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critique this for me please

4007 Views 25 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  youngroof
I have put together a shingle foreman's handbook more of a brief refrence and reminder of what is expected of a foreman. I was hoping you steep slope guys could read this over and give me any advice of what I may have left out. Does it make sense etc?

Should it be more detailed?

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I am not an expert on the subject But. You could make it a little more personable. Like we at , or even, I, Example (This Is what We at Expect from You) Also Stress your Image (Being Professional) Possibly make a checklist or an order on how you want things done. First evaluate, second Have coffee, third turn on Radio, fourth get busy etc... Consequences If foreman fails to read job order or cover bush what happens to foreman? 1 strike freebee 2 strike pay cut? Give incentive many strikes no bonus -- no strikes give bonus. make it appealing to your Foremen. Signature date?
Seems to me you're gonna be telling him all this anyhow, so this is really just to give to him to establish blame if he screws up. :D Hopefully you're not generally hiring someone like that. :D Looks good though, I'm not sure I understand what this means:
Chalk you lines. Chalk your lines at least every 3 coarses, if for no other reason to be used as a reference point for your shingle coarses.

What else would they be used for?

If you don't mind me proofing it?
There's an 'r' missing second word in that line,
Spelling on 'course' (twice) same line.
Four lines above: lose the 's' on 'falls'
Next line: "landscaping" is one word.

:Thumbs: Rich.
Minnesota, Currently there is no recourse I have if the foreman F's up other than a guilt trip, though in his 9 month review when I plan to give him a raise, instead of a raise I plan to give him job completion bonuses. If the job is completed within a reasonable time budget with no punch list he receives a bonus.

Rich, What else would they be used for? Nothing. Thanks for the spell checking for me.
Overall, excellent! :Thumbs: Misspellings.
Minn, this ain't your Aunt Sophie that you are talking to. It spells out the expectations of the boss, in that, it is clear and concise.
The main reason i say make it more personable. You want your lead guys to feel like they are part of the company if the compay does well they do well you do well. They can see by being the last one on the job working harder taking more responsibility does not just mean a few more dollars an hour.
Most of the statements in the text are no brainers for experienced roofers. This is the reason for saying this handbook should be geared more toward motivation than execution.
I run 2-3 crews during our busy season. my lead guys have to feel as if they are part of the company if i do well they do well. if not they see me doing well and them working fo xxx amount of dollars an hour. so they start thinking i can work this hard and run my own jobs and do just as well as he does. there goes your best guy. i am sure everyone here who has their own business thought the same thing when they started up. and left their previous employment. think back to what might have motivated us to stick around and care about the work, quality, and profitability of the company we once worked for.
And sure the details on the execution should still be spelled out short and sweet. 1,2,3 etc...

Now i may be offbase if you are looking to create a foreman handbook for any roofing company to use. But then my question would be why?

Feel free to tell me i am whako my wife does all the time -- but all my guys enjoy working for me. And you know when your foremans wifes sister needs a roof My guys say Call Mike At Royalty Remodelers. He will set us up.
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Teetor, Clear And Concise has Architect / Engineer written all over it. But this is your job. it is quite different than personnel management.
Say if i were to tell my lead guy to snap lines on the roof. He says what for i can lay them strait without the line. I say everyone with this company snaps lines to keep the rows strait. if not just for a reference point and that is how i expect it to be if not hit the road. He thinks to himself wow this is Bullsh**t i have been a roofer for xx amount of years and can keep rows strait without lines. So here is what i tell my guys If you do not keep your rows strait you will have to tear it off and re shingle without pay. now heres the kicker i will pay for materials. which causes a guilt trip because not only is he loosing money but i am also. so what happens they all snap lines if their is any question whether or not they will be strait. also while thinking this is the right way to do this. instead of this is bulls**t.
Minn, I think you are absolutely right and sounds like you're a good and fair guy to work for..too bad I'm scared of heights! :eek:

But, I think Grumpy is laying down the ground work to go big! I think I saw him post that eventually he wants 10+ crews. At that point it will become less personal for him and business rules and expectations such as this guide will help and hopefully keep some crews in line!

I thought the handbook looked good for a rough draft and it is not far from the final.
well i'd be lying if i said i do not want to go big Time. Here is how i see it clone 3 more of me and i will have enough to run 10 + crews. But there i am again how do i get me to stick around and make someone else the $$$.
I think a handbook such as this one is a good start.... to at least cloning you're thoughts and expectations!
I think the hand book is a great idea as well. It lets everyone know what is expected of them as an employee of your company. If everyone knows what they are responsible for then there is no gray area there for mistakes that no one whats to fess up to. If there is a mistake or a problem you clearly know who's shoulders it falls on. A good leader has a clear concise plan to get the most out of his men.
Oh Ya, I forgot to critique. Overall it looks pretty good I think. I would maybe put something in there about what proper attire will be with the crew members & what is tolerated for an on-site radio. Me personally I don't mind if they listen to music as long as it's kept at a reasonable volume & it's not Gangster rap or death metal. Also I would elaberate on Foreman-customer relations.
Minn, the purpose of my employee manual is more as a quick refrence tool. You are right about an experienced roofing knowing the execution of the roofing details, however the best roofer in the world might also be the worst foreman. A formman has to lead as much as he has to know his trade. A foreman has to think since he's the one everyone goes to with a question. Like i said, it's a quick refrence and like Teetor said it sets my level of expectations. That is it's only purpose.

Minn not paying your employees to fix their mistakes is against the law... and even if it were allowed by law it would be a waste of time to allow those mistakes to occur in the first place. I'm trying to think through what can go wrong and how to prevent things from going wrong then placing everything in one document as a quick refrence, basically the summary of the document is "If you do this you will be ok."
One thing that many forget or don't know is that business is business. When on the job, everybody needs to be professional. When on the job, I often address employees as Mr. or Miz. Although that is more of a deep south tradition, it transmits respect.
To pull your group together as a family, accept them as such. There is much in the details here. You have to recognise the entire family of the employee.
Some things that I do or have done in the past.
Annual BBQ at a local park, not on a holiday. Holidays should be spent with their immediate family.
Have a BBQ on a slow day. When I was smaller and only had one job going, this was lunch every Friday and I'd haul the grill and coolers to the site.
At the end of tough jobs with OT, hand out gift cards to a box store to employees and send flowers to the spouse with a card thanking her for putting up with us.
Bigger jobs, Gift certificates to a steak house. Make sure that they are adequate to cover the entire family.
Once a year I get a headboat for a day and everybody gets to go fishing.
Hand out bonuses at appropriate times. Everybody got a Grant ($50) for back-to-school this year.
The Thanksgiving turkey.
If you see a really good deal on something, pass it along. I found blue crabs at an unbelieveable price, paid for 250 of them and told the guy to call me if we went over the limit. I told everybody to just go over and pick up what they wanted, there were a few left over for me.
These are just a few ideas. You have to be creative.
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Teetor, you sound like a hell of a guy to work for.
I just copied Teetors post down for my company hand book. :Thumbs:

I feel the same way as you do Teetor, I come from the work hard/play hard school, glad to see somebody else with the same thoughts.

You need to reward hard work all the time, and not just in their paycheck. All your employess should be good ones, it just depends on how well you help make them into one.

After all, how can you have a bad employee? Who the hell hired him? If you hire a bad employee, you deserve 1/2 the blame.
Mike Finley said:
If you hire a bad employee, you deserve 1/2 the blame.
I disagree. I feel the management deserves all the blame. Every failure is the fault of the management... and I'm the management and I didn't feel this way until I moved into a management position. Sh!t rolls uphill.

I try to hire only quality employees and I try to compensate them fairly. If I hire a rotten apple and this apple messes up more than once the blame is on me 100%. Once for not identifying this person is a rotten apple and twice for not dealing with the problem with it had first shown it's self.
"The buck stops here".
Most of my guys are older and are apprenticing younger guys, retaining both are the key to the future as craftsmen are getting harder to find. Your business will not function if it is a school to help employees find better jobs.

The biggest problem is insurance and I'm always on the lookout for a better deal. I can't afford dental or eye yet, we'll see how the new storefront does.

FYI, my best foreman is a convicted felon (drug importing back in the 60's). He knew nothing about construction, was desperate for a job and willing to do anything. He started as a grunt and broom pusher but pitched in with whoever looked like they needed help and learned fast. I guided him through his first kitchen job after only 2 years and he met every schedule, most ahead of time ( he can intimidate, 4 yrs. in fed. pens. can do that). Everybody else knows it too, if you're falling behind and Rob is assigned to get everything back on track, be prepared to bust a hump. He's really a good guy with a heart of gold, one of my best fishin' buddies and my 'go to' guy.
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Teetor I just hired a young guy with 3 years in roofing (shingling). His father owned a company in the area but gave it up to persue storm chasing in your area. This kid is in college and is probably going to be my future compitition. Regardless he is quick and knows what he is doing. We never agreed on a pay but both agreed that I would pay what he deserves at the first pay check (next friday). I've given him a raise twice now and he doesn't even know it.

I asked him to bring aboard some of his friends. They don't understand the concept of hourly wages and over time. I am offering them more money than they are making now with less hours and they don't quite understand because I am not translating that to price per square.

I too would like to offer insurance, infact I will once my accountant gives me the OK. I also like your ideas of picnics. Infact I have two roofers who have birthdays on the same day (Two weeks ago). This year instead of throwing a party, which I plan to do next year, I bought a new van since they were complaining about the old one.
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