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#40777 - 08/03/04 09:17 PM How do I motivate my crews?
Sparkeee32 Offline

Registered: 03/23/04
Posts: 32
Loc: Federal Way WA USA
Howdy Everyone! My work performance has been recognized by my Co and I have been put in a supervisory position. This is new to me, I work my ass off for the company at a money making pace (without crossing that line of sacrificing quality)... so they want me to lead everyone else on this jobsite that I'm now in charge of. My crew respects me, but aren't willing to work as hard as I do, and as hard as I expect on my job. I don't have authority of management, i.e. say on wages or much else besides word of mouth to upper management. How do I motivate my guys!?!! They're slacking like they're on another job, but I'm not gonna have it on my site! Please help me figure out how to motivate these guys! Thanks, Brian! AKA Sparkeee24

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#40778 - 08/03/04 09:39 PM Re: How do I motivate my crews?
e57 Offline

Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
Money, oh you said you can't do that....

What I do is really simple.
Less supervision, more work. You stay at your normal work pace, and work a little with everyone in the crew a bit of the day. So while you may start the day working with one guy, he may only slow a bit when you go work with someone else, or get pulled away. Then the other person will work at your speed for a while. The moment they see you still, they'll screach to a halt.

Oh barking orders from a lawn chair, or beating them with a bender is NOT going to work. Nor, will critizing thier speed. If anything show them how to simplfy things, so they can work faster.

[This message has been edited by e57 (edited 08-04-2004).]
Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

#40779 - 08/04/04 10:32 AM Re: How do I motivate my crews?
dereckbc Offline

Registered: 10/08/03
Posts: 158
Loc: Tulsa, OK
The two best motivators are reward and fear.

#40780 - 08/04/04 04:17 PM Re: How do I motivate my crews?
golf junkie Offline

Registered: 04/22/01
Posts: 511
Loc: York, NE
Set some goals each day.

Let everyone on the crew know what you expect them to have done by the end of the day. If they have problems with that then break it down in smaller pieces, like have xyz done before break time.

Also let them know what has to be done by the end of the week. That gives them something to push toward other than "miller time".

The downside of being a supervisor is that you will get less actual work done yourself. It is inevitalbe, don't let it frustrate you.

Some of my best days now are when I can just be off by myself running pipe or whatever without the hassles of running a job.

#40781 - 08/04/04 04:51 PM Re: How do I motivate my crews?
Local Offline

Registered: 07/25/04
Posts: 19
Loc: Sacramento
I agree with Golf Junkie. Set goals. Start with goals that even the lazy slack jawed among your crew can meet. Work up to setting goals that meet the speed at which you'd like projects to be completed. The trick is to not push too hard and yet not allow them to become complacent. You say you have their respect, that's the first step and the hardest one. Tell them flat out in the morning; XYZ must be done by this time and if it isn't we're all in the **** house. Make it clear that you will not pick up their slack and you will not cover for them, you might not throw them under the bus but you will not shield them. Then give them a reason to push. If they show good production take off early on Friday. If production is outstanding and above and beyond then let them take off a couple hours early but clock eight. You wouldn't believe how fast our guys work when you say "Look, it's Friday. We have to have this done. If we bust *** now we can clock out by noon or one o-clock and you guys can call it 8 hours." Spend some of your time and money. Buy lunch for the crew. Every once in a great while pay for a busted hand tool. Trick is to not become a bank or a charity. I have a couple guys who will go out of their way for me. Never complain about working late cause the rest of our crew are lazy jerks. Never mind doing the hard work while I talk on the phone with customers. I take very good care of them and that's why they work for me. They do awesome work to boot. They know what needs to be done and how.

Most important thoughts:

A project is never worth burning yourself out over.

Loyalty and a willing to sacrifice for the Company is a must on my crew.

Sometimes the turtle wins.

[This message has been edited by Webmaster (edited 08-07-2004).]

#40782 - 08/04/04 05:21 PM Re: How do I motivate my crews?
Electric Eagle Offline

Registered: 04/20/02
Posts: 928
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
This has been touched on, but I've got a few quotes for you.

"Work expands to fill the time allotted."

If you give the guys 6 hours of work to do in an 8 hour period it will take 8 hours to complete. Also, if you don't tell them exactly what you expect, they won't get much done.

"Compliment publicly, criticize privately"

In other words, don't try to embarass someone, they'll just end up resenting you.

[This message has been edited by Electric Eagle (edited 08-04-2004).]

#40783 - 08/04/04 07:02 PM Re: How do I motivate my crews?
twh Offline

Registered: 03/11/04
Posts: 895
Loc: Regina, Sask.
That's a tough problem, and it sure takes the fun out of a job. It's especially bad when you are promoted to a position of authority. Scientific American ran a great article on something similar, a few years ago. It was so good I scanned it into my computer so I wouldn't lose it and didn't back it up. Drat!

I'll tell you what I remember, as I remember it, for what that might be worth.

You need to look and act like you are in charge. (That doesn't mean rude.) Throw away the jeans with holes in them.

Don't critize them as a group or all at one time. If they think they are all slow, no one will work faster. Take one person aside and tell him everyone else is faster.

If you want someone to complete a task by noon, instead of telling him you want it done by noon, ask him if he can have it done. Wait for an answer. The answer is his commitment to try.

They must like you. Be polite and compliment them for something. Tell them they did something well; or, if there isn't anything, tell them they have nice boots or something.

Explain why you need things done - it makes people more compliant. The example Scientific American gave was a woman asking to cut into line to use a photo copier. Her explanation was that she needed to make a copy. It doesn't have to be a good explanation.

I had a lead hand turn over a group to me a few years ago. He said the job isn't hard - it's just babysitting. I thought he meant that I had to spoon feed them. That wasn't half of it. They whined like babies, too.

Good luck!

#40784 - 08/06/04 11:37 PM Re: How do I motivate my crews?
Sparkeee32 Offline

Registered: 03/23/04
Posts: 32
Loc: Federal Way WA USA
Thanks! thingsare picking up well

#40785 - 08/07/04 02:51 AM Re: How do I motivate my crews?
Trumpy Offline


Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8532
Loc: SI,New Zealand
And now, back to the REAL world!.
One thing that Management and Supervisors need to get real about, is the fact that, a certain job will take as long as it does and no co-ertian(sp?)to do it quicker is going to help.
Let's look at the word, Motivate, used in this context, it means to "make people work harder in a shorter time frame".
Sure that looks good to Upper Management, but of course, they don't work with their hands every day of the week, apart from pushing a pen!.
Personally, the way I do things, is just give good plans in the first place and let the guys use thier own initiative.
Work gets done when Tradesmen aren't annoyed by the Boss, or his jumped up Representative.
We have no Ranks in the Service Dept at work, Although I am one of the Senior Tradesmen there, I just fit in like the rest of us, we have a job to do, we get it done.
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

#40786 - 08/07/04 04:16 AM Re: How do I motivate my crews?
Sandro Offline

Registered: 12/30/01
Posts: 449
Loc: Stoney Creek, ON, Canada
My personal experience...

-Don't expect everyone to be an over-achiever as you are. It won't happen. There is a reason why you got promoted and they didn't.


-Everybody has their limitations. Draw out each individuals best talents so that they will feel better about the job they perform. This will surely motivate them, to do a better job.

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