It's All About the People - Aftermarket
Construction Equipment Distribution magazine is published by the Associated Equipment Distributors, a nonprofit trade association founded in 1919, whose membership is primarily comprised of the leading equipment dealerships and rental companies in the U.S. and Canada. AED membership also includes equipment manufacturers and industry-service firms. CED magazine has been published continuously since 1920. Associated Equipment Distributors
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It's All About the People

Written By Ron Slee

Article Date: 06-01-2004
Copyright (C) 2004 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.

Once the employee has been hired, the real work begins.

As the business climate reaches ever higher levels of activity, it becomes more critical that we attract and retain the best employees possible. With many other industries in the same dilemma, we are all searching in the same pools for these talented and diligent people. We have a tremendous range of opportunities to present to anyone interested in a challenging career, but we need to present our message consistently and frequently or we will be lost in the crowd. We need to become more visible to students. We need spokespeople who share our passion for this Industry and its benefits. That starts with reaching out to the “influencers” of young minds. Do you know the guidance counselors at your local high schools? Do you have a booth at junior colleges or universities on career days? Are you involved with the local technical schools? If you’re one of the many “old codgers” who laments the work habits and ambitions of the younger generation, try to remember that when you joined the industry, your supervisors were just as skeptical. One thing I’m sure we can all agree on is the fact that young people entering this industry have a much broader range of experiences and education than we did. The issue then becomes more about how we treat them than about what we think of them. And regardless of what we think of the new workforce, it’s the pool from which we will have to recruit. But recruiting is just a small part of the battle. Once the employee has been hired, the real work begins. I’m always amazed at how we treat new employees. Remember the excitement you had when you started your career in this Industry? You were probably a bit nervous, but you were enthusiastic about your new job. From there, life took on a different challenge, and you were either put on a path to development as an employee or you became a disillusioned worker. It was a function of your “leader.” Do you remember who ignited the passion you have in your job? Do you inspire new hires in your company the same way? This younger generation won’t wait; if they’re not learning or don’t have a feeling they’re contributing, they’ll leave. There are too many other options available to them. This is the problem as well as a tremendous opportunity. Don’t just hire a new employee, train them to be self-reliant achievers who are team players. The rewards are huge. Good luck and happy hiring. Ron Slee ( is the founder of R.J. Slee & Associates, Rancho Mirage, Calif., a consulting firm that specializes in dealership operations. Excerpted from June 2004 Construction Equipment Distribution. To subscribe, CLICK HERE.
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