From the remodeler's mouth

What do you see as the biggest challenge in creating or maintaining an effective team?

Taking responsibility for the proper completion of each job while empowering coworkers to show initiative and implement tasks as self-starters. We specialize in access modifications and construction for people with disabilities and senior citizens, so our processes are critical, extremely delicate and require compassion and sensitivity.

Continual communication. Sharing the vision.


Being a team player.

People’s own lack of desire to be the best they can for the company.

Finding replacement staff when needed.

Finding good people with the want to attitude.

Managing different personalities.

Finding the time to have staff meetings that everyone can attend.

Customers changing their minds in mid-stream and employees not recognizing how important it is for the whole team to know about those changes as quickly as possible.

Teamwork and attention to details.

Communications, from employer to employee and from employee to employer.

Lack of highly skilled tradesmen.

Right now the economy is a big challenge because, although on the upswing, it is not fully recovered. Some of the more experienced employees that have been with the company for a while expect a huge increase in pay because they feel the money is there since business has picked up. Some are not happy that any increased pay has been in slow in coming. The recovery is not there yet to afford pay jumps to match the inflation people have experienced in their daily lives.

Keeping everyone motivated and focused, especially during busy seasons. We forget that we all work really hard and put forth 110 percent sometimes and in the end, the people working for you is your biggest prize possession.

Personalized individual training is our biggest challenge. Our sales people are also production managers, making their job much harder, but communication increases dramatically. In remodeling there is nothing more important than clear, concise, consistent communication.

Finding younger workers to mentor and hire for the long term.

Staying involved with each and every member of the team. As the company grows and becomes larger, it is more and more difficult to stay on top of each project and every member of the team. Since the owner’s involvement is upfront on each and every project, we stand behind each team leader in every sense of the word.

Educational opportunities for training my staff, my time and willingness to manage the team.

Re-adapting the job expectations to stay current with the shift in the local remodeling market. Three years ago, our average job was $500,000.Now it is close to $50,000; however, we have several three-quarter to one million dollar jobs starting soon. The hands-on and administrative mix and expectation of my carpenters is very different as we move from large to small. I am honing different skill sets with my crew every six to nine months.

Encouraging individuals to bring issues directly to one another across departments.

Finding good people in the literal sense of the word. Business and carpentry are skills that can be learned. But honesty is usually already present, or not.

It is like Henry Ford said, “It is not difficult making a team, but it is difficult keeping a team.”

Keeping everybody working year round, thus, job security equals happiness and loyalty.

Making sure we have enough work for them to do.

Having the work to sustain a team. I am still a one-man show.

Work ethic.

Selfishness, in a nutshell. Some more experienced craftsmen think they cannot learn from someone with less experience. I have gotten some very good points from help with little or no experience.

Finding people who are looking for a professional career and not just looking for a job, until something bigger, better or more interesting comes along.

Adapting to a changing work environment and maintaining clarity of roles with the team as changes occur.

Helping change a person’s bad habits to good habits.

Keeping the team on task.

Hiring well.

Making sure that all external communication is done uniformly across all departments and representatives. This avoids client confusion.

Morals, integrity, craftsmanship and willingness for betterment.

Working together toward the same goals.

Taking the time to work on the team itself outside of doing it in context of learning form and working on specific projects.

The time it takes to build and implement.

Keeping qualified craftsmen on the job.

Maintain the culture and make sure every team member understands the program so we all are on the same page every day, every job.

Not enough regular meeting between the team.

Positive recognition.

Getting them to truly care enough. We do a lot of high end work and getting them to understand that their normal quality level is not good enough. They have to be more particular. Have to really make them feel as a main part of the team and get them involved in decisions on techniques used and procedures used to produce the desired outcomes, Always asking their opinions makes them feel as a true part of the team.

Keeping a good, positive attitude among the people.

Communication and proper training. Especially since we have a high turnover in our line of work.

Anemic labor pool.