Rather than hiring the usual “painter dudes-with-rough-edges”, we actively seek the kind of people you’d be comfortable having nearby. You know the type – non-aggressive appearance. Please and Thank You. Shirts tucked in. The qualities that say “Yeah, we’ve got this.”
It all starts with clear communication.
Personality types – yes, we’ve been known to run a DISC profile on Project Leads. We’re looking for people that respond to words like “careful”, “methodical”, “planning”and “process” among others. Expressionists may be perfect for painting murals but maybe not a fit for painting walls and trim.
Background check – yes, we do Trust – but we also Verify. We want to be sure that the trust placed in Crestwood Painting is reflected in trustworthy employees. And then US Dept. of Labor E-Verify – so everybody is legal to work.
Clear Expectations for Painters
Each employee agrees to read (and sign) our 36 page Employee Manual. Just like it’s best to set clear expectations for customers, employees, too should be clear on what is expected of them.
There are the obvious things, like
- No headphones or earbuds
- Smoking in cars only, no smoke odors allowed. (This rarely come into play – we always prefer non-smokers.)
- Only Crestwood Painting uniforms shall be worn
Also, the not-so-obvious things. It’s these that set the tone for employees, telling them that Crestwood is not the run-of-the-mill painting company – we’re better.
- Parking – where to park. And where not to park.
- “You are expected to keep your work area neat and orderly at all times – it is a required safety precaution.”
- Phones set to vibrate, used only while standing on the ground
You know the type – non-aggressive appearance. Please and Thank You. Shirts tucked in. The qualities that say “Yeah, we’ve got this.”
Tools & Training
Safety Training – Every month we conduct safety training in our shop. There are rotating season-specific themes (ladder safety, tripping hazards, power lines, etc.) as well as job site maintenance and customer service role playing.
We also have weekly safety check-ins and daily safety huddles. Daily huddles emphasize job site-specific conditions as well as support weekly check-ins, the check-ins support our monthly meetings. Safety is a habit that must be continually reinforced.
All our safety meetings are clarified and rooted in our 21 page Safety Policy. Roles and responsibilities are specified, of course, but also our Distracted Driving policy, tool safety and personal protective equipment (PPE) policies.
OSHA 10 – This is the safety standard in the construction industry – 2 days of mostly classroom safety instruction. Required for large companies or large projects, virtually unheard of for small companies and projects. Most Crestwood Painting Project Leads get their OSHA10 at some point – it’s just the best way to minimize injuries and reinforce our safety culture.
RRP – The US EPA requires lead paint certification for both companies and select employees. This training has several benefits: it’s the law, to be sure, but it’s also the best way for our employees to work safely around this hazard as well as protect your family. It’s an eight hour class given off-site by a certified training provider. Attendees get a thick binder, a smiling-face certificate and the knowledge that they (and their company) are complying with the law.
What if a painter doesn’t have the right equipment? What if he’s improvising on your stairway, reaching just that last little bit? Sure, he might fall and hurt himself. But he might also bring two gallons of red paint down with him – an unfortunate accident now becomes a complete disaster. In your home. And just like that, his problem is now your problem.
That’s where consistent training and proper equipment come into play. Having the right equipment means that a Crestwood painter can safely navigate the trickiest of stairways.
All of our people are properly protected with both business liability and workman’s compensation insurance. Our limits have satisfied FedEx, UMKC, Edward Jones, Cintas, large commercial contractors, Bluebird Networks and many others. Also, oodles of homeowners.
We carry $2M liability as well as the required workman’s compensation insurance. A requirement for commercial work, of course, but also clear, black-and-white assurance for homeowners, too.
Our Project Leads are responsible for a No Drama experience. They deliver our Net Promoter Score card at the end of the project – this way, the customer knows they have a voice in how the project was conducted and the Lead gets direct feedback on how he did.
Crestwood Painting has an average NPS of 90+ (Amazon’s score is 69, Nordstrom’s is 31). We’ve tracked NPS for 3 years and have several hundred cards averaging, yes, over 90!
Each of our painters works hard to deliver just what our customers expect.
- We write it down so everybody is crystal clear.
- That same language is copied to our painters’ Scope of Work so everybody has exactly the same expectations.
- We do the work.
- Then we leave. How easy is that?
Here’s a rainy day TV interview:
What is No Drips, No Drama?
He said “I don’t want any drama – just paint my house.”
- So we painted.
- And he paid us.
- And then left a great Google review.
- That’s it.
Why do people have to ask for a No Drama experience? Because they’ve already had a Drama Contractor – and they don’t ever want that again.
No Drips, No Drama means
- Clear communication about job start
- Clear communication about job progress
- Clear communication about job completion
- Safe work practices
- Consistent, full-time work hours
- On-time starts
- We own our work