The Motivation Paradigm

restoration business management

Photo credit: eclipse_images/e+ via Getty Images

Lisa Lavender, M.T.R., M.F.S.R., M.W.R. and Stephanie Beattie

Ultimately, successful outcomes require a combination of leadership and management.

Management is a relatively easy concept to grasp as, by its literal definition, it means the process of controlling things, processes or people to a desired outcome. Leadership is more complex and abstract, and there are almost as many definitions of it as there are articles about it. We offer the definition presented by Kevin Kruse in What is Leadership?, published by Forbes in 2013: “Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of other, towards the achievement of a goal.”

There is a common element when it comes to managing or leading people. We are trying to get people to do something. It may be to engage in the purpose of the organization, or it may be a task like updating a job file. At this point, there are endless ideas to consider, podcasts to listen to, riveting conversations to be had and materials to read. However, let’s consider the notion that a key element of either leading or managing a person involves an understanding of their motivation.

Motivation refers to the desire, willingness or drive of an individual to accomplish something. We have all probably said at one time or another, “He is not motivated” or “She is highly motivated.” It is not uncommon to see a resume that starts out with, “I am a highly motivated…”

How often have we asked a person, “What motivates you?” Have we ever asked ourselves, “I wonder what motivates him/her?” Many of us may not truly understand what motivates us, or others. We need to look at this from a different point of view. What is the behavior connected to someone’s reason for doing something?

The motivation paradigm is described as the reasons we do the things we do in the manner we do them. Over the years, I have taken the position that money does not motivate, nor is it necessarily an effective tool that creates desired outcomes. Appreciation ranks higher than money, believe it or not, when it comes to motivation. Why? Employees would rather work for a company that values and appreciates them than earn more money. The money isn’t enough if you work for a company that you don’t feel connected to.

To gain a better understanding of how money fits in and what research shows about the motivational power of autonomy, mastery and purpose, you may want to watch The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. When we consider the power of autonomy, freedom and self-direction, we may better understand some of the findings that show an increase in productivity for many who work at home. For example, “When employers grant the freedom of the home office, employees reward this trust with hard work,” Matt Munro writes.

The insights about the increase in productivity of those working at home allow us to take things further. As we embark on leading and managing people, what if we could understand what truly motivates our individual team members? Could it modify or improve the way we manage and lead them? You may already have seen or heard of some personality analysis tools. I recently had the privilege to learn more about motivation and the tools available to help us motivate others from Stephanie Beattie, CEO of the Center for Disaster Recovery.

Stephanie is a certified practitioner in Motivation Factor. This assessment tool unlocks and ignites the specifics – things we should focus on and things we should not. It provides awareness to know what moves us forward and what holds us back. It specifically determines what we need and where our talents can be used in organizations to propel leadership and production. She has seen that a motivated employee with core competencies correlates with high performance day in and day out. I asked Stephanie to share with our readers some insights. Her knowledge and passion were powerful as she began to explain the dynamics and the how to harness it.

Q. What do we not know about motivation?  

We often do not know that components of our individual motivation are directly impacted by things that drain each of us. An energy drainer occurs when your life circumstances do not match your expectations. We don’t consider that something is impacting the employee, friend or co-worker and their ability to maintain continuous motivation.

Q. What are the main categories of motivation?  

  1. Intrinsic motivation: How well we use our talents to support our role or contribute to the success of the company or project.
  2. Motivation capability: How motivated the person is to get up and do their job daily; this is specifically connected to our energy drainers.
  3. Strategic connection: If an employee is not connected to the business, it is usually due to their lack of understanding of the company vision, mission and goals.

Q. How can we harness and engage people based on their motivation?  

It is important to know what their actual needs and talents are. Consider this:

  • If you have a need for personal power, this can mean that you want to have an impact on things. Being able to influence your circumstances is most likely crucial for you. You may dislike apathy and be frustrated by “victim” mentality.
  • If you have talent to win, this can mean you love competition, a sense of victory, achieving perfection or accomplishment. You may feel particularly fueled by being the best you can be.
  • If you have a need to be heard, this can mean you feel a natural urge to contribute your thoughts, ideas and opinions. You may feel frustrated when others don’t listen or if you don’t have an opportunity to voice your thoughts.

This information and understanding allows us to work more cohesively with the individual and assist them in their motivation. Remember: If we focus on supporting one’s needs while using their talents, we can harness the power of performance, production and fulfillment. Motivated staff are happier, speak positively about the company they work for and will enthusiastically be part of a company that supports them to the highest level.

May harnessing the power of motivating others bring you continued Restoring Success.

Originally Published in R&R Magazine

Some Things Old, New, Borrowed and Blue: Restoration Edition

innovations in restoration
Photo credit: breakermaximus/iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images.

Lisa Lavender, M.T.R., M.F.S.R., M.W.R.

“To the man who only has a hammer, everything he encounters begins to look like a nail.” –Abraham Maslow

As trainers, this quote is very powerful as it speaks to our skills, abilities, processes, technology, tools, equipment and supplies. It reminds us that we must constantly be evaluating new developments and offerings that are evolving at a rapid pace so that we can improve and advance our operations.

Employing anything new should be a conscious effort. We are offering some tips on deploying new initiatives to your organization and some of our favorite things:  old, new, borrowed and blue.

This piece is a collaboration of Lisa Lavender, COO, Chuck Boutall, director of education, and John Perella, curriculum developer & trainer, with Restoration Technical Institute (RTI).

Lisa’s Light-Bulb Moment:

I recall a very specific moment when I was introduced to a new technology. I was excited to implement it in our organization. I went to a co-worker and explained enthusiastically what I wanted to buy and what it could do. He engaged me in positive dialogue and articulated to me why the cost of implementation would exceed the value. He went on to say, “Did you think about all the pieces?” I did an informal analysis in my mind, set aside my emotions and realized that it was not in our best interest to move forward.

Next, the years of what I will refer to as emotional purchasing (the management of things collecting dust or simply not providing the intended value) began to run through my head. We must be deliberate in our approach to deploying anything new!

For some, one of the most exciting aspects of the industry is the constant evolution of technology, tools and equipment, a.k.a “toys.” Employing new things can bring value in many ways, including but not limited to:

  1. Improved efficiency and expansion of capacity
  2. Enhancement of service and quality to those being served

Before jumping in and thinking, “Wow! That is cool! I want it! We can use it,” we offer the following tips and considerations:

  • Evaluating and implementing an innovation should be a specific, defined function assigned to a member or members of your team. The function should have a clearly defined expectation. A timeline for deployment should be part of the clearly defined expectation.
  • Always take a cost-versus-benefit approach. Be objective; it is easy to be overcome by excitement and vision, and lose focus on facts.
  • Consider all things that relate to anything new:
    • Communicating to team: Did you ever hear a team member say, “I did not know we have that”?
    • Accessibility
    • Training
    • Updating: Inventories, systems, SOPs, supply lists, etc.
    • If applicable: Storage, maintenance, repairs, etc.
    • Communication of the value added to those you serve
  • Develop and/or use a standardized evaluation form or process:  For example, from learning the “hard way” when applicable, ask, “How are we going to keep track and inventory all the pieces?” (See “Plan for the pieces infographic below)
  • Gather input from the end-users. For example, if it is something that a technician in the field will utilize, listen to their feedback and engage them.
Plan for the Pieces

And now we present some of our favorite things: Some things old, some things new, some things borrowed and something blue.  

Although this is rooted in a tradition for new brides of which the origins are thought to date back to 19th-century England, we have adapted the meanings for our industry.  

Some things old: To keep us grounded in our past and connect us to a bright future

There is an endless list of tools, technology supplies, etc. These items are both industry-specific and have broad applications, and we think they are great to have in your inventory.

Dust-collection tools, used in a variety of applications, from sanding to sawing.

  • Used For: Construction, water mitigation and more.
  • Why we like it: Improve efficiencies and results by deploying these tools. They may reduce the need for containment in dust control, cleanup efforts, and mitigate the potential of secondary issues to the structure and contents.

Self-dispensing cleaning tools, like a bucket-less mop.

  • Used for: Cleaning floors, windows and more.
  • Why we like it: Efficiency can immediately be improved. You can be more nimble while doing the related tasks as your tools and solutions are all self-contained. Depending on the task at hand, you can also improve quality.

We also point you to what remain some of our favorite “old” things presented in 2017, Restoring Success, The Odd Ball Tools in a Restorer’s Toolbox.

Some things new: Optimism for what lies ahead

For the early adopters, we found some great new things at The Experience in September 2021 that got our attention. 

Phoenix Focus II Dual Axial, spreading the air with power

  • Used for: Ventilation and restorative drying.
  • Why we like it: It provides a lot of air (1,000+ CFM) and needs only 1.1 amps. It is small and lightweight, making it easy to move, clean and store. It allows us to maximize the use of space in the warehouse and vehicles. Dual-focused fans offer great dispersion of airflow.
Phoenix Focus II Dual Axial
Left to Right: Lisa Lavender, Larry Carlson (2021 Industry Icon Award winner), Chuck Boutall, Jeanne Boutall and Kerry Mayeur. Photo courtesy RTI

Inflatable containment by Airwall; you must blow it up to contain it in

  • Used for: A wide variety of scenarios and applications, including but not limited to: Source removal; general demolition; containment of dust, debris and contaminates.
  • Why we like it: It is much faster and easier to deploy than your typical containment system.
Inflatable containment by Airwall
Sara Raley from J.S. Held and Chuck Boutall from RTI ask questions about new containment system for our industry. Photo courtesy RTI

Hose cleaner by Frosty’s Innovations. Does the snowman know?

  • Used for: Cleaning vacuum hoses.
  • Why we like it: Super-fast and easy way to decontaminate vacuum hoses used in cleaning, extraction and other endeavors. 
Hose Cleaner
Shane Frost demonstrates the simplicity of keeping your hoses clean for more efficient airflow, and smelling great. Photo courtesy RTI

Relax Saunas’ Spa. Heat up and purge out just in time for the holidays!

  • Used for: Removing contaminants from the human body…
  • Why we like it: The infrared light and heat feels good. During the session, Chuck received a great sweat-out and purging of the lymph system, and he left feeling rejuvenated! Just what a restorer needs. 
Relax Saunas’ Spa
Patrick Moffit and Dave Keiter discuss whether to let Chuck out or not! Photo courtesy RTI

Restoration of facial skin by Lola Soap. Facial restorer; look your best while you perform your best.

  • Used for: Wrinkle removal! Do I need to say more if you’re over 40?
  • Why we like it: It seems to work very well, some of us were accused of having cosmetic work done in Vegas! Designed to rebuild collagen.

KleenRite PumpOut Shield, to attach to the top of toilets.

  • Used for: Easily discharging water from the pump out of portable carpet cleaning or water extraction units to the sanitary sewer system.
  • Why we like it: If you’ve ever extracted a room of carpet, then walked into the bathroom to only discover that your discharge hose came out of the toilet or tub and deposited all the water into the bathroom, you’ll understand.
KleenRite PumpOut Shield
Chuck Boutall and Mark Exner say “Toilette.” Photo courtesy RTI

LiDAR technology: We were made aware of this technology from industry friend Cory Graves, Restoration 1, who remains on top and ahead of technology. It is important to network in the industry and share ideas.

  • Used for: In our industry, it is being offered in some of the new generation of devices, and is being integrated in applications for measuring and sketching spaces.
  • Why we like it: It allows us to improve both the quality and efficiency in gathering important information in the field when combined with easy-to-use-and-deploy applications.

Some things borrowed: To bring good fortune and luck

Once you have gone through the evaluation process, you may have concluded that it is better to borrow, i.e., rent. Whether you own these things are not, there are some things that you may always be ready to rent.

Generators

  • Used for: Standby, temporary and emergency power.
  • Why we borrow it: Generators are expensive and seldom used in our industry on a regular basis. With a high capital outlay and maintenance costs, they also require specialized skills and peripherals when utilizing on the job. When you rent, you can typically get support on the specialized skills and setup needs.

Large climate-control equipment

  • Used for: A wide variety of scenarios and applications including but not limited to planned outages, permanent system upgrades, construction drying and water damage restoration.
  • Why we borrow it: Like generators, they require a high capital outlay, often have low usage rates, and require highly skilled and experienced staff to use effectively. Storage and maintenance of these types of units may also present challenges.

Specialty surface preparation and cleaning equipment

  • Used for: Source removal, coatings removal, material removal and more.
  • Why we borrow it: In addition to the previously mentioned considerations of investment, skills and usage rates, for those who do not use this type of equipment on a regular basis or as part of your core business, it is a tool in the toolbox that is often best to rent. From the perspective of a restorer who encounters a wide range of scenarios, renting this type of equipment gives you the ability to evaluate the optimal equipment and approach for each individual project.

Something Blue: To ward off misfortune 

Because we must finish with something blue… 

Makita cordless cut-out saw with dust control options

  • Used for: Endless applications, but imagine having this ready to go on a water loss.
  • Why we like it: The ease and efficiency of cutting drywall on a water loss and the price point make this a great tool to keep in the arsenal.

As you embrace the old, new, borrowed and blue available to the industry, we hope it brings you much Restoring Success.

Originally published in R&R Magazine

The Hiring Challenge and What Must Be Done

employee management

“Every problem is an opportunity in disguise.” ― John Adams

Today, the hiring challenge is consistently one of the biggest strains on everyone in the industry. There is no crystal ball as to how long this challenge will exist in both the short and long term. As we continue to try everything to overcome the hiring challenges and labor shortage, we must carefully balance our focus and resources on other areas that may help us attract and retain talent. It is equally important to also focus on optimal use and management of existing resources. The following are three key areas to address:

  1. Onboarding:  After investing our resources and efforts in finding a new person, we must have a deliberate and effective onboarding system. There are a variety of tools, resources and inspiration available to review and formalize the onboarding process. In addition to Are you On Board with Employee Onboarding, there are a many great articles and videos in the R&R vault that can give you and your team the tools to develop or retool your WOW-boarding program.
    1. WOW-Boarding:  Make the onboarding experience amazing so the new hire will talk about the experience and possibly influence others to apply. Onboarding is a reflection on the company, its values, and the opportunities within. It is not unlike a first impression with a customer. We must be organized and have a plan to make a wow impression on our new hire.
      • Give them everything they need to succeed and grow in their new career.
    2. Written Plan: Make sure the onboarding process is documented so the team can engage and execute. The new hire will know what to expect as the tone is set for a solid beginning.
    3. Onboarding Committee and Onboarding Officers: Engage the team in the concept of WOW-boarding and take the process to a higher level.
      • Get creative.
      • Designate and train team members to be onboarding officers.
      • Ensure onboarding officers are consistently positive and engaged in the mission, purpose and values of the company.
      • Define the period that the new-hire spends with a designated onboarding officer.
  2. Employee Retention and Morale: Many companies benefit from employees who step up, are highly engaged, and work hard to keep things running and serving the customers in the midst of this labor shortage. However, strained human resources can be a stress inducer for many on the team. It is critical that we exercise care and give our attention to protect them from burnout; keep their sprits high.
    1. Burnout in the Restoration Industry Part 1, by Dr. Jake Avila and Dr. Randy Rapp, explains the dimensions of burnout and the findings of their 2019 study, which will give insight and understanding to the threat.
    2. We must be diligent on keeping a pulse on team morale. Not only are employees likely experiencing increase stress at work, but the world we live in also has many real dynamics and pressures that everyone will handle and process differently.
  3. Capacity and Productivity: Increasing capacity and improving productivity are as important as ever in the face of a labor shortage, and they aren’t impossible.
    1. In 7 Areas Restoration Companies Can Reduce or Eliminate Waste, Tim Hull presents seven categories of actionable areas that can improve the use of your resources. Upon execution of his tips for waste reduction/elimination, you can increase capacity and improve the bottom line.
    2. In Burnout in the Restoration Industry: Managing Workload | Part 2, methods for controlling and expanding capacity are explored. It should be noted that when workload exceeds capacity, managing customer expectations becomes of the highest importance.
    3. In Burnout in the Restoration Industry: Effective Workload Management | Part 3, there is a variety of approaches for managing each individual’s workload and potentially expanding it. Pay particular attention to the opportunity to evaluate the field staff’s functions, workflows and duties. Also consider adjusting, restructuring or reassigning certain functions to office/administrative staff to allow for expanded capacity of skilled team members in the field.
    4. Investing in the right technology, tools and supplies is of particular importance.  Properly deployed, everything from mops to saws may yield significant gains in efficiency and productivity.

These three key areas of focus may help overcome the challenges of today, but may also present opportunity for long-term improvements that will serve your company and team well when the next challenge arises.

I share with you what started out as a plan to make everyone lunch and turned into a bit of a fun, lighthearted series of lessons on: employee morale, tools, efficiencies, quality, development and more. Check out our video, Lessons Learned from Making Peanut Butter and Jelly.

May you have much continued Restoring Success and find opportunities.

The Benefits Of A Restoration Company

restoration management system, restoration management software, restoration softwareAs restoration specialists at iRestore, we know that the most important asset to your restoration company is your relationships with clients and with your own company members. This job is not for the weak of heart, and often requires hard labor and dealing with people who are in emotional and physical distress while their home has undergone some type of disaster. Building and maintaining relationships will not only make your jobs easier for your restoration company but also help your business to grow. That being said, we also know how hard it is to stay on top of everything and manage all working relationships in your business when there are so many details that must be attended to with each restoration project. This is why we have come up with a relationship management system (CRM) for restoration companies to allow you to manage all your relationships at both a company and individual level

 

Restoration Company Client Relationship Management

 

Here are just a few of the benefits that come with investing in a restoration company CRM:

 

  1. Organize all your contacts. Having all your business contacts and client contacts in one organized location will help you to make sure you are keeping up with communications. Our system will organize all contacts by company and location, making it easy to navigate and find who you are looking for. This software will also synchronize all contact information with job-specific relationships to avoid duplicate entries. Through this database, contacting any of your contacts is available at the click of a button. We have used an efficient design that integrates all your contacts into your job and contact management features that allow you to email or call any contact with ease. 
  2. Interactive map. We know how confusing it can be to find locations, schedule stops, and manage addresses. Our system uses an interactive map with a unique routing system that allows you to plan your day and design stops in the most efficient routes. It also helps you find locations of workers, clients, and suppliers with ease.
  3. Manage follow-ups. One of the biggest relationship builders is communication and following up in a timely manner. Unfortunately, this can also be one of the hardest areas to keep up on and easily slides through the cracks. With our CRM, you can manage contact-related tasks and all follow-ups in an easy-to-use format so nothing gets forgotten. You can easily add notes across multiple platforms such as iPhones, iPods, laptops, and desktops so everyone on the job, no matter their location, can see which calls and follow-ups have been made and what still needs to be done. We have added a tagging system so you can organize and report your contacts that are personal to your organization to make sure that everyone involved in a specific project is aware and up to date on what is going on. 
  4. Business growth. Our system has an automatic scoring system that will help you prioritize and organize your marketing approach, and even runs referral and contact reports so you can stay on top of your revenue streams and relationships. This is so beneficial in keeping old relationships and forming new ones to grow your restoration company. 

 

What’s Sets This Restoration Management Software Apart?

restoration management software, restoration management tools, restoration leadershipAs a restoration company owner, you don’t need to add another piece of equipment or tool to your belt unless it is going to keep you from having to do MORE work. When business owners learn of yet another piece of technology or software that is supposed to help their company grow and be more productive, it isn’t shocking when they are reluctant or hesitant to try it. While there are many types of software and apps and programs that really don’t provide enough for business owners to benefit from using them, iRestore’s restoration management software is not one of them.

What Makes iRestore’s Restoration Management Software Different?

But what sets our restoration management software apart from other software programs that claim to help restoration business owners work better, faster….smarter?

  1. For one, it was designed specifically for the restoration business. We had no need to include information that is unnecessary because everything is designed to cater to the needs of the restoration company and the information that business owners need to gather from their employees, customers, insurance agents, and so on.
  2. Our objective was to support the flow of restoration operations and the organization. This software isn’t just another tool. It is THE tool that restoration business owners can rely on to mesh within the organization and help you serve everyone better.
  3. It isn’t just for HR. It isn’t just for equipment maintenance. It isn’t just a tool to organize jobs. It is a tool to help with each aspect of your business. You need to keep track of employee training, certifications, and basic information. You need to track where equipment is, what jobs equipment pieces are assigned to, and when they will be available again. You need to store job-specific documents and information, including the contact information of anyone else that is involved in the restoration process. You have needs that are specific to the industry – and iRestore’s restoration management software is designed to meet those needs.
  4. What you really don’t need is another app or software that isn’t compatible with certain types of phones or computers. You don’t need another tool that will work at the office but not out on the field. You don’t need another place to store information that your techs don’t have the time to manage. Conveniently, this restoration management software is an easy, flexible, accessible software that can work on any device. You can update it in the office or out on the field. You are not limited. If you need specific information, you can get it at any time. It’s fast and easy to use.

It’s not just about what sets iRestore’s restoration management software apart from other types of software – because it just is different than other types of software. What it’s really about is the compatibility it has to work with restoration companies to enhance production, minimize mistakes, find information quickly, rely on data, and respond to your insurance agents, adjustor, and clients accurately and build your reputation as an organized and efficient company that is prepared and gets the job done!