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Posts tagged ‘Policies and practices’

Paintshop: When You Need to Re-think Your Own Practices

The time comes for every staff or facility painter to change the way he or she does certain things.

 

13 Reasons that may have you thinking – and thinking some more.

 

  1. Steadily plummeting budget puts a greater long-term squeeze on prioritizing essential tasks, work orders and projects.
  2. Way too much work load exists for the hours in your week.
  3. The new chief engineer on board believes in change and shaking things up a lot.
  4. The new chief engineer on board tends to fight your every move and decision.
  5. The external management company has its own ideas, policies and practices on how things must be done.
  6. The engineering staff has been cut. You will need to help out more with general maintenance tasks, work orders and troubleshooting.
  7. Your work hours have been cut. You’ll need to cut back – weed out – some duties.
  8. The new management is not happy with your current system.
  9. You may have access to more, or less, help from teammates.
  10. The business may have changed, calling for you to change with it.
  11. A shift in job description responsibilities requires you to add some, and let go of other, tasks.
  12. The business climate in the area may have improved, or turned sour.
  13. You may be burning out, disillusioned, or ready for something new, but where you’re at now. Making a move – changing jobs – may not be on your radar.

 

The real challenge may be in convincing yourself that the time to change your own practices has arrived. Answering three questions seems to help me along:

 

  1. Specifically, who is asking me to change the way I do things? Does the person know anything about how a paintshop needs to operate?
  2. On a scale of 1-10, how crucial is it that I change the practice or practices now, or at all?
  3. What are the advantages in making the change or changes now, versus in six months or a year from now?

 

My answers tend to be different, depending on which of my practices are on the chopping block, so to speak. With some? No big deal. Let’s make the change now. With others? Hands off till I can see how to do it that paintshop operations benefit, and do not suffer unnecessarily.

 

Bottom line: You’ll know what practice to change, and when the time is right for the paintshop. And you, too.

 

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A painter does not practice painting, like a doctor practices medicine.

A painter is expected to get it right the first time.

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

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Consulting in the Painting Trade

 

Why do highly skilled, innovative and excellent employees turn to self-employment and consulting? 

 

In October, I surveyed fifty-two journey-level painters that had left “boss situations.” All had gone into contracting and/or consulting. All possessed over 15 years of previous experience painting, in an employee or staff member capacity. Examples: contractor, facility, government, private corporation, institution, school system, property management company, etc.

 

Many of the painters “commented” with the following reasons for offering consulting services:

 

  1. Decision-makers already seek out their creative ideas and advice.
  2. These people tend to listen, use and follow suggestions.
  3. They tend to pay well for the expertise and direction.

 

Another reason given: RESPECT!

 

Three former employee painters described the well-known “suggestion box” scenario.

 

Some employers set out suggestion boxes to impress employees with their “inclusion” policies. They might read the suggestions. Often, they are filed away, or “shelved.” The employees, including the painter, hear nothing more about them.

 

Decision-makers that tap consultants will actually read those employee suggestions. They will act upon them. Moreover, they will include the employees in those follow-through activities.

 

Why do skilled, successful and excellent employers turn to consultants that, previously, were highly skilled and excellent staff painters?

 

Twenty-five employers with staff painters on board were surveyed a month earlier, in September.

 

Many “commented” with three reasons they turned to painting consultants that previously served as staff painters.

 

  1. The consultant will work as smart and hard for them, and they worked before, as employees.
  2. The consultant will take the time to learn and understand all about them, their business, their problems, and their circumstances.
  3. The consultant will do everything in his or her power to (a) find the right solutions and (b) help them – customer/client – actually put those solutions into practice.

 

Another term for it: MUTUAL RESPECT!

 

In painting and decorating, consulting is an important part of every project. It is a key element in every successful and trusting painter and client/customer relationship.

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Reach out. Give where you can. Build a network.

Root yourself. Help others do the same.

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Many thanks, to everyone, for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2015. Robert Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

 

Following Orders. Taking the Hotel’s Heat

Mark, a hotel painter, told me about a recent “guest” experience. “I’ve gotten over the guest’s verbal outburst. Not the general manager’s verbal attack. He blamed me, again. After I’d followed his orders.”

 

“I waited till 11 am to paint the concrete walkway outside of a row of guest rooms. The paint takes a half hour to dry, in most cases. At 11:15, a guest came back earlier than expected, and couldn’t get in his room. He had a fit.”

 

“This sort of thing happens regularly,” explained the painter. “My supervisor or G.M. tells me to do something one way. I follow instructions. One of them – usually the G. M. – comes back later, and calls me out. Or tells me to do it differently. Often the way that I proposed in the beginning. Bob, I know what I’m doing.”

 

Mark had been the hotel’s lead painter for over nine years. He’d been a journey-level painter over seventeen years. For six of them, he’d run projects for a commercial contractor. And trained people.

 

“It’s the trickle down effect,” he said. “I recognize that.”

 

Mark explained that he didn’t mind taking his share of the blame. “I don’t even mind taking all of the blame occasionally. Especially, when it takes a bit of the heat off my boss. The chief engineer. He’s one hard worker….But these frequent attacks…”

 

I tried to reassure him. “It happens to everyone at some time. Wherever they work. Like you said, ‘Its the trickle down effect.’” But I added, “And, that’s okay, Mark. As long as the trickles are landing on other team members, too.”

 

How would you handle a situation like this?

 

What would you say to your G.M., or facility’s operations manager? To your supervisor?

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Great leaders have an uncanny knack of knowing what you’re good at, and what you’re not. 

…Paraphrased quote by Philip Gulley.

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Daily thanks to you, for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik.

All rights reserved.

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