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Posts tagged ‘employees’

Painter’s View: How to find something to like about every teammate, and project

Ground rule: Expect, demand and require nothing more from someone else than you would ask of yourself.





1. Put yourself in his or her shoes. What do you know the person values highly about himself or herself?


2. What does he or she know more about that you need to learn? Example: how to use Windows 10.


3. When your back needs to be covered in a specific way, who would know what to do? Example: Yesterday, you needed to leave work early because of a family emergency. Maintenance tech Joe finished repainting the guest room walls, then cleaned up the area and tools.


4. When double trouble hits the department on an already busy day, w ho tends to lend a hand in a hurry, though he or she is busy, too? Example: A main water pipe bursts. HVAC pro Rick drops everything to help take care of the problem.


5.Those passes in the corridor, on a sidewalk, or in the front offices are for a purpose. Take a minute. What resource can you tap from that person? Example: Kyle orders supplies form Lowes. He may know the current price of drywall sheets.


6. Discover what part of his or her job is liked the most. Then ask why.


7. What else is he or she very good at, that has nothing to do with the job description? Example: Front desk clerk Mario plans fundraising dinners for his 850 member church. Could he help out when the hotel’s event planner is swamped?


8. Who comes to work excited, and knows he or she is making even a little difference in the world?


9. Who makes mistakes freely and fearlessly, and does not apologize for them, but concentrates on getting things done anyway?


10. What is one of his or her favorite off-the-job interests? Do you enjoy the same thing? Or, are you at least curious about it?





1. What new product will you get to use? What special skill will you be applying that you’ve always wanted to use on the property? Example: To save money, your engineer and you will patch, then recoat the roofs, using a newer system you’ve wanted to learn.


2. What high-traffic area needs complete resurfacing pronto? And your bosses are counting on you to handle it right. Example: Suddenly, the paint starts to chip and curl off of the pool area’s gazebo floor. The hotel’s at full occupancy. Put your concrete coating experience to the test. Get that guest amenity up and running with minimal down time.



Sometimes to see a change for the better, you have to take things

into your own hands.   Clint Eastwood



Thank you, teammates of the world, that do your jobs right, and cover each other’s backs.


And, thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”


Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

The Interim Painter Arrangement: Benefitting Your People, Departments and Organization

In July, I helped a painter friend find a skilled commercial painter to take over his job, during his long rehabilitation from a work injury. One month earlier, Scott (not real name) had suggested the interim arrangement to the hotel management as a solution. He had me in mind to do the job; I was unavailable at the time.

The journey-level painter had been working on a long-awaited, special restoration project, that was part of the property’s upgrade. It required a tight time and spatial schedule, and some skills that the other engineering personnel did not have. And, management did not have the budget to contract out to get the project completed.

The interim arrangement, for a non-management position, was the first for the hotel, and the fourth or fifth for the hospitality corporation. It required the written authorization of the chief of engineering, general manager, and corporation’s southeast region director of operations. In late June, everyone gave their approval, contingent on who would be filling in for Scott.

Basically, here’s how the “interim painter” arrangement worked.

1.  The hotel property hired the painter as a temporary staff member, and insured him under a short-term employee liability and disability clause.

2.  The painter was issued a staff member number, I.D. badge, computer access password, discount dining/shopping card, uniforms, and a set of master and paint shop keys.

3.  He was assigned an engineering department locker, parking space, the regular painter’s golf cart, and mobile communication equipment. NOTE: He was not issued any keys to areas that did not relate to his temporary job there.

4.  He clocked in and out with other first or second shift staff members.

5.  Once a week, the regular painter had clearance, from his attending physician and hotel management, to come back on site to inspect the interim’s progress. Also, the one-to-two hour walk-through gave the painter the opportunity to offer needed instructions or advice.

6.  The interim painter was accountable for the special project only. And, he was answerable to the chief of engineering. Note: During the three-week arrangement, the hotel’s general manager came around once or twice a week. Out of curiosity, primarily.

7.  In a pinch, the interim painter handled several of the regular painter’s key tasks. Also, he assisted the chief engineer and other regular team members to solve two critical emergency repair situations.

8.  The interim painter was issued a hotel payroll check on the same dates – 1st and 15th – as the regular staff members. All required payroll taxes were deducted.

9.  Final inspection and sign off of the project was conducted by the chief of engineering and  the corporate director of operations. Arrangements were made for the regular painter to be present.

10.  A simple “project completion” celebration buffet followed the inspection, held in the morning. The lunch was open to all first shift staff members, during their respective lunch breaks.

The interim arrangement was a big success. The project was completed ahead of schedule. It exceeded the company’s standards. Everyone, especially management, was pleased with the results. The interim painter got a great job reference. My friend got an unexpected pay bonus.


My painter friend is back on the job. In early August, he told me that the hotel corporation was looking into replicating the “interim painter” solution.

On large construction projects, it’s common for construction management companies or commercial contractors to hire “specialty painters” or “project painters.” Generally, they are high-performance and detail-oriented journey-level craftpersons. And, they are hired to perform work that the regular crew members are not equipped to handle. For whatever reason (s) – eg. craftsmanship level, company workload, time constraints, physical stamina and strength, product and surface experience, tool and equipment proficiency.

“Interim painters” are a newer phenomenon within the realm of facility painter – eg. special hotel staffing situations. It is gaining popularity, and becoming more necessary. Like in administration and management, some front-line responsibilities and projects must be taken care of, versus put on hold – or shelved.

Also, fewer properties are keeping full-time painters on staff. Thus, facility/engineering teams must regularly adapt and reinvent themselves.

Facility/engineering teams’ skill-sets must change, as needed, to keep up with property management and operation’s priorities, policies and restrictions. A broad scope of generalist engineering and maintenance abilities are essential in carpentry, HVAC, electrical, mechanical, painting, plumbing, tiling and carpeting, even groundskeeping. And, computer and technological proficiency are a necessity.

Engineering teams must be able to work on/with/around advancements in design, build and construction. Currently acceptable methods and practices, products and materials, etc. Moreover, everyone in the department must function in compliance with both established and newer environmental, health, safety, and materials handling standards and codes.

Their biggest job? Facility/engineering teams must keep on their toes to help the facility/the business satisfy guest and customer needs, demands and expectations.

An interim – fill-in – staff member can be the answer to a stretched-thin, stressed-out engineering department’s “wish list.” (Or, that of any other department.) Especially when one of its top workers gets injured, or has to take an emergency leave.

The “right-fitting” INTERIM can contribute the following benefits to your organization and people:

     1.  Initiative – takes charge, gets things done; is pro-active and independent;

     2.  Normalizing – helps restore sense of order, and conformity;

     3.  Talent – skilled, experienced, able to do job right;

     4.  Energy – physical, psychological, social, even spiritual;

     5.  Responsibility – accountability;

     6.  Interest – in project/job, company, people (staff, guests), effecting results;

     7.  Maturity and mastery – sound decision-maker, perceptive, professional.

Interim staff members or employees are unique. They make great project workers or co-workers. Usually, they are persons of integrity and self-responsibility. They are highly-skilled and knowledgeable…clear-headed and focused…very adaptable and resourceful. They are friendly and fun to be around. And, they tend to fit in amazingly well with the regular group.

GIVE IT A TRY!  Whether you’re an “interim” type, or someone in the employer’s solution – “hot” – seat.

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Diversify! Stay strong! Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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