How to Improve On-the-Job Communication | Business Networks
Have you ever wondered why people get upset with you on a job that you are doing for them? Do you wonder if they think that their job is the only one you have to do? Do you wonder if they really care what you are doing to advance their job completion when you are not on their jobsite? Do you think that they would feel differently if they knew what was going on with their job?
Well, let’s change the situation and see if you might be able to relate to them as to how they’re feeling when you are the one that is in their shoes and getting frustrated.
Let me tell you about a situation that might cause you some severe heart palpitations: You get called to repair a loss and you go out in the wee hours of a weekend morning. You exceeded the normal efforts that you do to get people back in their home. The loss was a friend of a very important adjuster. The adjuster asks you to give the policyholder your best effort to help their friend through their difficult loss. You got them back into their home in record time. They said that they were very happy with your work. The adjuster thanked you for doing a great job helping their friend. You felt really good about the great job that your company did for them. You made sure that you got your bill submitted right away. You think that you are going to be paid quickly and that the adjuster is going to start sending you more work. Weeks go by, with no check and no communication from the adjuster. Two days before your lien rights are about to expire, you call the adjuster to inquire about payment. Not only is the adjuster not nice about you calling him, but he gets angry that you would dare to call and “harass” him about getting a payment out to you! He says that you will get paid when he’s ready to pay you and he’s never going to send you any more work! Twenty-two days later, you find out that the policyholder received the check 14 days ago, made out to them and them only, and they spent the money! You then discover that the policyholder has lost their job, is in the midst of an ugly divorce, the house is in foreclosure and you don’t have a snowball’s chance of ever getting paid. So tell me, do you think that you might be just a little upset.
So where is this story going?
Well, I would guess that when the policyholder was not appreciating you and all of your efforts, as in example, you may have felt a little annoyed in terms of how the policyholder felt about you, your efforts and their lack of appreciation. I would also guess that you might be going through severe rage attacks every other minute of your working day! Such examples have actually happened and they continue to occur a lot more than they should.
So what is the magic answer to helping you not have this happen, or rather should I say, not happen to you again?
It’s actually rather simple and straightforward. I’m not going to tell you that it’s a perfect system, but I am going to tell you something that can severely decrease your chances of getting burned by a significant amount. You might consider implementing the following ideas into your system:
- You need to have and use a system that keeps track of all of the workflow through all phases of each job. All of the information pertaining to the loss needs to be written down, dated and time-stamped, pictures taken as needed and available to be reviewed. This needs to be available 24/7/365.
- All individuals that need to know any information regarding the loss must have electronic access to any information that they have a need and a right to know.
- The system must be explained and offered to all parties of the loss before or as close to the beginning of the loss as possible.
- You must actively communicate between all parties involved in the loss in a timely manner. If, as you are progressing in the loss, you are not getting the information that you need to continue, you must make a decision as to whether you proceed forward or whether you stop the progress of the job.
- Every time that I ask my client the following question, I get the same answer a vast majority of the time. The question is, “When did you know that you were dealing with the adjuster and/or the policyholder from hell?” Ninety-nine percent of the time their answer is, “I knew it from the beginning.”
- So, if you know what you are about to start dealing with, why would you not say something along the lines of the following: “You know, it looks like we are not a good fit to work together on this loss. Why don’t we stop what we’re doing and let you find someone else to help you. I know that I’m going to lose at least $1,500 on this job, so let me pay you that much money and I will walk away. It will save both of us a lot of time and frustration and we can both get on with our lives.”
- Some people have told me that No. 6 (above) is one of the dumbest things that they have ever heard. I agree with you that it may not be the smartest thing that you’ve ever said or done. I do think it to be far better than completing the job, losing more money and being more frustrated to an even higher level than you were at the beginning of the loss.
- Wouldn’t it be nice if we could look at all of our future work with 20/20 vision? Unfortunately, business doesn’t work that way, but what we can do is recognize when we’ve reached the bottom of the hole we’re digging and that we need to stop digging.
- There is software available to you today that can and will do all that I’ve described and will also do far more than I’ve described. You just have to decide that you are tired of losing money, then you decide what is the best action you can take that will fit your situation. Then, contact the people that can help you do what you need to do.
If you need help, please contact me and I will do my best to point you in the direction that will best fit your needs.
- Les Cunningham is president of Business Networks, a peer-review organization for the remodeling and insurance restoration industries. firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find more news articles at HERE or contact Business Networks to inquire about membership HERE.