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  • Writer's pictureKristen Herring-Asleson

The Right Tools!

No matter the industry, having the right tools of the trade should be standard practice.

Will, my 17-year-old son, has a variety of jobs throughout the summer. One of the three is for a bed and breakfast that sits on a large, well-manicured lawn. That well-manicured lawn is his responsibility, and occasionally, if I feel myself needing extra vitamin D, I will hop on a mower and assist him.

On Memorial Day, I decided to take a few hours off from my work to help with his. The temperature was perfect and the sun out from behind the clouds, so I was looking forward to a few hours outside.

A couple weeks ago, Will had mentioned experiencing an occasional mechanical malfunction, but the malfunctions were minor and did not really affect the outcome of the job. When we arrived Monday, the seat was a bit off kilter but easily fixed and away I went. No malfunctions were noticed until I attempted to mow a hilly area.

All of a sudden the seat was sliding back and forth; the lawn mower was seizing up and it felt as though it was going to break in half. Within minutes, I was going slow as a turtle, and as I angrily rolled slowly toward the shed I noticed guests watching curiously out the window. Should I feel the need for extra vitamin D in the near future, I will have to discover a different way of soaking it in.

When it comes down to new employees joining a business, the onboarding process is ultra-important in order for the business to retain their newest employee and for the employee to experience success and not want to quit shortly after starting.

How about the importance of having the proper equipment in order to be successful? No matter the industry, having the right tools of the trade should be standard practice, so why isn’t it?

Just imagine a surgeon without his instruments. A construction worker without a drill and hammer. A plumber without his snake. Those examples may be extreme, but you get the point.

According to Gallup researchers who went in search of the aspects of work life that are most important to performance is when employees have the materials and equipment to do the job right.

Employees who aren’t provided the right tools to do the job reach for whatever is available. Can you imagine how inefficient it would be for an administrative assistant to reach for a typewriter and have to use triplicates? Nowadays, what we use on the job continue to improve and get better which in turn allows employees to be more productive and efficient.

Most employers conduct annual, or more often, employee performance reviews. And most have a section for the employee to fill out asking for feedback. Do not assume that employees will share information or their opinion on whether or not the equipment they use is up to par. Rather, add a section specifically asking the employee if they feel they have the right tools to perform their job successfully. If you think about it, it benefits everyone involved.

An employer who takes his employees, new or existing, seriously will want to set them up for success on the job. The investment alone in recruiting and time spent interviewing and hiring is enormous, so why would one not want them to stay? Not only do employers want people to stick around, they also should want them to be satisfied when they are at work.

Just remember, employees will go above and beyond for their employers if happy on the job and provided the right tools to be successful.

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