Beth the Builder
I had a pretty amazing experience last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. My CEO group decided that helping a friend with some major remodeling projects of an old family farmhouse would be the perfect retreat experience for our group!
We had different levels of experience (mine was very limited). I don’t even watch DIY. Our lead for the project is my friend Nancy who is launching a new company in the summertime called Hammers & Heels! With her knowledge, and two others who have some remodeling experience and a ton of power tools, we got to work on Thursday afternoon.
There was a recurring theme throughout the 4 days about how important it is to have the right tools. I want to tell you that I still have all of my fingers and only broke 2 saw blades and one countersink drill bit. It took me 2 days to quit referring to that handy drill bit as a sink hole. It’s hard to learn stuff you don’t know!
I was eager to learn and surprised at how much I wanted to try those power tools. There’s something pretty “powerful” about using power tools! I have a new found relationship with the cordless drill. I also have the knowledge that if you put dozens of screws into backer board so that you can tile the kitchen counter and the backsplash, your hand will swell up so that it is unrecognizable. Ice and a couple of days have taken care of that very sore situation.
Honestly, I spent the 3 days thinking a lot about new employees. For the first time in a long time I was in an environment that was completely new for me. I had to work with a team that had different levels of experience. There were several jobs to do. I am glad I got the tile work. One of the team members did a ton of awful cleaning under the house. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have liked that job at all, although it needed to be done and if I had gotten the nod that that’s what I needed to do, I would have done it. Fortunately, Ann took the heat for us all!
The correlation between a new employee and the work that I did was profound. You don’t even know what you don’t know, so asking the right question is practically impossible. I can’t tell you how many times I had the drill going the wrong way. It’s hard to get the screw to go in if it’s in back out mode. Also, it won’t back out when you need it to because you didn’t get the screw drilled in flat IF you keep clicking the wrong button to back it out. You see, I thought the button on the top of the drill was the screw in/back out button. Not so. It’s on the side of the drill. It really helps to know the correct buttons to push. (TIP-NEVER touch a screw head that you’ve been spinning effortlessly the wrong way with a cordless drill-IT’S VERY HOT!)
Fortunately, I got a lot of support and excellent training. My partner was patient. There were things we learned together. Nancy was an excellent teacher and showed me how to make a counter sink hole with a fat drill bit (once the countersink drill bit was broken…by me of course).
Again, I just kept returning to how a new employee must feel when they can’t get something right as it often happens in the beginning of a new job. I’m not sure why I wasn’t afraid to use the circular saw or the tile saw, but I wasn’t. I’m not sure that happens with new employees. I think potentially they could be hesitant to use a lot of things-technology, equipment, etc.
There were a lot of lessons over the weekend. Patience, persistence, fun, adventure, forgiveness, laughter, soreness, teamship, satisfaction, encouragement… I could go on. When new people come on board, maybe these lessons could be at the top of your orientation list. Creating a work environment that encourages people to take on new things, forgives them for goofing up, and recognizes the goodness in a job well done could make your business THE business of choice. You’ll attract the kind of superstar performers that will continually BUILD your business shift by shift!