Criticism and feedback are only constructive when you are patient and kind. Of course, this isn’t always easy if the situation is tense, but no matter the circumstance, you must make the person receiving the feedback feel secure, or it is unlikely your feedback will be received appropriately.

Be specific.

Don’t let your feedback be too general or all-encompassing. Don’t say things like, “When we have business meetings, try to interact and give your thoughts.” Instead, say, “I value your opinion because you are brilliant, and I would like to hear you give at least two of your thoughts when we are having a business meeting.”

Be positive.

Sometimes we have to give negative or corrective feedback, but this only works if you couple it with positivity about some aspect of the job they are doing well. People have threat responses and can become defensive if the feedback is not softened by something positive.

Be tough, but not mean.

Employees make mistakes, and it can be very frustrating, especially if the mistakes continue to be repeated. In these situations, feedback needs to be firm, but be very careful that your firmness is not crossing over into a meaningful form of feedback. It’s a fine line, but if you keep your frustration in check, you can be tough but not rude or inconsiderate. Nothing will change if your feedback is mean, and it can even lead to the employee quitting or bringing negativity into the workplace.

Be immediate.

You can’t always succeed at giving constructive feedback immediately because the circumstances might not be appropriate. However, in every case, you should make an effort to give feedback as soon as a problem becomes evident. This is important because the incident is fresh, and there is less of a chance of misunderstanding your feedback. If you wait, then the memories of what is or is not happening will be muddled, and clarity is less likely achieved.

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Business Tips Growth Strategies

4 Things Plumbing Business Owners Keep Messing Up

The entrepreneur has countless things on their mind at any given moment. There is after all plenty to consider when starting a business. How the entrepreneur starts his venture will have everything to do with how it grows and when. Usually when an entrepreneur ventures into his or her startup they aren’t thinking about possible exits or routes for expansion, but they should. If your company is going to grow you have to know exactly where you stand in order to be prepared to grow too. Consider the four following common missteps.

1. Invest in your general ledger

It is often a tedious and bland part of the startup process, especially for beginners. Usually, they will rely on basic accounting software and be done with it. For most startups this is acceptable, but you don’t know what road lies ahead. It is important that once you are into your journey neck-deep you are prepared with a ledger, that hasn’t missed a beat, and that can provide the evidence you need of the exact value you have built. I recommend considering hiring a professional just in case you find yourself in waters over your head.

2. Keep Business, Business

It is tempting to twist and tweak expenses and use company funds for personal use with a justification. Avoid this common misstep at all costs. Here’s why: The generally accepted accounting standards (GAAP) for business expenses, are sometimes subjected by beginners to liberal interpretations, or basic improper reporting. Not only could this be the beginning of the end for your company if the IRS gets involved, but it also skews the true value of your business when you aren’t keeping the proper expense records.

3. Report all revenues

This is another big and enticing misstep that is commonly made by beginners. It is tempting, especially if you deal with a lot of cash, to skim money from the start and justify it in different ways. Once again, this gets a lot of newbies in trouble with the IRS and also undervalues your company in the long run. It will be difficult to show and understand the true value and growth of your company if numbers are being misrepresented.

4. Keep very careful records/receipts

A beginner often assumes that going down the straight and narrow means giving more of their hard-earned money to the government in taxes. This is generally never the case. Invest in a good book or a professional advisor to show you the legal routes and bypasses you can take, and keep every record no matter how seemingly inconsequential. You will need these records to prove to yourself and others exactly how valuable your company is at any given point in time. You cannot progress and move forward if you don’t keep track of exactly where it is you and your new business stands.