How to be a better tradie boss

People don’t quit a job, the saying goes — they quit a boss. If you’re having a hard time retaining team members in your trade business, it could be a good time to look in the mirror and make some changes.

While it’s easy to point the finger at poor-performing employees – there are plenty of those, unfortunately – our own actions can sometimes leave a lot to be desired. And, it can land us in hot water.

Last month, it was reported in the news that a sacked tradie who was told to “harden up” when he informed his boss he couldn’t work because of illness has been awarded a $20,000 (A$18,700) payout.

It’s your job to aim up

If you’re a tradie boss who wants to reduce team turnover and absenteeism, and generally raise the bar at work, The Job Characteristics Model, provides an excellent framework to improve motivation.

Without going too deep, motivational theorists, J. Richard Hackman and Greg Oldham, suggest you’ll experience positive outcomes in your team when the following 3 psychological states are met:

1. Work is meaningful

2. Employees have responsibility over work results; and

3. Employees get insight into how well they completed the work.

This model identifies 5 must-have role characteristics that’ll provide the foundation for your team members to experience higher motivation.

5 must-have role characteristics

#1. Provide skill variety

Most people get stuck in a rut if they’re given repetitive and monotonous tasks. Instead, instil a sense of trust in your team by providing them with different responsibilities. Research confirms that when employees feel empowered at work, it’s creates stronger job performance.

#2. Provide task identity
Do you allow your tradies to complete tasks from start to finish? Or, do they typically contribute to just one aspect of a task? Providing task identity is about giving your team members the leg rope to complete total task/tasks to reach the final result.

#3. Consider task significance

Your team member may feel pigeonholed into being the one who only completes tasks perceived as small and insignificant. Encourage your tradies to understand the bigger picture in your trade business – and the valuable contribution they’re making. We all want to feel appreciated.

#4. Provide autonomy

Give your team members the space to make decisions for themselves. When you provide this space – and ease off the micromanaging – you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see your tradies step up to the plate. Autonomy is a key ingredient to building true team engagement.

#5. Provide feedback

Constructive feedback is closely linked to motivation in the workplace. For your team members to stay keen and motivated, provide them with honest reassurance and feedback. On the flipside, ask your tradies for feedback and suggestions on how you can all do things better.

Aim to be a better boss, not a bully. Your team is a huge asset to your trade business. By focusing on ways to motivate your tradies, you’ll reduce staff turnover and improve job performance.

Want some truth bombs on how you can improve as a tradie boss?
Book a 15-minute phone call with Andy Smith, fellow trade business owner and co-founder Lifestyle Tradie.

Phone: 1800 704 822 | [email protected]