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  • How to keep good help?

    We just recently lost a great HVAC tech at work. He was the boss's protege and my boss put about 8 yrs of time and training in him. He didn't leave on a bad note, he just wanted his own business. My boss doesn't say it, but the guy leaving really hurt him. He was going to give the guy the business. My boss has always treated us great, sometimes to a fault.

    I don't have a business yet, I'll start my own in 11 years when I get out of the navy but still curious. How do you keep great techs that you've invested a lot of time and training into? I understand everyone is free to do their own thing and no hard feelings but after awhile it must wear on you to keep training people only to have them leave.

    Ben
    Buy cheap, buy twice.

  • #2
    Re: How to keep good help?

    Did the tech know for a FACT that he was going to get the business? Or is the boss just saying that he was going to give him the business now that he is gone.

    I don't know the situation, but if there was plenty of respect for the tech guy and enough pay (which I'm guessing one or the other was lacking), there wouldn't be a reason for him to leave.

    Lots of bosses don't respect their workers. They think work comes first in life and don't forget that their workers have families, feelings, and other hobbies outside of work.

    Again, I don't know the situation, but from my experience and the plenty of bosses that I've had, managers and bosses dont' care about the workers life or how the wife is doing or if they need time off. They just want to "bang out the next job, and the next one, and the next one".
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    • #3
      Re: How to keep good help?

      He knew he was getting the business, he just didn't know when. My boss was going to become a silent partner. He also made 72 grand last year after taxes. He just said he wanted to see if he could make it on his own. Like i said, my boss is great. I've often thought about getting out of the navy to work for him full time.
      Buy cheap, buy twice.

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      • #4
        Re: How to keep good help?

        Could be he wanted to have the bussiness now, not when the boss was going to retire. There is really no way to keep someone from learning every thing from your company, and then go into competition with you latter. Just pay them the top dollar, and give them reason to stay.Maybe he wanted to do only certain type of work.

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        • #5
          Re: How to keep good help?

          Even though I'm younger than most guys on this board (I'm 24) and still have a lot to learn, I believe that I've gained some knowledge in life.

          First off, money doesn't buy happiness. You said he made $72k after taxes. That is a lot of money. No denying that. But how many hours did he put in a week for that amount? If he was able to work the typical 8-4 or 9-5 Monday through Friday, that's awesome. Although, the ones that make the big bucks seem to ALWAYS be working. They'll work 60-80 hours a week, every week and life becomes their work.

          Some people like being totally occupied like that. That's fine. I'm not telling anyone how people should live. BUT, bosses should realize that some people just don't want to be working that many hours. They want to enjoy their life. They don't want to burn out trying to get to every job possible to make the most money that they can.

          I remember when I was 20 that I worked my a** off to put air suspension on my S10. I put a lot of things on hold. Instead of going to the movies and having dinner with my girlfriend, I'd put the money toward airbags or my link setup. After a year of saving and had air suspension on my truck, I was so happy. It was finally done! I got so many looks, people came up to me asking what I had, etc. I thought it was great. After a while, I thought, "Is this it?". I ended up selling that truck. I don't regret doing that to my truck because it was a great experience and an eye opener: Things don't make people happy!

          Sorry for getting off topic and maybe none of what I said made sense, but people are different when it comes to work. Some people work to make a living and keep a good balance with work, friends, and family. Others work to stay busy while others work to keep their gold digging wife happy LMAO!
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          • #6
            Re: How to keep good help?

            The truth is you can't keep good help indefinetly. Pay them what you have too. Give them as much incentive to stay but in the end all good mechanics should try it on their own. I encourage it.
            Keeping good help isn't such a problem for me as finding decent help. I've been trolling the local high schools for years trying to find a few young boys but no takers. Being a Christian organization we even tried hiring some out of halfway houses--HUGE mistake. I'll post that story under a different thread.

            LOL air suspension on a Chevy S-10
            Last edited by plumberscrack; 07-07-2007, 05:02 PM.

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            • #7
              Re: How to keep good help?

              Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
              LOL air suspension on a Chevy S-10
              Oh it was fun!! Putting steel blocks on the frame and dragging it. It made a ton of sparks. And no, it doesn't hurt the roads or leave any marks (which is surprising)
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              • #8
                Re: How to keep good help?

                Losing employees is just part of business. Over the years I have lost a lot of employees so they could open their own business. I never saw it as a negative and I always tried to help them. I even had one guy who I found out was leaving before he was ready because he had his Bronco loaded with tools. Then I found a flyer with his new business name and the phone number was to my company pager he wore. Instead of getting all pissy I gave him a Step-Van we had just retired and loaned him some equipment. I figured I lost a lot less money be giving him the truck then having him steal from me.

                Mark
                "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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                • #9
                  Re: How to keep good help?

                  Mark, you have a heart of gold. I can't think of one person who would've helped that guy out like you did.
                  Buy cheap, buy twice.

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                  • #10
                    Re: How to keep good help?

                    It sounds like your boss is a nice guy, but there wasn't an agreement in writing. Maybe the tech asked about it and got blown off, who knows. Sounds like your boss let things slide. Every owner needs an exit plan.

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