SSI’s annual Best of the Best issue (July 2013) includes profiles of seven of the industry best-run installing security contracting companies. My interviews with executives and managers from runner-up Bates Security covered much ground not included in print. Following is the third of a few bonus excerpts, with Bates’ Jeremy Bates, Olivia Duvall and Bryan Bates here discussing finding, motivating and retaining employees. Be on the lookout for more online extras from Bates Security, as well as other Installer of the Year and Integrated Installation of the Year winners and finalists.
How does Bates Security evaluate and recruit new employees? What qualities are important?
Jeremy Bates, Bates Security General Manager/Owner: When we look for new employees, we look for the qualities we want. We are upfront with our expectations of high standards and a demanding work environment. You have to have a good attitude and work ethic and you have to do your job well. You can’t have one and not the other and be on our team for long. Every employee is drug tested before employment and randomly while employed. Each employee has a background check performed before employment. This is done to ensure the safety of our customers and our existing staff.
How does your company make sure its personnel are properly trained?
Jeremy Bates: We put emphasis on training for the entire company and we have grown to a size where we have to work hard to make sure this is done. We also have a person that keeps data on our continuing education courses and renewal dates for each technician. It seems we constantly have Honeywell representatives meet with our technical and sales team for product training and demonstrations. In fact, we have recently promoted our senior residential sales consultant to residential manager and the first of June, he began training our new residential sales team.
Bryan Bates, Bates Security Commercial Sales Manager/Owner: Intent counts more than skill. We have a process from beginning of the sale to the end of the sale and if we don’t cheat the process, then our intent is rewarding. You have to ask yourself, “Is this good for both the customer and us, long term?”
What does Bates Security do to keep its employees motivated and fulfilled?
Jeremy Bates: One of the ways that we keep our employees motivated is through our WOW program. We like to recognize employees for doing a good job and providing great customer service at our quarterly companywide meeting. After describing the event or circumstance to the company, we award the individual with a WOW! pin. A fellow employee can nominate someone for a WOW!, but even better is when a customer writes or calls in to recognize and employees’ good work.
Olivia Duvall, Bates Security Customer Service Center Manager: At each of the four companywide meetings each year, we announce a quarterly employee for service and a quarterly employee for support. These employees, collectively, vie for the prized employee of the year award, which receives many prizes. We are also fortunate to be able to have employee get-togethers such as Memorial Day cookout, Halloween Chili cook-off, Thanksgiving Luncheon, a formal Christmas awards banquet and the Summer Employee and Family Appreciation night. This summer we are taking our team to Gatti-Town, a great family environment with lots of food and games. Bates Security sponsors a recreational coed softball team in the spring and early summer. We simply try to have a fun environment even though we are all very busy. This year Bates Security is also working with the United Way on their second annual “5K on the Runway” – a 5K fundraiser for the organization that will be held at the Bluegrass Airport on the runway! Bates Security will be allowing several of our team members to participate in the run.