Dina's Blog

  • The Value of Great People

    At our recent Dwyer Group annual reunion, President and CEO Mike Bidwell said something that resonated throughout the entire gathering:

    “The people in our company create our future, not the company itself.” – Mike Bidwell

    That kicked off a series of speakers, breakout sessions and new tools and programs that emphasized just how important it is to have great people in order to run a great business.


    The people are “Y” Dwyer Group is great.

    Under Mike’s leadership, system-wide sales have grown by more than 50% in the last two years. Dwyer Group has completed seven acquisitions and added six new brands. And at the heart of that growth are the people making it happen. That includes everyone from our private equity partners at The Riverside Company to Dwyer Group’s leadership team, our associates across HQ, our stellar vendor partners, and most importantly our service brand franchise owners and the thousands of frontline service professionals who proudly wear the uniforms, make the service calls and deliver on the brand promise to those in need.

    Yes, it takes a lot of people to make it happen. And with the growth of the company comes the growth of the team.

    You must always be hiring. But don’t hire who is available. Hire who is a fit.

    Dwyer Group COO Mary Thompson followed Mike’s speech at reunion and pointed out that across the Dwyer Group service brands, business is strong. But recruiting and retaining great people is critical to support a growing network. And while franchise owners are busy managing their teams, they should always be thinking of growing those teams in the right way too.

    Most business owners, no matter the industry, only make hiring a priority when one of two things happens. They lose an employee they have to replace. Or, they win more business and have to hire right away to handle that additional business. Both situations are completely reactive. And, consequently, that often leads a business owner to hire who is available versus who is the best fit.

    The key is to always be hiring. Even when you don’t have an open position, it would be nice to know who your next stellar employee would be if and when the opportunity presented itself. You would know in advance who would make a wonderful fit for your culture, your team and your values. And instead of scrambling to staff up, you would be plugging people into dream jobs to keep business humming right along.

    Franchise owners across Dwyer Group’s service brands were shown a new proactive program to help them do just that on a regular basis. And the reaction was incredible.

    When skilled businesses call for skilled people, don’t see limitations.

    But what about that other little problem – training?

    There’s a perceived hurdle to growing a great team when a certain skill level is required for new hires to meet and exceed expectations for a chosen field. That’s especially true in the service trades where many industries require special licensing and education to perform the work at hand. But that doesn’t stop great employers from building great teams.

    As Eric Chester, the keynote speaker for Dwyer Group’s reunion, explained, employers need to build a culture that doesn’t just offer jobs. Instead, they need to feed passions. Like his book, On Fire At Work, great hires aren’t just interested in a paycheck. They want to find meaning in what they do. And then they go out and do it with a sense of purpose that makes their job, your team, and the bottom line of the business a wonderful thing!

    Eric said Dwyer Group’s Code of Values is a prime example of that sense of purpose. He even wrote about it in his book! And at reunion he gave countless examples of how our franchise owners across the service brands are putting those values into action every day to grow the best teams.

    When Vinnie Sposari of Mr. Rooter in Seattle focuses on recruiting, does he limit himself to master plumbers who just happen to be in need of a job? No way. As Eric shared with the audience, “Vinnie says, ‘Bring me your core values. And we can teach you the plumbing.’”

    That reminds me of something I often hear across our organization: It’s more important to hire the smiles and teach the skills, than to hire the skills and try to teach the smiles.

    As you can imagine, Vinnie is building a great business. And that brings me back to what Mike shared at the start of reunion. That’s because the people in the company are creating that future, not the company itself.

    So my challenge to you is to always be hiring. Offer your team something with purpose and passion. And look to the Code of Values to assemble the best possible team that will create the best possible future for your business.