How to Build Relationships with Contractors and Get the Results You’re After
20 April 2020
There is nothing worse than working with contractors who don’t do the right thing, who neglect to keep you in the loop about their work progress or who even don’t work to your standard and not achieving the expected results you’re after.
We all know the type of contractor: They make promises that more often than not end up falling flat. They also don’t take any pride in the work they deliver which results in an extremely bad tasting sloppy, final product leaving nothing but frustration and delays.
It can be a bit tricky trying to build relationships with contractors. But if you know how to work well alongside contractors, they will want to continue providing you with amazing service and results as well as building trust and loyalty with them.
We have come up with a few ideas on how to build and maintain positive work relationships with your service contractors to get the results you’re after.
Relationships Take Time to Build
The first and most important thing to understand is that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will you build a strong, long lasting relationship with a contractor, so prepare yourself for the long haul in building that relationship.
It’s inevitable when building and maintaining your relationships that there’s always going to be teething problems, to every new work relationship.
As you try to figure out and adapt to each other’s personalities, communication styles, work ethics, values, needs and wants.
But once a relationship has been well-established they can still go through changes because people change all the time. All new, and even changing, relationships always follow a ‘storm’, ‘norm’ and ‘perform’ process.
Things are going to feel a bit out of control as everyone finds their feet and learns how to work together. This is called ‘storming’.
Then systems, methods and processes are found and put in place, which is called ‘norming’.
Then finally, everyone on the team understands the processes in place that are to be followed and their role which is ‘performing’.
So just remember it’s going to take time and patience to build and maintain relationships with your contractors.
Show Them Respect
When you’re working with contractors, you need to show them respect regardless of the differences that you two may have.
This includes the specific opinions, ideas, thoughts and expertise that your contractors may bring to the site.
Even if you don’t agree with your contractors opinions, methods or ideas, show them the respect and just listen, hear what they have to say anyway.
By showing them respect, in-turn they will then hopefully show you respect. Which helps you in the long run, to manage your stress and better you as a leader or manager of contractors and employees.
If problems do occur and you need to speak to your contractor/s just take a minute to think of different ways to respond to them and what’s happened.
Discuss with your contractor/s what’s happened and, how you can learn from the problem/ mistake so next time it won't happen again. Communication goes a long way in building and maintaining relationships with contractors.
By doing that, they will respect you a lot more and they will hold you in higher regard, because you haven't just come out and blown up at them and steamed off, leaving the contractor feeling like they've just made the biggest mistake of their life.
Your Image Says A lot About Yourself
The image that you portray yourself as to your contractors is the image that the contractors are going to build and maintain a relationship with.
By portraying yourself in a positive way towards your contractors, you build respect and loyalty with them, you become more approachable, opposed to if you portray yourself in a negative way. Contractors will find it hard to approach you, with issues or questions.
When problems do happen, you want to be approachable, you don't want the contractors to feel worried about telling you the truth. You don't want issues arising due to a breakdown in the communication.
Think about the reputation that you want for yourself & your business.
Do you want to be known as the manager that's approachable and who’s easy to work for or the Manager who has a short fuse and shows little respect to other co workers.
By having a positive image with your contractors you're going to help them better themselves.
You're going to help develop their skills, especially on your site, which will obviously in turn create less problems for yourself. Now they’re becoming a better contractor, they're going to add loyalty & value to your business in the long run.
Be Clear About Your Expectations
Expressing your expectations and processes to your contractors are always a good thing to establish at the beginning of a new business relationship with them.
This includes establishing clear communication and feedback channels. Your contractors will appreciate knowing what their customers expect from them and how to deliver on those expectations.
Communicating your expectations to your contractors contributes to building trustful relationships with them. You’re being completely open and transparent with the level of work & quality you want from them.
This will have a huge positive impact on your processes, efficiency and team morale down the track. Everyone will be on the same page and will work harder and more diligently to make sure expectations are being met.
Thank You Goes a Long Way
The smallest of gestures such as saying thank you can go a long way, to building and maintaining a strong relationship with your contractors.
It makes them feel appreciated, needed and a part of your team. Making them feel that way by showing some thanks and appreciation will build loyalty and a desire to to work for you.
There are many different ways that you can express your appreciation to your contractors, who are continuously delivering quality work.
You can thank them face-to-face and affirm a job well done with a professional handshake, writing a great review for them on their website, sending a thank you email or a word-of-mouth endorsement or recommendation to another client.
Personally thanking your contractors, you will always maintain a reliable, quality & loyal team.