employee skills

A cheerful outlook on life, integrity, loyalty and respect (for employer, fellow-employees and customers).
I'm asking about SKILLS not qualities of character(although those are interesting to hear about too). Thankyou

[ 01-12-2005, 01:28 PM: Message edited by: framanista ]
The ability and willingness to learn new techniques and equipment is very important.

A broad range of skills is important to me- I am good at building frames, organizing corner samples, inking french mats, schmoozing customers, adding fractions, watering plants and shoveling snow. I would love to be able to expect the like from my employees, but have yet to find someone with even near comparable skills.

edie the ponderingthistoday goddess
"What employee skills are worth the most you? "

The first thing that came to my mind was that they should be able to read a ruler. I was totally surprised by the number of applicants we have had who don't possess this skill. We hired someone once without testing for this, and were very disappointed when we found out they didn't know a sixteenth from an eighth. It was a real patience builder trying to train them- until we finally let them go. Anyway, we now administer a "ruler reading" test (among other things) to any applicants we are interested in.

Of course, they must have a good color sense, work well with their hands, and also with customers. but if they can't read a ruler- forget it !!!

Ken w/Sierra FrameWorks


Finally got some sunshine after two weeks of rain, here in Placerville, CA. Lovin' it !!
I have made one of my required skills to be neatness and knowing how to NOT leave finger prints on the glass. The last person I had in here ws a real nice guy, and fast but he left finger prints all over the glass. Inside AND outside! Of 15 pieces I checked from the finished rack, all 15 needed to be reopened and recleaned. After wasting a whole day of him doing that, when I rechecked his work, 6 of those pieces had to be RE redone!! Needless to say, I can do that bad myself. I don't need to pay someone to be that sloppy!! :mad: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
Originally posted by Sierra FrameWorks:
"What employee skills are worth the most you? "

The first thing that came to my mind was that they should be able to read a ruler.
Amazing, but true! :confused:

Skills are less important than attitude and natural ability (sadly, there are some people who will never be able to handle a sharp blade with any reasonable degree of safety and expertise

Skills can be learned. Having the right attitude and work ethic, plus having the innate ability to pick up skills needed, cannot.

Oops. This didn't answer the question... please disregard the above.
Actually Printmaker, that did answer the question. I was going to post somthing similar, but you beat me to it.

We were discussing employees and employee issues Monday with a some of the other photographers we know in the area at a meeting we were at. A good attitude and a good work ethic are definitely at the top of the list. Some of them had employees who had all the neccessary skills to do the job, but a poor attitude and work ethic. Those people are no longer working for those studios.

My daughter has a good work ethic. At her work studio job on campus, she got more done in 3 months then the last few people who held that job did in 3 years time. Some of those people had more knowledge of the job, but they didn't apply themselves.
"What employee skills are worth the most you? "

Good grammer is nice!
I require basic math skills (including reading a ruler!) and a good sense of design and color. Customer service skills are a must, also.

After that, "hire the attitude and train the aptitude".
I once worked in a shop with two other people.

"Mary" was OK and a little slower, but did get her work done. She could see the "Inch" mark and then would with lips moving count the "Little Marks".....

"Hank" was an awesome fitter. He could flat out marry mats/glass/frames aobut 10-12 times an hour for 8 straight hours. He hated stopping for a break or lunch or phone calls or customers or a dinged mat or scratched glass. . . and then he found out that his girl that he was living with was also sleeping with his brother.

He stormed around the shop, yelling at everything, hiting walls, breaking glass, and then one day he kicked a finished project and put his foot through the glass, backing and of course the Aldo Luongo LE print.

After the owner had bit the bullet and fired him, she stopped by Mary's table.

I overheard her quietly ask how the divorce was going, and then what floored me: she asked how Mary was holding up with the Chemo treatments.

Mary had worked 9 months along side me, and had never said word one that was down or upset derived. She was always pleasently upbeat. Maybe not bubbly or perky, but now I knew why.

Give me a Mary any day. They are always stable, will be to work on time, and you can trust them aroun ANY customer. And some day, they may surprise you. :D
Right after basic math and ruler reading I would say plain old common sense. Does anyone have a good test for this that they use? Framah gave me one idea. Which side of a piece of glass should you touch? Answer: Neither, pick it up by the edges!
"What employee skills are worth the most you?"

The skills required for the tasks that I do not like to do.

I would hire someone who could make and carry out a marketing plan to build the customer base and increase sales.
I forgot to add another skill that would be really nice... Someone who will clean the bathroom on a regular basis without being told. I don't like doing it and even less when I have an employee who should be doing it for me. Isn't that why we hire them? To do the things we don't want to do?
Originally posted by Terry Hart cpf:
Which side of a piece of glass should you touch? Answer: Neither, pick it up by the edges!
And the top edge at that...

Skills in the workshop: Methodical is a plus. Someone who can take the work order, review it, check for all materials, directions, artwork and double check before beginning. The same would hold true for finishing the project.
Originally posted by framah:
Someone who will clean the bathroom on a regular basis without being told. I don't like doing it and even less when I have an employee who should be doing it for me. Isn't that why we hire them?
Well, it's not what we hire them for. We hire an outside janitorial company to do all our cleaning. That way it's a budget item and it always gets done regardless of how busy we are. Unless or until our company could justify hiring a full-time in-house janitor (which I hope never happens) that's the way I intend to keep it.

As for hiring people to do the things we don't want to do, I go along with that to a certian extent. However, I won't ask anyone to do anything that I wouldn't do myself.
haivng worked for 6 shops in 10 years i can advise owners to use the skills that people bring to the table; and if you find an employee that can add, isn't colorblind, don't steal, and isn't a free-bleeder, then marry 'em.
skills: Measuring, eye for color, not a bull in a china shop, some computer skills

Assets that can't usually be taught:
personality, ability to build a relationship with the customer that is being waited on, not needing to be told every move to make, level headedness

my 2 cents after 6 months of **** trying to train someone last year!


p.s. as for the bathroom - we are a 2 person shop - shop rule - at then end of your work day, you clean the bathroom, then no one has to clean after someone else - has worked out well
Math and measuring skills are a must-have. I once spent two days trying to teach a young woman how to add and subtract fractions. At some point during the lessons she told me that she'd never before had a job where she had to think. She seemed to feel that it was an unreasonable job requirement. The last I heard, she was waiting tables in a sports bar.

"Willingness to learn' would have to be on the list, along with the good suggestions everyone else has mentioned.

An employee has to be someone I can stand to spend the day with.

I once had a manager that was a phenomenal framer. Unfortunately, he treated customers like they smelled of something awful. He had no people skills whatsoever, and that cost us more than a handful of jobs.
His framing knowledge and design skills were inspiring- I stayed as long as I could stand to work with the jerk, just to glean what I could.

So, Kit's last point is well taken!

If you can fit pictures at the speed of light, you better be accurate, or a quick redo fitter.
Chatty Cathy's need to have hands that are as busy as the mouth, if one can' t function while the other is in action, eh.

Measuring and accuracy is always up there! A simple fractions and "read this ruler" test are good at giving you this info. up front. Even if they get the answers right, how long did it take them to do it?? Even with computers figuring a lot for you these days, a good emp. can take an order on a pc. of paper, all measurements correct, and recognize that the pc. will require o/s by the measurements, not just by the comp. prompting.

Willingness to learn and admit mistakes, although more a character trait than a skill, is really important,too. I have worked with lots of very confident framers. That is great, but when you start out too confident, and cannot be told anything, that is just a pain- redo's, ruined art, and accidents with lots of bleeding flash through your mind!

"A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing." rings true!

I personally can tolerate a lot more quirks in the personality than someone that has no salvageable design skills.

I know, I just repeated what everyone else said!
Good grammer is nice!
Captain English loves you, Jay.
C.E., wouldn't that be Good grammar</> is nice?
:cool: Rick

P.S.: As to the subject at hand, Marc Bluestone pointed out in his management class that a mediocre employee is worse than a bad employee. This is because you have the motivation and cause to eliminate a bad one, but you may tolerate a mediocre one for a long time, and this becomes a drag on the business in multiple ways. Been there, done that. Not any more.
Well yes, Rick, it would.

But the thought was such a sweet one and so very, very rare, that I'm willing to cut Jay some slack on the spelling.