Editor’s note: Watch the video to see and hear what Charles Antis has to say about how he built his business on maintenance. You can read the transcript below the video, but we recommend seeing it for yourself.
Okay. I'm super excited because this month on Roofer's Coffee Shop, the question is, "How do we onboard and how do we receive new employees?" I'm bringing in our Director of Cause and HR, Susan DeGrassi. Welcome.
Susan DeGrassi: Thank you for having me, Charles.
Charles Antis: I'm excited because you know, and if you meet Susan, you know that we can't help ourselves, but really want to be a champion of all people. We want people to see themselves higher than they ever saw themselves and be more than they could ever be. It's important how our employees see themselves. I'm real big on self assessments. Get to know yourself better, and we push that. We're going to talk today about stuff that we do inside the office and out in the field with new employees, to make them feel welcome and safe. Where do we start?
Susan DeGrassi: Well, after we spent a lot of time and effort making a good hire, we know that it's very important that new employees have a positive experience when they walk through the door. If they're just dropped at their desk with no welcome, you're not really improving your retention results. The first thing we do is, they walk in. They have a thorough one-on-one time with HR to get onboarded and they receive a swag bag full of Antis gear, Antis memorabilia, and a little wolf because that's our logo.
Charles Antis: Our lobo logo.
Susan DeGrassi: Our lobo logo. The field employees, before they start anything, they're then handed over to our Safety Manager. The first of their trainee begins with OSHA 10 for everyone. That happens right away. Then they're assigned to a lead, someone who's more senior to them, and partnered up in teams of two so that they're getting onboarded in their craft with a seasoned, experienced professional.
Charles Antis: I'm really big about being transparent. We're in an industry where it's so dangerous and there's so many risks that assess, or that hit our people and us, as a company. I want to talk about this, a story. I'm glad you brought that up, because I don't know I was going to say this, but I'm so proud of us for having, in that first week that they're going to get that OSHA 10 training before they ever go up on a roof.
The reason that exists is, I'm not proud to tell you, but there was a time a long time ago when a employee's first day on his very first day, he got injured and had a bad injury. I felt so bad. I thought, "Well, at least that never has to happen again." It happened again, but now, because we've learned and we try to grow and we want to put our people first and protect them, we have a policy that will never happen again. Beyond that, we're taking safety for a whole new level. I'm so proud and quietly humbled to say that we just hit a safety milestone of two years with no lost time.
Susan DeGrassi: That is awesome and impressive and a lot of hard work. We have about 30 people in our back office and similarly, we take them to lunch. Those individuals actually meet the Senior Team. For example, you just had lunch with our brand new scheduler. She's been here all of three weeks. How did that go, in terms of what did you, what impact do you think you had on her and her career development, just by taking an hour out of your day?
Charles Antis: Well, honestly, all I'm noticing is the impact she's had on me. I have this scheduler that understands our people in the field, that stayed late on a Friday night because the Saturday morning work wasn't completely lined out, till nine o'clock and she gets it. I'm grateful. The fact that if she's grateful too. That's it. Her and I, she knows why I exist. I know why she exists, and that's that. We know why we exist at Antis Roofing. That's to keep families safe and dry. We've been keeping our HOA families safe and dry for 31 years, 30 years. We're still going to celebrate that 30 years, another six months, but it's been almost 31 years.
Susan DeGrassi: Awesome. Those are just little, a few little things. There's a lot more that goes into it those first few weeks and then their ongoing mentoring and development as employees, but get started right.
Charles Antis: What we really do, and I would think a great place to end this is, it's okay today to love your people and to show them. We're finding ways to do that. It's like this. It feels like the only way I know that we can be strong and in business in an industry where three out of five fail every three years, is to put all of our money back into our people and in our community. That's what we believe in at Antis, and that's why I attract amazing VPs like Susan DeGrassi. We really believe we are building, awakening people to see themselves higher. By awakening our people to see themselves higher, we install the best roofs we ever have, where every nail matters. Thank you.
Susan DeGrassi: Thank you. Bye.
Charles Antis is the founder and CEO of Antis Roofing & Waterproofing. See his full bio here.