The 3-Letter Secret Helping Contractors Get the Best From Their Field Staff

Let’s face it… even at the best of times, it’s tough to find — and keep! — good people. 


This is especially true for the home services sector, which at a blistering 65%, has one of the highest turnover rates in the United States.


But even after assembling a strong team (whoohoo!), many business owners still find themselves frustrated, wasting time dealing with rampant errors, project delays and, worst of all, unhappy customers (sigh…).


Your staff are the heart of your business, but to really win, especially in a demanding field like the home services, you need to set your team up for success.


How, exactly?


Great question. In this article we’ll explore the major issue behind lackluster performance and give you an easy three-letter code for cracking this common challenge.


Here we go.


The performance struggle is real

You know your staff are capable of big things. Yet too many balls are getting dropped, too many fingers are being pointed… and not enough good-quality work is getting done. 




Often, these scenarios are due to one simple issue: a lack of accountability.


Accountability basically comes down to everyone on the team doing what they say they’ll do and taking responsibility for their jobs.


Holding people accountable is a big part of being a leader, but many contractors worry that if they instill more accountability in their team, it will mean that:

  • Nobody will like them.
  • They’ll need to do a lot of handholding - and there’s no time for that!
  • People will leave. And it was so hard to find them in the first place.

Before panicking about how to deal with an accountability problem, rest assured there’s a plan to help you.


But let’s start at the top.


Does your trades business have an accountability issue?

To help you assess whether accountability might be impacting your organization, we’ve put together a quick five question quiz.


1. Can every member of your team show you their top priorities (and here's the important part) in writing?

You’ve set some standards. Maybe you even have a few processes in place. But for some curious reason, nobody follows them.


2. Does your staff own their mistakes, or pass the buck?

When things go wrong, nobody steps up to own the problem. Instead, “Not my job” feels like the team mantra.


3. Does your staff follow directions and company processes, or do things their own way?

You ask for one thing, but what you get is something completely different. Everybody’s forging their own path. And it’s exhausting for you.


4. Does your staff request raises, bonuses and time off that they haven't earned?

Not to be mistaken for ambition (which is a good thing), you’re getting requests for promotions or other demands out of a sense of entitlement.


5. Do you have a reliable team that drives your business growth forward, or have you hit a standstill?

Your company seems like it’s plateaued. You may still be busy, but it feels like you’re stuck in a rut, and your team is just going through the motions.


If any of the above feel familiar… you’ve probably got an accountability problem. It’s likely your team isn’t connected to the company’s goals. When staff feel distanced from your vision, your expectations aren’t clear. And it’s your job to fix it.


Fortunately, there’s a proven method that can help.


The key to unlocking accountability: GSR

Becoming an organization that embraces – rather than shuns – accountability doesn’t have to be painful. It just requires a good system. 


Goal Setting & Review (GSR) is a leadership tool that helps teams prioritize and keep their activities on track.


It provides a framework for accountability with precise action items for achieving goals. You can’t manage what you can’t measure, which is why the GSR system is so useful. It gives you visibility into both:

  • The state of the projects you do for customers 
  • The initiatives you undertake internally

Breakthrough Academy has seen companies achieve exceptional growth after instituting a GSR system. If you’re curious to learn more, join their webinar on the secrets of using a GSR system to enhance your team.


What is a GSR System?

The Goal Setting & Review system centers around regular, one-on-one meetings between you and your direct report, where you’ll look at their status in three timeframes: 

  • Past: What they’ve done
  • Present: What they’re up to now
  • Future: What they intend to do next

To learn the GSR process and how to actually get your team following it, watch this FREE Web Class, Scaling to $10MM & Beyond: Staff Accountability Secrets for Rapid Growth Contractors.


Breakthrough Academy webinar banner for Staff Accountability, the secrets for rapid-growth contractors with Benji and Marc.


What happens during a GSR meeting?

Your GSR system should be molded to fit the particular needs of your organization, but as an example, here are some of the topics a contractor might cover with their project manager:

  • Is the project on schedule?
  • Is it on budget?
  • Are the labor hours on track?
  • Where’s the percent completion sitting?
  • Is the material procurement under control?
  • Has the client update been sent out?
  • Do we foresee any possible issues? If so, how can we get in front of them?

Finally, here’s the most important question to cover: How are you doing?


Beyond just keeping projects on track, GSR systems are designed to ensure your staff knows they’re supported and you’re looking out for them. Preview of the goal setting and review GSR template you can get from Breakthrough Academy when you attend the webinar.

To help you out, there’s a GSR template you can use for your own meetings, which you can get for FREE in this on-demand web class.


Does a GSR system actually work?

Breakthrough Academy has seen first-hand how a GSR system has helped improve staff accountability for over 1500 leading contractors across the US and Canada.


Lida Homes, a high-end custom home builder on Vancouver Island, grew their revenues from $6 million to $17 million in only four years with the help of a GSR system. Owner Dave Stephens appeared on the Contractor Evolution podcast to share his experience.


Hosts Benji Carlson and Igor Trninic in the Contractor Evolution Podcast studio.


How can GSR transform my business?

Employees generally respond very well to the newfound support and empowerment they receive through a GSR system. High performers want to have clear goals and deliverables. 


While you’ll only be holding GSR meetings with your direct reports, the system can have a knock-on effect throughout the entire organization. Productivity becomes more efficient. Employee retention improves. Staff develop faster. And your phone quits ringing at all hours of the day and night.


What is Breakthrough Academy?

Breakthrough Academy was created to help you evolve from being a doer of all things to a builder of smart systems and a leader of great people. Their team provides you with smart and innovative solutions to your biggest and smallest issues.


It doesn’t happen in a silo either. Breakthrough Academy gives you consistent coaching and access to a community of like-minded contractors so that you can all learn and succeed together.


Ready to learn more about how a solid GSR system can take your business to the next level? Watch this FREE Web Class, Scaling to $10MM & Beyond: Staff Accountability Secrets for Rapid Growth Contractors.


Breakthrough Academy webinar banner for Staff Accountability, the secrets for rapid-growth contractors with Benji and Marc.


If you're ready to get your team more focused and productive, we made this session for you!


Want to scale up, get off your job sites, and get out of sales?

Breakthrough Academy shows 7-figure contractors how to systemize their business for growth.

Find out how we can help you scale up, with less stress.

Book a complimentary Business Assessment today
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