Ed Lane III, president of Lane Homes & Remodeling of Richmond, Va., takes care of his employees. A best practice they share is the belief that “an open and honest environment fosters trust and a desire to provide our clients with superior service.”
“We feel very strongly our employees should be a big part of the company — both what they contribute and what they get out of it,” Lane says. “We want to make them feel this is a good place to be.”
The company practices an open-door policy and holds biweekly staff meetings to discuss all aspects of the business. Employees are rewarded bonuses for performance above and beyond the normal standards, called Project Management Awards. Lane Homes also offers a benefits package, funded by the company either in full or in part, which is not a typical offering in the construction industry. The benefits include health insurance, retirement plan, paid holidays and vacation, tool allowances for field employees, performance bonuses and an employee assistance program that includes financial counseling, budgeting, mental health services and elder care.
The care Lane Homes treats its employees with extends to the customer. In an industry that has had its share of bumps and bruises, Lane Homes emphasizes honest and fair marketplace practices. It begins with fair profit.
“Anytime we do an estimate, it can be difficult,” Lane says. “Occasionally we may over estimate and don’t feel we’ve earned it. In the past, we have given that back or done additional work.” Meanwhile, if they underestimate cost, they will not pass it along to the client.
Another practice is their use of report cards as the job progresses. These forms allow the client to voice concerns in addition to regular contact with the project manager.
“Most of our jobs are big enough that we have four payments,” Lane says. “And as we are billing them, we also send report cards so we can get back to them if something isn’t going well.”
LANE HOMES & REMODELING, INC.
Full-time employees: 14
Industry memberships: NAHB, BBB
Annual design/build projects: 100 percent
Residential remodeling: 100 percent
Average annual revenue (including sales, overhead): $2.4 to $3 million