At Elite Roofing Supply, it doesn’t matter whether an employee is a roof loader or a top salesperson or even a partner, they will be treated with respect. As leaders, we keep in mind that our employees have families, financial responsibilities and a life outside of Elite. We look at issues facing our employees’ families and look for ways to make a small difference in their lives.
Back to school time is a time of great financial strain for most families. Elite recognized the challenge our employees face at that time of year and decided to start a Tools for School program where Elite provides the school supplies, backpacks and lunch boxes for all every employees school aged children (ages 3-18). This year Elite purchased over 90 Elite “kids” back to school supplies.
We aren’t just buying backpacks in bulk and generic supplies either. We ask the employees to complete a form that tells us about their children, how old they are, what their favorite characters or interests are and then we customize the backpack for their child. We also ask them if their schools have specific supplies that they have asked the children to get and if they don’t know, we do the research ourselves.
A couple of team members for each store shop for their Elite “kids” supplies, often time it is the Managing Partner who is doing the shopping. Everyone gets into it. We go above and beyond to make sure the kids have the backpack they want and it can get tricky. Every year we are hunting stores to find an elusive, sold out character backpack. This year one of our Managers was on the hunt for a Call of Duty backpack which could not be located, so he bought a black backpack and Call of Duty patches and sewed the patches on. Going to this length for the Elite “kids” shows the employees entire family how much we value and care for them.
Another way we send our team the message that we genuinely care about them as human beings, is that our leaders personally attend the healthcare open enrollment meetings. The local Managing Partner makes the time to be at the meeting, as does myself and the President of our company. The President and I flew to each Elite branch this year to roll out our benefit offerings, answer our team’s questions and show them that we understand how important medical coverage is for them and their families. Each year I speak with multiple spouses who have questions regarding the benefits. I make sure every employee has my cell phone number and knows that they can use it. Healthcare is a large cause of financial distress for people and we want to help mitigate that strain as much as possible through education and proactivity. Taking the time to lead those meetings demonstrates to our employees that our actions are aligned with our words.
From our onboarding to even when someone leaves, we want to leave people with the same kind of respect that we would want to be given ourselves. That’s really helped us with our retention strategy.
Sarah Weiss is a founding partner and COO of Elite Roofing Services. Her full bio can be found here.