Point of Beginning - October 2009 - (Page 47)

thebusinessside | BY MILTON E. DENNY, PLS Employee training: the key to success. Ever wonder how some companies turn out jobs by the hundreds while you have difficulty completing just a few? How is it that some companies always retain their clients? Why do the best employees always seem to work for your competitors? The answers to these questions often can be found in the amount of training the employees receive. Let me start by acknowledging that it can be difficult to train employees. It’s not that they aren’t smart enough to learn; rather, many company owners or managers do not have the skills or patience to properly train their own staff. and was able to learn a great deal of fieldwork in a short period of time.) For me, this experience highlighted just how important having trained employees is to expedite a job. If you want to streamline your projects, I suggest you spend more time with your field crews to observe and mentor their work. Most of the time, employees want to do a good job—just as my brother did. He must have asked me 10 times, “Am I going to make it as a surveyor?” And every time, I answered “sure” because I didn’t want him to quit. You can provide the same guidance and encouragement to your employees in the field. Office Training The office presents a completely different set of problems than the field. In my many years of dealing with field crews, I found that they generally worked hard every day with very little time spent talking about sports and hobbies. I have been on a jobsite where two members of a field crew never said a word between them. In contrast, it can be a real trick getting the work out the door of an office while allowing some small talk between employees. There are always birthdays, wedding showers, family problems and other subjects that interrupt the workflow. The owner or manager has to walk a fine line between allowing some disruption and getting the employees to apply themselves to their work. Managers and owners also need to be aware of how and even whether each employee is contributing to the success of the company. At one place where I worked, there was a very bright techie who always wanted to research a new and faster way to do each operation. Unfortunately, he spent most of his time talking to others about their work, and it was almost impossible to keep him at his work station. We eventually replaced him. Office training also involves software training since most companies are consistently upgrading or replacing software. If the software is new, I like to let an employee spend some time reading the manuals and working with the software before sending them for training. Then, when they do get the training, it will be more meaningful. If you think you may want to buy new software (which is a major investment), send an www.rpls.com | Point of Beginning | OCTOBER 2009 Field Training I recently did a survey on my brother’s farm in a very rural part of Illinois. My original plan was to use my GPS equipment connected to a CORS. But no CORS Milton Denny, PLS, was available in that area, and I did not bring a second is the owner of GPS unit along. So, the fallback plan was to use a total Denny Enterprise LLC station with my brother as the rodman. (www.dennyenterprise.org) My brother was a very willing worker. Unfortunately, in Tuscaloosa, Ala., he didn’t have the knowledge or skills of a wella company serving trained field person. We eventually completed a surthe surveying and vey that would meet all standards, but the amount of mapping community time and effort required on my part was twice what through consulting and it should have been. (In my brother’s defense, he was seminar services. great at digging up corners buried in blacktop roads http://www.dennyenterprise.org http://www.rpls.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Point of Beginning - October 2009

Point of Beginning - October 2009
Web Site/Digital Edition Contents
Editor’s Points
Control on the Edge
Hurricane Watch
The Need for Speed
A Digital Desert
31 Degrees of Latitude
Taming the Wild GIS
The Magic Bullet
From the Ground Up
Professional Topography
Safety Sense
The Business Side
New & Notable
Classified Ads
Fun & Games
Ad Index

Point of Beginning - October 2009