BROADVIEW, Ill. — In January, 38 members from companies across the U.S. met in Houston for The Unified Group’s 2022 Service Management Forum. Emphasized topics included accountability, training upcoming leaders, and transitioning employees into new roles.

On the first day, Carla Fugit of Platinum Business Strategies — a public speaker with more than 20 years of experience helping everyone from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies — held a workshop where members participated in personal reflection activities, in addition to collaborative sessions that highlighted creating accountable employees and atmospheres. Members also discussed possible solutions to challenges they all face. After the session, various members of The Unified Group presented on topics they found to be successful within their companies.

The first member-presented topic was Financials and KPIs (key performance indicators). In this section, attendees learned the importance of participating in weekly progress breakdowns that tell how the company is doing financially. Following, two best ideas were shared. The first — Gain Share for Service — emphasized the importance of incentivizing employees for a job well done; while the second — Team Leads — provided real-life, successful examples of implementing leadership roles for employees to work toward.

“The information I gathered from the other members has allowed me to determine an actual process to fix my greatest challenge,” said Jake Ramsey of Fez Mechanical. “With the encouragement from these members, I have no hesitations in the decision making that will follow.”

The second day began with Transitioning Technicians to Supervisors, where members shared their experience in what worked and what didn’t during the promotion process. A presentation on Hiring and Retaining Employees followed. Key takeaways included creating a sustainable work environment, providing exciting team activities and encouraging exit interviews. This topic led into Training Technicians, during which attendees collaborated on the practices that allow them to grow in their field. After a presentation by purchasing partner Milwaukee Tool, everyone broke into smaller groups to discuss their specific biggest challenge. The day ended on the topic of the Generation Gap Between Older and Younger Technicians. Between the current five generations in the workplace, individuals find it difficult to maneuver communication between one another.

“It was great to hear from the very people who have been in the positions we’re challenged to fill,” said Chris DeMers of CMC Corporate Solutions. “They offer advice to others in the room to help them avoid pitfalls in their professional journey.”

To end the forum, one last best idea was shared — Realigning Roles. By understanding employees’ strengths and passions, rearranging positions within the company can create a higher rate of productivity.

“The highlight of these sessions is listening to all the member presentations,” said Frank Quintanar of J&J Air Conditioning. “It’s a reminder that individually, we can all shine, but together we make the difference.”