Employees Wear More Than One Hat

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January 14, 2016
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When it comes to staffing, 72 percent of companies employ at least one pest management service technician, according to the 2015 PCT-NPMA Compensation and Benefits Survey. Other top employee groups were general/branch managers (62 percent), office managers (51 percent), customer service representatives (45 percent) and service managers (36 percent).

It’s not unusual for employees to do more than one job, reported company owners and senior managers in follow-up interviews.

“Being small, we have to wear a lot of hats,” explained Ashley Morrison, operations director for Charlotte, N.C.-based City Wide Exterminating, which has seven full-time employees. “A lot of people know how to do a lot of different functions because we all have to work together to make everything run smoothly,” she said.

City Wide Exterminating’s technicians are cross-trained to control pests and termites (both liquid and bait), although some have deeper knowledge in specific areas, Morrison said.

The six technicians at Burt’s Termite & Pest Control in Columbus, Ind., “do a little of everything,” which lets owner Doug Foster rotate them to different types of jobs to eliminate burn out.

At Parker Pest Control in Oklahoma City, technicians are trained in pest, termite, turf and ornamental, and termite annual renewals, as well as how to sell, including how to diagnose problems, prescribe treatment procedures and price them, said President Brad Parker. “Instead of having a sales manager and sales staff like some companies do, everyone’s a salesman,” he said of his 19 employees.

When employees serve multiple roles, companies gain scheduling and routing flexibility, said PMPs.

Even with 40 employees servicing parts of three states, managers of Reliable Pest Solutions in Hannibal, Mo., still put in time on the road when needed, said President Mike Scholes. “It doesn’t matter what your job title is; it’s just whatever needs to be done,” he said.