Trades & Services

How to Manage Your Team of Tradies 

Written by Jon Dale

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll have noticed that I’m in the middle of a little series about your team

To recap, your trades business (or your building business) is first and foremost a people business, and you need to attend to them or you’ll be disappointed in their performance. 

You make money and do good, reputable work because your team is going out there into the world and doing that work. And if you want to grow and scale up your business, you do so by hiring more people. 

Creating and fostering a strong and loyal team ensures that they:

  • Do a good job 
  • Care about the success of the business and take pride in their work
  • Understand the goals and aspirations for the business
  • Be active in helping you build and grow a successful business 

I’ve spoken about hiring well (with discipline and process) and I’ve spoken about leading your team (also with discipline and process). 

Managing a team – the small picture 

Today, I want to talk about managing them. If leading them is what the big picture is all about- sharing your strategy and showing them the vision and the role they play, is the smaller picture. 

It starts with their job descriptions – everyone should have one. If you did your hiring right, everyone already has one. 

This is for clarity on what they’re responsible for and what’s expected from them. 

You need to hold them accountable for their performance – on a daily basis and in their reviews. 

You should be doing reviews every 6 months – formal ones with recorded notes. 

You should have a management hierarchy in place 

There’s only so many people you can manage yourself while also doing your other jobs. 

You should meet your direct reports daily – for a 10-minute daily huddle – and your managers should meet their teams for a daily meeting as well. 

It can be as simple as: 

  • “How did yesterday go?” 
  • “What’s on today?” 
  • “Do you need help with anything?” 

You should meet with your teams (not just the leader) – that’s your admin and your field teams – once a week for an operations meeting. This is a review of the previous week’s work mixed in with some planning for the coming week. It should take 20-30 minutes. It might like a lot of meetings and times not on the tools, but It’s worth it. You won’t regret it. 

Lastly, you should have the entire team together once a month or so to talk about how the business is going – growth, progress on the greater plan recognising contributions people are making. 

It’s important to make these investments in communicating – the day to day of what needs doing and the bigger picture too. It holds everyone together and makes everyone feel like they’re part of a team rather than a bunch of people with the same shorts. 

Ensure you don’t neglect these practices or leave it to chance. It’s an important part of your business’s growth.

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About the author

Jon Dale

Jon Dale, of Small Fish Business Coaching is a business coach for tradies - trades business owners wanting to grow their businesses. His articles will help you understand how to manage your marketing, sales, operational systems and the people of your business. His program is called the Tradies Toolbox because he hopes you can use it, like a tool, to make more money and build a business you're proud of.

There are a few ways you can explore whether working with Jon is right for you, right now:
1. You can watch these videos - subscribe here to get them emailed every week.
2. You can join the Tradies Business Toolshed Facebook Group and participate.
3. You can attend the next Tools Down Workshop - 2 days of Jon explaining the framework.
4. Or you can book a 10-minute filter call where you and Jon will both look at whether he can help.