restoration business management | iRestore Restoration Software - Part 2

When Failure Is Not an Option: A Mindset Powered by Passion

Photo courtesy of Restoration Technical Institute

(Originally posted March 31, 2022 at R&R Mag Online)

One of the many things I like most about being involved in the training side of our industry is the opportunity to meet people new to the industry who are on a mission. Whether it is a new owner or a person who has been challenged to make an impact in their organization, the drive and excitement is infectious.

I recently met an owner/operator of a new restoration company and afterward thought, “What if I could bottle that and share it – the mindset and the passion?”

To clarify what I am referring to as “When Failure is Not an Option – A Mindset Powered by Passion,” it does not mean that you will not fail, make mistakes or suffer setbacks. It means you are focused on a mission and a vision. Even when you may be learning the hard way, by error, you remain intensely focused and driven toward the mission at hand.

Eric Sprague shared his reflection of starting his Blue Collar Nation Podcast two and a half years ago with Larry Wilberton. “You have to be OK with being bad at something before you can be good at it…We had no clue what we were doing. We had one borrowed microphone, and the only guests we could get were friends and former employees of our restoration company. Now, two and a half years later, we have a top-rated podcast, better equipment and an amazing roster of past expert guests; all because we decided to start even though we were not good yet. So, if you have a dream, go after it. Be bad. Take your lumps. Learn. You will be all the better for it.” Eric and Larry had a dream and intense passion for delivering resources, stories and skill development to their industry.

After 22 years in the industry, my husband and business partner, Ted, and I enjoy sharing successes, lessons learned from failures and anything else with our mission-driven friends. During one conversation, when Ted was reconstructing the start of our restoration company, he summarized his thoughts with a chuckle, “Failure was not an option.”

Over the years, there have been many moments that I feel the intensity of failure is not an option or have been reminded of it by those I am surrounded by. It is a mindset that can help you overcome challenges, stay grateful and respectful for every opportunity to serve, and give you the courage to expand or try something new.

When we started out, we had no money and no resources. What we did have was a fire in our belly, passion, drive, kids to support and quite simply, “Failure was not an option.”

Meeting new leaders on a mission is an invigorating experience. There is passion combined with a specific set of traits. Maintaining this combination of passion and traits throughout our careers, or drinking it from a bottle as needed, could be a game-changer. It could also bring us and those around us success, however you define it, and joy.

Consider passion as a driver that is powering the mindset. Passion can be defined as a strong, powerful or uncontrollable emotion. This may not sound very business-like or of strategic value. I once heard a subject matter expert state that it is not a good quality in business – that it implies chaos and lack of discipline. I actually was worried about our tagline (ha-ha): “Knowledge, Passion & Inspiration for your Success”.

Although it is an emotion and can be described, at times, as uncontrollable, in this article by Forbes, “The Importance Of Passion As A Business Leader” many arguments for the power of passion are presented including, “Passion enables you to keep pursuing success in the face of adversity longer than anyone else.” As my dad always says, “Don’t let your strength become your weakness.” If we can harness our passion and balance, along with deliberate action, it can power us to do great things. Passion will also help lead, engage and get buy-in from those around you including those you serve. Passion is a genuine emotion that not only powers you as an individual but also allows you to connect with others.

If passion is the driver, what else can be said about the “when failure is not an option” mindset? The following are a few common traits that seem to operate at peak performance and are fueled by passion in those with this mindset. This shortlist can be used to reflect, develop and/or self-assess:

  • Resourcefulness: There is a strong desire to learn and gather resources, along with a curiosity that drives information seeking. The Curious Restorer expands on this notion and how it helps us grow professionally.
  • Drive for results: There is an unwavering focus on action and getting things done that leads to positive results.
  • Confidence and humility: The presence of confidence without the barriers brought about by arrogance gives us the ability to absorb and focus on new information and opportunities. This is a highly attractive quality in leaders.

If you have lost touch with your passion, feel defeated, or frustrated, I will share with you some thoughts to help reconnect with the mindset. If you are currently in the “when failure is not an option” mindset, embrace it, run with it, bottle it and share it with others.

  • The vision and mission: Have a clear and positive vision. The law of attraction and visualization of positive outcomes are some of the key takeaways in a top-selling book, The Secret. Balance the passion for the vision with doing. “As Gary Vee says, ‘The law of attraction only works if you do.’ So, think positive thoughts, prep for success, pay attention and then work like a madman to get what you want.”
  • Surround yourself with successful and positive people: In Who Are You Hanging With, the story of a failing and frustrated restorer who realized he was hanging with the wrong people tells the lesson of success creating more success. Successful people help other people succeed.
  • Engage: Read periodicals, get to industry events, take classes, and utilize opportunities to collaborate and network in the industry.
  • Mentor: A win-win could be the pairing of a seasoned industry pro that may be facing a bit of burnout with a passionate new leader. Both have much to gain and learn.
  • Consultants and coaches: If you lost your passion, find a coach that can help you re-spark your flame and find deliberate approaches to move forward.
  • Reflect: If you have lost your passion, reconnect with it. Tell others about your first job, how you got started in the industry, and share the stories of some of the mistakes you made.

When Failure is Not an Option – A Mindset, Powered by Passion brings you much restoring success.

How to Train Someone From Outside or Inside the Restoration Industry

employee onboarding
March 3, 2022. Lisa Lavender M.T.R., M.F.S.R., M.W.R.

Hiring outside the industry brings fresh ideas to your organization. It is a necessity for overcoming labor shortages and has many other advantages like avoiding the need to overcome bad habits that sometimes come with experience. You have a clean slate to train. So, now what?

Over the years, I have been asked the how and what of training a new person. I know everyone who has asked this question wants an easy answer like, “Send them to water restoration technician (WRT) training and then send them to ‘X’.” My answer typically involves me walking them through a simple series of questions.

Training a new person for success is not quite as simple as we may want. However, it can be simplified. When approached deliberately and applied consistently, setting up a new hire for success can be done and produce desired outcomes for both the company and employee. The first tip is that it should be a part of a developed on onboarding program. Are you on board with employee onboarding?

Next, I present the idea of a personalized learning path. In the context of the workplace, it is best defined as the “Learning Paths Methodology,” which, since 1993, has been applied as an employee training approach. It is touted as reducing time to proficiency by more than 30% in every case, across employees of diverse roles. As Learning Paths International explains, “A Learning Path is the series of learning activities that go from day one to proficiency. These activities include formal training, practice, experience and more.” The three principles of the employee training methodology include: 1) Learning as a process – not an event – extending beyond the classroom, 2) Knowing and doing are different things, 3) Training should be by design rather than by accident.

Learning paths provide a transparent and deliberate approach to the training process. At Restoration Technical Institute (RTI), the concept is a cornerstone to how we help companies with their training programs. Identifying gaps and needs helps individuals and companies achieve their goals. It is a basis for our development of curriculum so that needed resources are available and accessible. You can learn more about learning paths and other training technology at Learning Today with

Steps to Develop Personal Learning Paths for Training Success

  1. Determine the training objective. What is the desired outcome? You can approach this a few different ways. As you build the plan, keep in mind the complexity of the path will be based on the individual, their capabilities and limitations, as well as the desired outcome. Examples:
    1. By task: Fire structure clean, extract water
    2. By key function: Run a water loss, schedule coordination
    3. By job title: Project manager, lead technician
  2. Identify skills and experiences needed to meet objectives. It will be challenging to develop an effective training path if there is no clarity regarding the skills and experiences required for the objective. In “A New Tech Under Your Wing,” one of the tips calls for the use of a training guide or matrix. The matrix will allow you and your team to consistently apply a specific set of desired skills and proficiencies. It can also be a tool for the trainee to engage and have clarity on the requirements.Be sure to capture all the training necessary: Technical skills, soft skills, computer, software, equipment, products, safety and other specific company processes, etc. A brief example for a lead technician may have these elements:
    • Perform the following on water losses > 5,000 square feet
      • Calculate equipment and layout drying plan
      • Map and monitor
      • Remove baseboard, cove base, insulation, drywall
      • Set up equipment
    • Lead and supervise a crew of up to five people
    • Proficiency in using company software
    • Ability to communicate progress, changes and meaningful information to property owners
    • Completed on-the-job training by successfully engaging in:
      • Clearly defined experiences
      • Use of equipment/products/other
    • Account for company-specific training requirements that may include but are not limited to:
      • Standard operating procedures
      • Software and systems
      • Formal and informal processes
  3. Inventory the skills of the individual. An inventory of the skills and capabilities the individual has may be determined by a combination of the following: Previous job experiences, credentials/certifications/degrees, assessment testing, skillful interviewing, etc.
  4. Determine the training and experiences required. This can be viewed as a mathematical equation: Skills needed – skills present = training needed.  An example of this may be an estimator from outside the industry who came to you with experience equivalent to the skills needed in sketching a building. Sketching may be a skill required for the position of the estimator, and this was accounted for in the individual’s inventory.
  5. Path the training and timelines. Now that we know what the training needs are, we can lay them out, correlate timelines, and facilitate a path based on the individual and the criteria established.
  6. Celebrate and recognize the milestones along the path. A learning culture and engaging the new person on their training journey is of great importance. It encourages everyone to celebrate and support each other’s learning and growth.
  7. Review and adjust the path, if necessary. The idea is to make this personalized for the learner while meeting all company objectives. As an example, you may have pathed a water technician to learn to extract > set equipment > monitor > basic demo. As the learner progresses, you may notice that the monitoring and math may not be the best next training step after learning to set equipment. You then adjust and change the path to basic demo.
  8. Celebrate the outcome! Following a basic system of training in your company will help you achieve consistency and positive results.
RTI learning path
Photo credit: Restoration Technical Institute

As you develop your systems to train people from outside or inside the industry, the learning path method will bring you success. The following is a short list of some of the things needed to help you effectively and efficiently deploy:

  1. Budget: Training is an investment in our most valued asset, our people.
  2. Assignment of responsibility: The company must support the responsibility of managing, deploying and pathing the team’s learning initiatives.
  3. Apprenticeship and team: Have a defined expectation and the tools to measure the outcomes of field training. Other team members should be engaged in applying a consistent and positive approach to on-the-job training.
  4. Resources and tools: Like everything else in this industry, there is a constant evolution of technology and resources. This makes the delivery and management of training easier than ever before. According to an article in Small Business Trends, 98% of planned to use eLearning by 2020.  

May using Learning Paths bring you much restoring success.


Originally published here

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.


  • 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.