How to manage employees

Business Toolbox: HR

I’m an electrical contractor – how should I manage my employees?

Managing people is a key part of any business – but it can be one of the most difficult aspects of the job. We put your questions to our experts!

In this Article:
If you’ve got people, you need to manage them well
We put your questions to our experts
Got a question to pose? Send them in and we’ll get answers!

Our HR Expert:

Ben Tucker, Manager at People 2U

Q: How can we establish a culture of performance for our electrical team members?

Ben Tucker, Manager at People 2U, says:

First of all, set key performance indicators (KPIs). It’s a universal way to set targets and goals that are clear. I suggest defining KPIs specific to electrical work, such as project completion time, accuracy of installations, adherence to safety protocols, and client satisfaction ratings. By regularly assessing and measuring employees against these metrics, you’re bringing performance into the everyday, rather than leaving it to a six or 12 month review meeting.

The second thing to help build performance is to motivate through training – but not only training you provide, encourage your team to source and book in their own training. This helps show their motivation to the industry and to their own growth. Consider training programs and workshops tailored to the specific needs of electrical team members. Encourage participation in industry certifications, seminars, and skill-building exercises to enhance technical expertise and keep abreast of industry trends.

Creating a good culture can drive performance too. Have social team-building activities like a BBQ or sausage sizzle or morning tea. Motivation and performance doesn’t just come from the top – colleagues also have an important role to play. Small, inexpensive social gatherings during work hours can keep good staff longer and ensure they are more motivated to meet their goals.

Finally, publicly acknowledge and appreciate the contributions of contractors who excel in their work. This recognition can be in the form of awards, certificates, simple appreciation emails, or publicly praising them on social media. Call them and their value out – it not only gives them a boost, but demonstrates the performance and attributes you value to teammates, too.



Our HR Expert:

David Wurth, Principal at Wurth HR

Q: One of my employees frequently swears in front of customers. What should I do? 

David Wurth, Principal at Wurth HR, says:

Start with a private conversation with the employee expressing your concern about their language and its impact on your company’s image. Ask the employee if there is any reason they choose to use such language when dealing with customers.

Offer guidance on alternative ways to express themselves, highlighting the impact of positive language on customer relationships. Consider providing examples or role-playing scenarios to illustrate appropriate communication. You might also look for an outsourced training solution to help deal with the problem.

Your business should already have a code of conduct that outlines acceptable language and behaviour in customer-facing situations. If you don’t, you need to get one – talk to an outsourced HR provider, if you don’t have HR in your business already. Reinforce these standards through ongoing training sessions or reminders during team meetings to create a culture of professionalism.

Monitor the employee’s behaviour and offer constructive feedback regularly. Acknowledge improvements and provide support if they struggle to change their language habits.

If the behaviour persists despite intervention, consider disciplinary action in line with your company’s policies. This may include implementing a performance improvement plan (called a PIP for short) to monitor ongoing behaviour. You should seek HR advice before doing this.

Maintaining a respectful and professional environment benefits both the company’s reputation and customer relationships.

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