When I started Goodco Mechanical in my dining room in 2008, one of the first things I did was create a mission statement; “Make the customer’s experience so positive that they have no choice but to use us again and again.”  Recently, however, I’ve been asking myself “Does the customer really come first?”

In Hal Rosenbluth’s book “The Customer Comes Second: Put Your People First and Watch ‘Em Kick Butt”, co-written with Diane McFerrin Peters, he counterintuitively suggests that you should put the customer behind your employees in order of importance.  While the concept seems foreign to some, it makes perfect sense in the current marketplace, especially in service and construction.  The Ideas for recruiting and retaining the best employees out there help to insure you are providing the service necessary to win in any industry.   

Several years ago, I attended a conference put on by Business Development Resources Inc. that focused on recruiting and retaining great employees. The discussion on generations was very intriguing.  Baby Boomers are retiring at a rate of nearly 10,000 per day.  Generation X, being almost half the size of the Boomers, and the late entrance into the workforce of many of the Millennials, have put us in, what some experts call, the “Demographic Trough”.  Not enough workers for all the available jobs.  This low water mark will continue until at least 2024.  In addition, our little neck of the woods is dominated by a major university located a few miles away called Penn State.  Potential employees that would be ideal for our industry are encouraged to give 4-year higher education a try by their well-meaning parents and advisers.  Unfortunately, for many, it is an exercise in futility.  Those of us in the trades are working very hard to make this field more appealing to the masses by improving pay, benefits, technology, etc. 

We will continue to work hard to please our customers but know we have modified our mission statement slightly to reflect the importance of our employees going forward.  We hope this will even further enhance your experience.

Create a culture where employees enjoy what they do and are empowered to make the customer’s experience so positive that they have no choice but to use us again and again.” 

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