The age of empowerment for tradies

The future is sooner than you think (just around the corner really).

So what can we do to ‘future-proof’ our trade business?

Apart from organising our finances and investing in technology, the one thing that will carry our businesses into the future is a productive workforce.

As time goes on, we need to become more and more productive and efficient in our processes, meaning you need a team of tradies behind you who want to be the leaders of the future.

Obtaining this is about showing, and teaching, your employees to look beyond tomorrow.

The new generation workforce is empowered with knowledge and new-age thinking, but they are restless. They don’t want to be dictated to and they certainly don’t want to be stuck within constraints.

However, if you empower them to create their own job they will deliver performance way beyond what you thought was possible.

If you are a savvy trade business owner, you will recognise this immediately and use it to your advantage.

There are three key elements to being a great leader and empowering your staff to become a productive workforce for the future:

1. Ask questions

Being a great leader is not about having all the answers, it’s about asking questions. Questions that will allow everyone and everything grow.

By encouraging employees to contribute to the workplace with their own opinions and knowledge, you are allowing everyone to speak up and grow. Not only that, but once they understand that you actually WANT their answers, they will feel like a valued member of the business and their loyalty will increase!

2. Never wait, create

As a leader, you want to empower your staff not to wait, but to make their own choices.

When we first started our plumbing business Dr.DRiP, staff would be calling Andy every 5 minutes asking simple questions that they could have easily figured out themselves.


Because they didn’t feel empowered to make the decision on their own and KNEW Andy would tell them what to do from Step 1 through to Step 100.

We fell into a trap of having a slow-decision process which ended up costing us more money and time than we even want to think about! It was not a productive workplace.

Our solution?

We told our staff that instead of calling Andy with a question, they could only call him with two different answers to their question. Andy would then talk through the two different options and let the staff member come to a decision on their own as to which was best.

Soon, they became independent and able to make their own choices without even calling through with their different options – they just did it!

Allowing your tradies and staff members to make decisions, creates a greater awareness. And whilst not every decision may be the right one, or the one you would have chosen, your staff will learn from their mistakes and make better, smarted decisions in the future!

3. Listen

Remember, your employees are the people who know the in’s and out’s of your business. They have a thorough understanding about what is working and what is not working in the business.

Pay attention to what they have to say and action it! It will bring about positive change in your business, and keep staff happy and loyal.

Effective, modern leadership is all about empowerment resulting in a productive workforce. Empower your employees to speak up. Empower them to contribute ideas. And, most importantly empower them to be honest about what it is they want and what they would like their life and their career to look like. Then allow them to choose it.

Interested in learning more about leading your team to success?

     What’s next?

  1. Join our Kick-Ass Tradies Facebook Group, for access to trade business specific conversations, tips and resources, plus a like-minded community of tradies.
  2. Book a 15-minute Game Plan Call with Andy, owner of Dr. DRiP plumbing and co-founder of Lifestyle Tradie, to clarify your priorities and get clear action steps.