Do's Don'ts Running a Small Cabinet/Furniture shop #2: Employees

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Blog entry by William Olsen posted 02-27-2013 04:14 PM 1490 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Staying Within your Commissioned Budget Part 2 of Do's Don'ts Running a Small Cabinet/Furniture shop series Part 3: Finding Materials »

This is a tough one. Where do I start…... Employees are definitely one of the most important parts of your Business,
Growing it as well Staying in it….
In the Business of fine Woodworking it can be real hard to find good help, real hard.. I took me a while be for I found some good ones, I should say great ones, they might read this….
When Looking, try and find some one that loves woodworking. They take more pride in it and they won’t let the little things slip by.
Family can be good some times,,,, but sometimes it’s not… All depends on the Family Member.
Friends are not a good Idea, they always take it to personally..
Take your time, look hard. Don’t settel you’ll regret it.
Now, once you found them, it’s holding on to them. This can be really tough. There is a fine line as a employer you have to walk. You always want to be fair and Honest with them and be Friends with them bet yet they are still your employees… Really hard to do both.
What I do Know Is that when you get a good Employee you hold on too him. They are just to hard to find.
There is so much more to consider about your employees but I think and hope you get my point.
Take care of your Guys or Gals if you have good ones, because the’ll take care of you.

-- William Olsen Designs

5 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29232 posts in 2338 days

#1 posted 02-27-2013 04:27 PM

Extremely hard to find good help. Most of the young ones don’t want to get dirty or sweat. If they can’t do it on a computer in an air conditioned room, they aren’t interested. They also feel entitled to the job on their terms. Only do the parts they want to do.

The other tough call is WHEN to hire employees. You’re expenses will instantly go up. But will profits go up as well. If you’re hiring so you can have time off, probably not a smart decision.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View helluvawreck's profile


31096 posts in 2866 days

#2 posted 02-27-2013 04:30 PM

I agree with you 100%. Your employees can really make or break you.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View DocSavage45's profile


8559 posts in 2842 days

#3 posted 02-27-2013 04:38 PM

It’s usually more efficient to have four hands instead of two, and better with six? as long as they are all attatched to the head. LOL! Had one sincere kid who came with his cousin who was an outstanding worker. The cousin had ADHD…LOL! I too have ADHD. different type..but it was difficult to move forward on tasks as he never completed his.

Hard to fire family too?

I’d love to have someone who is interested in wood to be there and help me get moving, but getting hurt on the job and how we pay people is a big factor? Friends also get worn out?

Thanks for posting this blog. :)

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Woodknack's profile


11626 posts in 2380 days

#4 posted 02-27-2013 10:09 PM

Good employees like to work with other good employees, quickly weeding out the slackers is as much an incentive as a pay raise. Really it all begins in the hiring, a friend of mine hires people he likes and IMO it doesn’t work out well but he’s happy because he surrounded with friendly people even though some of them aren’t hard workers. A different acquaintance hires robots… people with little or no personality and who tow the line, it works well for his style of management. I tell everyone I hire that I will ‘like’ them if they make my job easy by doing their job efficiently and correctly; whether I ‘like’ them personally is irrelevant to me. I’m also a huge believer in profit sharing, give a good employee the opportunity the raise his or her pay through their own efforts and you’ll quickly pinpoint your top performers. And the profit sharing should be timely (I prefer monthly), simple and transparent, an employee should be able to estimate the $$ they are earning.

-- Rick M,

View inchanga's profile


117 posts in 2112 days

#5 posted 02-28-2013 09:01 PM

I agree with Rick that profit sharing is an important element of employee relations and that it should be done regularly and the employee should be able to calculate himself his level of output. From an overall business point of view maintaining labour costs below a set percentage of invoices issued is a good control mechanism to keep the business on track. The labour hours allocaed to each job should be known by the employees and they should be rewarded for performance in excess of the target. It’s also important that they know that if they persistently miss the target there will be no money to pay them anything…....
You can have friendly relations with employees but they must never become friends in the fullest sense of the word.
Als,o never employ friends if you value their friendship and never employ family if you value your sanity.

-- chris, north wales

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