Keeping the customer and the crew informed and happy /
By Jane Martinsons NFBA staff writer /
Clayton Yoder, branch manager at Quality Structures Inc., Haven, Kan., was smart to hire Jerry Yoder (no relation) in 2007 when the branch was just starting up. He knew Jerry to be a motivated and loyal employee, having worked with him for five years framing houses for another construction firm in the area. Those qualities and a lot of self-reliance were needed for the job because Jerry would be one of only two crew members working at the newly launched office.
Today, the highly successful QSI Haven branch has more than 18 employees, thanks in large measure to Jerry’s leadership and relentless drive to deliver top-quality service and products to satisfied customers. “Because of (Jerry’s) concentrated effort and lots of dedication and hard work, the branch has grown into one of the best work forces in the region,” Clayton says. Jerry has played a central role in “achieving a higher standard for all areas of QSI’s day-to-day operations.”
So what qualities make Jerry a stand-out foreman and Crew Foreman of the Month? With genuine modesty, Jerry stresses that it is all part of serving the customer, but Clayton points to several of Jerry’s winning traits, including his steadfast willingness to
• lead — As more employees were brought on staff, “Jerry’s leadership skills and his enthusiasm for the job were contagious,” Clayton says. “He did an outstanding job teaching these traits to his new coworkers. Although it seemed like a monumental task at the beginning, Jerry stood firm and has been rewarded abundantly with a great workforce around him.”
• provide great customer service — “Jerry is responsible for many satisfied customers,” Clayton says. “He has trained several other crew foremen in the company to approach their jobs with a positive attitude and the drive to achieve outstanding customer satisfaction.”
• communicate well — “One of Jerry’s best attributes is his ability to communicate with customers and to be able to meet their needs,” Clayton says. “When customers meet Jerry, they instantly recognize his very high level of ethical and moral integrity.”
• demonstrate a strong work ethic — “His work ethic is talked about frequently in the community and many customers have recommended QSI because of Jerry’s personal work ethic,” says Clayton, who adds that Jerry’s crew consistently receives top rankings for satisfaction from customers.
• put safety first — “Jerry has taken the lead in instilling a ‘safety first’ mindset in the QSI crews,”
Clayton says. “He has been an asset to QSI in helping to train new employees in safety and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) compliance on the company’s jobsites. When new employees are hired, they know immediately who the instructor is and they have a clear understanding of how to become better and safer at their jobs as a result of Jerry’s instructions.”
For Jerry’s part, he says he was drawn to construction because he simply enjoys the work and working outside. Having grown up in the Haven area, he knows his customers and how to provide service that meets their high standards.
He recommends to other crew foremen that they always keep in mind they are working for the customer. “If customers have concerns, be patient with them. Communicate between them and the manager or salesperson,” he says. “Make sure the job gets done right the first time, to the customer’s satisfaction. That’s important.”
And lead by example, Jerry adds. “Never ask employees to do something that you are not willing to do yourself.”
Nominate the next winner
Give a crew leader a bonus — recognition in Frame Building News and a $100 check compliments of American Building Components. One winner will be named Foreman of the Year and will receive $500 at the Frame Building Expo in Nashville in March 2014.
Send a nomination letter to:
National Frame Building Association
8735 W. Higgins Road, Suite 300
Chicago IL 60631
Or email to: