Rico Garcia, Jr. & Shelly Rodriguez are the dynamic duo behind the well produced and rapidly growing Restoration Domination Podcast. I had the pleasure of meeting them both at the AEML Winter Break 2022 in Boca Raton, Florida. If you didn't watch the recap video from this event, I highly recommend property restoration contractors and insurance professionals keep this on your calendar for January of 2023 as our friend, Pete Consigli will be working to put another all star event together.
For the Domination show, Rico guided our conversation through topics relevant to the development and growth of your restoration career (as an individual) and business (as an organization). His shows are always well produced and packed with probing questions as he is a practitioner in multiple businesses including EcoTek Pro. Episode 47 was titled, "Mindset, Management, and Making Books". Our conversation touched on many topics, including:
Then episode 84 of The DYOJO Podcast is for you. We will discuss many of the mindsets and habits that will help you lay a strong foundation for career growth and help you navigate the open seas of leadership development. We will discuss how to think outside of the box as well as some tips to structure your approach to management that will help you gain personal and professional ground on your goals.
I intended for this episode to be a recap, similar to those of our good friends at IAQ Radio release on a regular basis. But, I couldn't help myself from tweaking the format and merging multiple prior episodes into one semi-coherent semi-new episode. We draw from The DYOJO Podcast episodes 12, 15, and 22. I mention both Organizational Physics and Designed to Scale by author Lex Sisney.
Our guests and shoutouts for this episode include:
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS:
Restoration Industry Association (RIA)
Restoration Technical Institute (RTI)
Office Services by Brandi
Institute of Inspection Cleaning Restoration Certification (IICRC)
THURSDAYS ARE FOR The DYOJO Podcast
INFOtainment to help you shorten your DANG learning curve. New episodes of The DYOJO Podcast are released on Thursdays via video through YouTube and/or audio is distributed through platforms such as Apple, Spotify, Google, etc.
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As a person in a position of leadership, your mindsets and habits have to be consistently refreshed if you want to develop a thriving workplace culture. It is important to remind yourself that those who are doing well are not smarter or more talented than you; they have more experience than you. Learning from the experiences, aka failures, of others helps you to shorten your dang learning curve for professional development.
As you pursue building a strong culture, don't make it any more difficult than it has to be. If you build a culture that is good to your people, your people will be good to your clients. Word will spread and you should have a great shot at remaining competitive as you work with your team to adapt to ongoing challenges and evolutions in the market. As you build your experiences in your efforts to develop your culture, perhaps this picture will help you develop the right mindset and habits for your journey.
Four Quadrants of Alignment for Workplace Culture
Developing an Intentional Workplace Culture
If you become discouraged with your progress, remember that the most important component is to be intentional with your process. Success grows experiences, and experience sprouts from failure. When you can learn from the experiences of others, you may be able to shorten your learning curve. The benefits of developing the right mindset and habits to build a thriving workplace culture will show fruit if you stick with it.
We discuss the four quadrants from the graphic above as well as the process of moving your team towards alignment in greater detail in our article published in Claims Pages as well as our book Be Intentional: Culture. Those in a position of leadership are making the effort to bring their organizational norms, what the team actually does, into alignment with the expectations, or the stated vision and values.
Struggling to hire employees?
Recruiting and hiring in all industries is an issue and has been for some time. Construction is no different, and specialty industries such as property damage restoration (i.e. water and fire damage insurance claims) it can seem insurmountable. While I recognize these real challenges, I am not hearing many business people or “influencers” speak about the importance of talent retention
If you struggle to bring in new recruits, does this not raise the value of your existing labor force?
Recruitment for construction has been an issue for some time, it was not created by COVID 19. Obviously, there are elements of the shutdown and responses to this pandemic that have had ongoing effects on businesses. Yet, these difficulties are symptoms of a broader issue rather than a cause.
In 2020, prior to widespread news about a new disease or threats of government shutdowns or subsidies for unemployment, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) released a report about hiring complications.
“More than four out of five respondents to our survey said they were having a hard time filling salaried or hourly craft positions in 2019,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Nearly two-thirds of the firms say that hiring will be hard or harder this year. In light of those staffing challenges, costs have been higher than anticipated for 44 percent of respondents and projects took longer than anticipated for 40 percent of them. As a result, 41 percent of respondents have put higher prices into their bids or contracts and 23 percent have put in longer completion times.”
Most of the commentary that I see on a daily basis focuses on hiring and recruiting. There's not as much discussion on the retention side. I think intentional business leaders, especially those in construction, and specifically in property restoration, need to recognize that many of our hiring processes, pay scales, commission structures, and employee engagement mindsets are outdated.
Thought leadership or recycled platitudes?
A lot of the perspectives and habits that I come across are still rooted in the same ideologies and practices that I was when I received my start in this industry in the early 2000’s. If you're still running your company on an early 2000s model, it shouldn’t be shocking that you struggle to achieve positive results. As I shared in my final monthly column for Restoration & Remediation Magazine, “Most of what is shared on the socials is recycled or borrowed from others, even the edgy stuff. The recent packaging of ideas is often referred to as thought-leadership, even though most of the content is insufferably platitudinous with few remnants of either element for which is it marketed.”
A good example of a leader who has been thinking differently from the status quo recently joined us for The DYOJO Podcast. Tammy Birklid of Merit Construction out of Tacoma, Washington was our guest for Episode 59 (aka Episode 3 of our series Benchmarks of Growth). Tammy shared that her employer, who became a mentor and the person from whom she purchased the company, used to say that his goal was to be, “An employer of choice.” Tammy elaborates on what that has meant for her as a business owner and how she has worked to make this vision a reality.
Developing the right mindset and habits for employee retention
I drew some additional insights from Merit Construction for my project management book wherein I also shared a paradigm from Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric (GE). Jack believed in candor, saying that the best thing you can do for an employee is to tell them where they stand and how they can improve. “Failing to differentiate among employees — and holding on to bottom-tier performers — is actually the cruelest form of management there is.” Quoting from his book Winning, Jack shares his belief in the rule of 20-70-10:
While you would not be alone if you do not agree with this “candid” approach, have you ever stopped to analyze how much time you spend working on issues with your lowest performers? Being clearer with your expectations is an exercise that is beneficial to owners, managers, and team members alike.
How much time do you spend in self-inflicted misery wrestling with clients that you should have fired before the job started and lackluster people you should never have hired?
I'm not a big fan of the idea of thought influencers. I am a big fan of the idea of thought and I think influence is important. What I am not a fan of though, is having people think for you, and try to influence you towards their perspective. Our motto at The DYOJO is to shorten your DANG learning curve. I think it's important that you don't replace your dang learning curve.
Many well-intentioned business persons are expending a great deal of energy trying to increase the quantity of employees they have (recruitment). If they would take a step back many of them would find that they are doing so to staff service lines that they would be better off discontinuing. I would encourage you to consider enriching the quality of your employee experience (retention). Retention is no guarantee of success. Clarifying what you do (vision), how you do it (values), and who you need to help you accomplish your goals (quality), rather than just the quantity of people you think you need to keep up with your competition, is a fruitful exercise. I have always been amazed at what a small team of people who are committed to each other can accomplish.
We are doing something different for The DYOJO Podcast Episode 67. This week, Eric "The Tech Whisperer" Sprague and Larry "Pineapple Man" Wilberton, invited Gerrett Stier of GMS Podcast and myself to join them for what they called The Podcast Summit of Blue Collar Nation (BCN).
Blue Collar Nation Podcast + GMS Podcast + The DYOJO Podcast = Restoration Podcastalypse Megazord 2021.
Eric, Larry, and Gerrett were onsite in Charleston, South Carolina for The Experience, where GMS Podcast unveiled their mobile podcasting booth. You can listen to the results of these escapades on Blue Collar Nation Podcast and GMS Podcast. We hope that this Podcastalypse will be the first of many continued video, audio, and physical collaborations. GMS and BCN will be in Las Vegas for The Experience in September 2021, back at it with their live shenanigans. We hope to assemble the team for our first combined live event at Restoration Industry Association (RIA) in Reno on April 13-17, 2022.
Blue Collar Nation + GMS + DYOJO Podcasts
In this episode of The DYOJO Podcast, we share some snippets of Restoration Podcastalypse Megazord 2021 (aka Podcast Summit). We give each other a hard time and dig deeper into what makes each of us tick as well as the value proposition for our shows. The first question we want to ask (POLL), who has the better podcast opening?
While you are contemplating this core issue, you also need to decide whether you are going to LEAD or JOIN a local SOCKTember Team for the 2021 NEW Sock-Raising Challenge. Take a peek at the latest video from The DYOJO and hear about all of our restoration industry friends and peers who are already involved in this effort. Thank you to ARES Restoration, out of Graham, Washington for being our first sponsor for this year.
Two Announcements that impact Restoration History
Most of you know that following the Restoration Industry Association (RIA) 75th Annual Convention and Expo this year in Florida, Pete "The Global Watchdog" Consigli and I took a road trip further South. We discussed restoration history and meet some amazing people along our journey. We share a clip of Pete bestowing to me something that I will cherish for the rest of my life. We had a lot of fun, ate really well, and shared some great moments together. As Pete says, quoting Jimmy V, "We laughed, we thought, we cried, today was a heck of a day," and we had many heckin good days on the road together.
Michelle Blevins, the new owner of C & R Magazine also dropped by to share her exciting news. We will be releasing more content related to my trip with Pete as well as my conversation with Michelle. This was a fun break from our current series, The Xactimate Sessions. We have released File 001 Learning Xactimate from Scratch (TDP 65) and File 002 Learning to XM8 with all the Resources from Xactimate (TDP 66). More to come from Blue Collar Nation, GMS Podcast, and The DYOJO Podcast.
Last year, in the middle of the shutdowns, we hatched a crazy idea to bring our friends, peers, and clients together to have some fun while doing some good in our local communities. The DYOJO Podcast launched SOCKTember as a competitive NEW sock-raising challenge. This year competitive NEW sock-raising teams are assembling to challenge each other for the title of 2021 SOCKTember Champion and hoist the trophy at the end of the season.
SOCKTember is a great event for:
When is the SOCKTember NEW Sock-Raising Season?
August 2021 - The Pre-Season:
Teams form in local communities to raise NEW socks by reaching out to clients, vendors, friends, and community partners.
September 2021 - The Season:
Teams collect NEW socks. We have a weekly count of NEW socks raised by all teams, keeping with the competitive spirit.
October 2021 - The Post-Season:
We perform a final official count of NEW socks raise and this year we plan to announce the WINNER at a LIVE local event in Tukwila, Washington on Friday, October 22, 2021. Local teams distribute NEW socks to local charities that they want to support.
How do I get Involved in SOCKTember 2021?
Reach out to The DYOJO (thedyojo.com) if you would like to:
Stay tuned as the SOCKTember 2021 season kicks-off on September 1, 2021. Read more about this event in the press release from Restoration & Remediation Magazine, stay tuned with event updates on The DYOJO YouTube and the webpage - thedyojo.com/dogood.
Current teams include:
Current sponsors include:
The DYOJO - helping contractors shorten