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Ever have employees who won’t or don’t seem able to follow directions? I’ve talked to a number of contractors recently with that problem.

Many old timers in this business will tell you to be slow to hire and quick to fire. That is just the opposite of what too many construction-related businesses do.

You need to have an employee manual with all your wants and needs clearly spelled out so your employees know the ground rules. This especially applies to following directions and company policies.

It is far cheaper to have an employee manual in place than face the expense of an irate employee who has filed a complaint with your state. State bureaucrats believe their job is to protect employees, and disgruntled employees make their job worthwhile. You won’t find anyone who believes it is their job to protect you and your business, so you’ll have to do it yourself. A well-written employee manual, reviewed and blessed by your attorney, signed by your employee, is your best protection.

If you don’t have an employee manual, trust me it is far easier and less expensive to buy one than trying to write your own. And you stand a far better chance of actually getting that employee manual implemented if you buy one to get you started. We have been told ours is one of the best available, and it’s fully customizable.

Update that manual each year, and have every employee reread and sign off on it each year. If an employee won’t sign the manual, send them down the road. Before you hire anyone, make sure they sign the manual.

If you have given good directions to an employee and they don’t do the job you want done, send them back to do it right. Everyone can have a bad hair day. So if it is not right the first time, give them a second chance. However, if this happens more than 2 – 3 times, it is time for a talk. If the performance, or lack of it, continues, it is time to send them to your competition. There are too many good employees out there looking for successful companies to work for to put up with sub-standard performance from any employee.

He who has the gold makes the rules, and he who wants the gold had best follow those rules. Part of your job is to make sure they do.

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