When you hire a new employee for your portable sanitation business, think of the next step as taking him or her “under your wing.” Use your experience to make the most of their abilities and energy. Your guidance is critical to helping your employee become a valued contributor to your business success.
Plan ahead and welcome your new employee with an onboarding plan.
Onboarding is a program that gives the employee the information and support he or she needs to become successful in the job. It gives the employee the tools to learn quickly and also sets the stage for long-term development by helping the new employee understand your company goals.
Onboarding can start before the first day of work. For example, there will be certain forms to fill out, such as the W-4 for withholding. You can have the new hire complete forms at home and bring them on the first day.
You will also have paperwork to do, so prepare it in advance as well. Read “Hire and Manage Employees” from the Small Business Association (SBA) for more information at https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/manage/hire-manage-employees-benefits-contractors.
PROs will tell you that the best approach to getting your new hired started is on-the-job training. Learn by doing the actual job.
Your goal is for your employee to learn the two basic aspects of portable sanitation:
Start your new employees on Monday.
A low-risk way to introduce your hire to the responsibilities of the job is to have him or her clean and repair the units in your shop or storage yard. Demonstrate how it’s done, then have them repeat it. You should begin teaching the names of the different parts, products and unit styles.
Right from the beginning, establish your standards. Show your new employee what you expect on the job – thoroughness, efficiency, attention to the details. No sloppiness. Encourage questions.
Have the employee get to know the pumper truck as well. Run through the basics:
The next step in onboarding is to take your new employee on your route. (As your team grows, you can designate one of your workers to be a mentor.) Let the employee do the driving and the work while you supervise. Cover all the basics:
Meanwhile, you’ll also demonstrate by example how the employee should conduct himself or herself while on the job. Your employee should represent your company by being knowledgeable, communicating well, being polite and friendly, and looking for new sales opportunities.
How long you continue to ride with your employee depends on your comfort level with his or her ability to handle the job alone.
If your new hire doesn’t work out, there’s a good chance you’ll know quickly. There are two telltale signs: how the employee handles physical labor and how the employee handles the smell. Go to the dump site (where odors are the worst) within the first few days, and see how your hire responds.
Once the employee is on his or her own, be available to take calls and answer questions.
At the end of 30 or 60 days, review your employee’s performance. Discuss the good and the bad — give them credit for good work, and offer suggestions for improvement. Give them performance targets for the next review.