7 Tips for Keeping Your Team Safe in Extreme Summer Heat

by

Lauren Ruppel
Account Executive
July 19, 2019
/
2
minutes to read


Get to the Point: 

  1. Safety Is More Important Than Ever During the Summer Months — Make sure you know the safety risks for your team, and how to mitigate them.
  2. Look Closely at Scheduling — If possible, try to schedule jobs before and after mid-day.
  3. Encourage Your Employees to Monitor Themselves, and Each Other — Let your team know that they are expected to watch out for each other.
     

It’s hot. REALLY hot. And as the owner of a home service business, you know exactly what that means: a lot of safety risks for your team. That’s right — another thing you have to worry about. 

With temperatures well into the 100s throughout the country, residential contractors are working longer hours to help their customers. Although this busy season can rank among the most profitable for companies, it is also a time in which safety is even more important. This is true no matter one’s age, but especially for older employees. 

High temperatures and humidity levels can bring about a number of heat-related injuries and illnesses. Before sending your team out into a potentially harmful situation, check out these tips designed to keep your employees safe — and your business on track. 

Have Plenty of Fluids Ready to Go

Your team has to stay hydrated while in the field. It’s not a bad idea to keep a fridge stocked with water and sports drinks, and to make grabbing some drinks part of their morning routine.

Remind Employees to Take Time to Cool Down

Encourage light, breathable clothing. Clothes that are black, waterproof and too heavy could turn out to be hazardous. 

Look Closely at Scheduling

If possible, try to schedule jobs before and after mid-day. Remember, the hottest time of day is noon to 3 p.m. It’s not always possible to avoid those peak times, but if you can, your team will thank you! 

Provide a Bucket of Ice Water and Some Towels 

In addition to having water and sports drinks ready in the morning, have employees bring a bucket of ice water and towels. This can help keep their body temperatures down, and can also be used in the event of heatstroke. 

Encourage Your Employees to Monitor Themselves

Remind your team that you know your body best. If something doesn't feel right, be aware and take it easy. Have any employees who use a smartwatch? Tell them to keep an eye on their heart rate. If it isn't where it normally is, then something probably isn't right.

Also Encourage Your Employees to Keep an Eye on Each Other 

Let your team know that they are expected to watch out for each other. If they notice another member of the team acting strange or out of character, call for a water break. They may spot a heat-related illness or injury before their fellow employee is even aware it’s happening. This situation could mean calling 911, or at least taking a break. 

Managing a team is difficult at the best of times — it’s even harder during the summer months. Pointman Success Coaches work with our members to ensure the proper processes are in place to keep the entire team on track, and to help your business grow. Check out our Success Coaches page for more info on how these experienced industry experts can work with you to make your team stronger.

Look at Pricing

The start of the year is a great time to look at pricing. Usually, you have an idea of how your company fared the year prior, and you want to ensure you will continue to grow in the months to come. Many of us make New Year’s resolutions with respect to spending or saving in our personal lives, and it’s no different for business owners. Making sure your pricing is in line with where it should be is one of the strongest ways to start the year the right way.

Part of looking at your price book is finding where the issues are, and that can take time. An HVAC company in January is going to be very busy, so it’s a difficult time for a close look. However, a plumbing company might not be as busy. Whenever you tackle this job, your best bet is to look at what your labor rates are. Start there, and let it trickle down across the board. Ask yourself, “Are my labor rates helping my business stay profitable?”

Remember, there are many different services out there and many different groups or communities that you can engage. Never hesitate to say, “Hey, I’m a business owner in Florida. What should my labor rates be?” You can build your price from there. There are also some great billable hour calculators available.

Set Goals

There is no better time of year for looking inward than January. Set your personal goals and company goals for the following 12 months. If you can break those down into departmental goals, even better! Perhaps that means a CSR booking closing rates a little better, or a truck doing 250,000 a year rather than 200,000.

Many companies have found that using an Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) goal-setting system pays off. Looking for a guidebook when it comes to OKRs? Check out Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs by John Doerr. 

One key question is the best way to handle setting goals: Is it smarter for business owners to handle this solo, together with staff, or to delegate completely? 

The best approach is to set goals at the department level. As an owner, you need to take the time to understand what the goals are in each department, and make sure they are in line with your goals for the company. No one likes to set unattainable goals for themselves, so make sure you push your departments to set goals that are lofty, rather than simple ones to feel good about hitting. Entrust your staff to aim higher, and watch how they respond.

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