Efficiency Tip: Simple answers

April 13, 2016 -  By

iS61257094questionsThere is no such thing as a stupid question, especially when it can prevent a mistake. Still, it’s stupid to waste time on repetitive ones.

Mike Pruitt—owner of Master’s Landscape Design in Mount Juliet, Tenn.—noticed his managers and foremen answered the same, simple questions day after day.

“I got so tired of bringing new guys in for the season and the foreman were spending six months trying to train these guys,” he says.

Pruitt, whose company brings in about $750,000 a year doing high-end residential design/build work, created a Google Drive folder as a hub for essential company information.

“It’s cut the time it takes to onboard new guys in half,” Pruitt says. “They don’t have to track down a manager to get an answer to a simple question.”

While on the go, from mostly company-supplied smartphones, employees can access the employee handbook, directions to suppliers, frequently asked questions and diagrams of where each tool belongs inside the trucks—which has created uniformity from truck to truck. This year, the company will add instructional photos and videos, including how to maintain equipment, how to fix simple and frequent malfunctions, and how to perform basic tasks. The docs even explain what an employee seeking a promotion must do to earn it.

“Per team member, it probably saves at least an hour per man a week, easily,” he says.

Photo: ©istock.com/BrianAJackson

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