What Are the Odds?


By Phil Harwood

In my experience, the typical manager in our industry spends most of their time putting out fires, reacting to things they didn't anticipate happening. Because every day seems to bring a new unforeseen challenge, these managers are essentially firefighters, waiting for the call to come in and rushing to put out the fire. While the adrenalin rush and feelings of heroism are appealing, this approach to management has some serious implications. What would happen if these managers came to realize that much of what they see as unpredictable was actually very predictable?

Let me give you an example to illustrate how what may seem to be unpredictable is actually quite predictable. Let's say you had 30 employees and you learned that one of them was celebrating his/her birthday today. What are the odds that at least one other employee shares the same birthday? You probably think it's really low, but it's actually really high. In fact, there is a 70% likelihood that one or more other employees are celebrating a birthday today as well! Does that surprise you?

The reality is that much of what is widely considered unlikely is actually very likely. What are the odds that someone isn't going to show up for work today? What are the odds of a machine having a problem? What are the odds of someone making a bad decision? What are the odds of a customer creating some drama? I think we can all agree that these things are very likely to occur on any given day and that there are actions that may be taken to greatly reduce the likelihood of them affecting production, quality, or customer experience.

Many "fires" are simply a direct result of poor new-hire onboarding processes snowballing into mistakes, damage to equipment, injuries, and more. This is commonplace because few companies in our industry have the ability to deliver a quality onboarding experience consistently. A person hired before the big seasonal "rodeo" may have a wonderful onboarding experience but the person hired the day after the "rodeo" has just the opposite experience. There is a better way.

The best solution for most companies is not to invest precious time and energy into creating their own onboarding program. The best option is to utilize onboarding programs that already exist and supplement these existing programs as needed. Why reinvent the wheel?

GrowTheBench.com offers a great onboarding program for both snow and landscape seasons. In addition, Snowfighters Institute offers Virtual Bootcamps to help snow pros onboard new employees and prepare snow teams for the upcoming winter. 

Our final Bootcamp of 2020 is scheduled for November 2-13. Your company's registration is only $49 for up to 10 seats. You will not want to miss this! Visit SnowfightersInstitute.com to learn more.

Your actions today will result in fewer fires a few weeks from now. Why scramble to put out an "unpredictable" fire when you can do something in advance that will prevent the fire from occurring in the first place? How much more could you accomplish each day if you no longer had to be a firefighter?

Now go forth.

Tags: Management , Onboarding , Bootcamp , Odds , Unexpected ,