Many of you who are reading Stone World are owners of a stone fabrication shop. Some may have taken over a family business that has been passed down from generation to generation, while others may be fairly new to the industry. But regardless of how you got here, the important point is how do you manage your shop so that it is viable and stays around for years to come?

Eric Tryon, who started Premier Surfaces in Atlanta, GA, in 2002 and today is the chief executive officer of Clio Holdings, the parent company for a constellation of brands that includes leading countertop and specialty surface suppliers and fabricators in the U.S., will tell you that the secret is to maintain loyal and hardworking employees. And to do that, you must treat them with respect and let them know you appreciate their dedication to your company.

“This is the ultimate team sport,” Tryon told an audience at the Stone Summit recently held in Deerfield Beach, FL. “People don’t leave jobs and companies, they leave their managers. Showing appreciation to your employees is important. You can’t allow people inside your team that can’t deliver for you. The people who you allow to wear your uniform everyday make a huge difference in the success of your business.”

Tryon went on to tell the crowd that he was a business man first. He started Premier Surfaces with little knowledge of the stone industry, but he built a solid foundation with his philosophy on best business practices.

You can read more about what Tryon talked about with the group in Deerfield Beach on page 52 of this issue, but the bottom line is running a business is a collaborative effort. If your staff isn’t working together to achieve the common goal, then it is more than likely things will derail – causing your business to suffer.

I often attend the Stone Summits that Stone World holds with the Natural Stone Institute, as well as the Fabricator Forums that take place at trade shows. More often than not, fabricators bring up questions regarding staffing issues. It seems many are finding it difficult to hire reliable employees. So when you do hire someone that fits in with your team, isn’t it important to provide a comfortable and positive working environment to make them feel like they belong and contribute to the success of the company?

I always try to treat people the way I would like to be treated. A little respect and appreciation can go a long way. It seems like a little effort to be made to reap the rewards of a successful operation.