Q: What do you do to attract and keep an external workforce?

A: The external workforce is everybody that is not a direct employee. The average tenure of our external workforce working with Quail is 16 years. Why do they stay so long? I think the main reason is that we listen and care for them.

We pride ourselves in paying fairly and on time. This is not normal in the housing industry. I feel strongly about this. We will go through many hurdles in order to keep our external group paid on time.

Once trust is established with a payment record being respectful of their work is critical. Our jobsites need to be ready for them. Clean and organized is vital. The discipline to make this happen is on our minds daily. When we pay timely and fair we expect the workers to respect the jobsites by keeping them clean. This is a pet peeve of mind. Quality work requires a clean site.

We really work on having clarity with our plans and specifications. All workers will maximize their pay if their time is not wasted. Clarity provides efficiency on the job sites. Efficiency allows workers to maximize their profit.

We put great emphasis on communication. We have established a system so that the external workforce can download plans and specifications from their computers, notepads and their smart phones. This system allows for quick and accurate access. I love this because we have one control point to manage. THE PLANS AND SPECIFICATIONS ARE IN ONE SPOT. This allows for fewer mistakes.

Exerting effort to allow our external workforce to work efficiently and profitably has a huge impact on the quality. This creates a win/win scenario that allows people to want to work for us.

Thank you for reading Ask The Builder and making The Columbian a part of your day.

Please submit questions to jon@quailhomes.com Jon can be reached direct at 360.907.5800. Tune into Green Building with Jon Girod on 1550 a.m. on Saturdays at 9 am. See you next week!