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Preparing for an Extended Season

Keeping your team's physical and mental health in good shape will help your company perform during this extended season. 

September 17, 2020
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Dreamstyle Remodeling door install

With summer nearly behind us, we're heading into overtime after a delayed start to the season. What are the critical factors to be mindful of while preparing to lead our industry teams into an extended installation season?

Mental Health Awareness

Now more than ever, we all need to be sure that we are of sound mind as we work longer hours and later into the season. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others and make important choices.

Physical Health Awareness

Physical health consists of many components. A few key areas that should be addressed include strength, flexibility and endurance. This also includes nutrient intake, fluid intake, proper rest and recovery. Just because we are working longer hours and later into the season, there is no excuse for not getting the proper amount of rest. Rest and recovery are critical components of proper daily habits.

Training and Education

Even during what was normal, regular training and education programs were imperative to a successful organization. Given the current landscape of the year, training and education are even more crucial now. Leaders must require regular safety, process training and education programs are instilled in their organization’s DNA. Education focuses on creating lifelong independent thinkers, whereas training focuses on skills sought after by employers and industry. We must employ both in our organizations – the future of our industry depends on it.

Rituals and Routines

A routine is a sequence of actions regularly followed, whereas a ritual is a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order. Some of us call them superstitions, like I used to when I was playing, or even now when I am coaching sports. Your team must be intentional in all they do, especially going into an extended installation season. The days will be different with weather variations and with daylight changes. It will be taxing at times trying to beat the weather and beat the clock, striving to maintain performance, productivity and quality.

One of the best ways I have tried to stay ahead of the game in recent months is to maintain strong rituals and routines. Some examples are mentioned above, proper rest and recovery allowances, proper nutrition, exercise and stretching, to name a few. Some people perform yoga. Others run, and some prefer to meet in the middle with weights, plyometric training or a physical hobby. What really matters is that you do something that works for you.

Set Goals and be Accountable

As they say, a goal that is not written down is just another idea. Set goals, write them down and then follow up. If you need to, re-evaluate and allow your team to be a part of the decision. Nothing is worse than setting goals, writing them down, not hitting them and making excuses as to why you did not hit them.

As you go into an extended season of installation, you and your team must be ready to flex or pivot. We don’t know what we don’t know, but if we follow the data, we will have sound directional guidance.

Follow the Data

“If you build it, they will come.” Remember that quote from the famous 1989 classic film, Field of Dreams? Well, our industry has a similar saying, “If you track it, you can improve it…”

Trust the Process

Show your team that your service and products are dependable, and you can always be relied upon. If you set goals, write them down. If you write them down, follow up and hold the entire team accountable.

As you produce results, identify trends and pivot or flex along the way. Communicate and share this information with your teams. With this strategy, trust your process and you can go the distance through the end of 2020. This year has already seen many curveballs thrown at us, so let’s plan and prepare for the extended installation season.

I will leave you with one of my favorite movie quotes, as I feel that we can all use a motivational pick me up!

“It ain’t about how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. It’s how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.” – Rocky Balboa

As we venture off into the second half of the year  knowing that we will encounter more change and work later into the season, we all must work together, watch each other and lead this industry to a championship season. The trophy at the end of 2020 needs to be you and your team, all smiling together at the finish line.

About the Author


About the Author


Rob Balfanz is the Director of Workforce Development and CIOC at the Vinyl Siding Institute. He also coaches baseball and basketball.

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