Go With The Flow

Dec. 12, 2018

Many locksmiths I have talked with are one-man operations. They like it that way. Every dollar of profit goes into their pocket. But if you think about it, there are only so many hours in the day and one person can only generate income during those working hours. If you ever decide to grow your business, the only way is by hiring employees.

As our industry evolves, job requests are changing from deadbolt installations and auto lockouts to requests for access control products. This is an added incentive for hiring employees. Larger jobs take many hours or days to install. If you are away from your office for several days, traditional locksmith business will surely suffer. The only solutions are to either turn down more lucrative jobs or hire employees.

Hiring employees should not be done with hope and a handshake. It is human nature for employees to test the boundaries of what is acceptable. Once you allow an employee to be continually late to work or poorly dressed, it is difficult to curtail those traits at a later date.

Employees have a certain business life cycle. Newly hired employees will probably not be a huge profit addition to your business while they learn your system. After they become dependable members of the business the added profit will come. It is your responsibility to bring a new employee along as quickly as possible. It is also your responsibility to keep an accomplished employee happy in the long run.

The best way to work with employees is to set specific guidelines at time of employment so there can be no misunderstanding at a later date. One local locksmith business developed an employee handbook which they shared with me. Topics such as being an equal opportunity employer, duration of employment, harassment policy, complaint procedures, having an open door policy to voice grievances, offering training and assistance, what health and life insurance is offered, types of employment such as part time or full time, pay scales, expected performance on the job, code of conduct, conflict of interest such as not using company equipment or materials for personal gain plus image and dress code.

An employee handbook must be lengthy but necessary. Stipulations set out beforehand can prevent any misunderstandings at a later date. If your locksmith business has any thought of moving with the flow today then employees are sure to be part of your near future plans.