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GlassBuild for the Glazier

In the midst of constant hiring and retention struggles, I find that getting key employees to GlassBuild is hugely beneficial to the culture of my business. Selfishly, I enjoy going to the show because not only do I get the opportunity to attend the Glazing Executives Forum (only scary by its name; more on this later), but I get to spend time walking the show floor listening to industry experts speak, identifying new products that are key to the growth of my business, and grabbing a few really rad pens along the way.

But I know that I am not the only one that can benefit from attending the show. I find it incredibly important to bring those high level and key role employees along to GlassBuild. This is not an inexpensive adventure, but it’s one that goes a long way in making an employee feel important and appreciated, and it’s ROI positive for most businesses.

As previously mentioned, I really enjoy the Glazing Executives Forum. I’ll admit that at one point this didn’t sound like anything I would be comfortable attending. But after being challenged one year by Jenni Chase (content, education & training director at NGA), I broke down and attended. I haven’t missed a session since. One of the opportunities that I take full advantage of during my time in the Forum is that I turn my team loose on the show floor.

Employees focused on the office or clerical side get a little education and can quickly identify tools that they can use in the office that will streamline business practices as well as different vendors for the supply chain. Let’s face it, the manufacturing world is feeling the same pressures that the installing world is in regard to hiring and retaining quality help, so having options for your vendor list is always a great idea. Meanwhile, my salespeople and high-level supervisors or truck leads are on the GlassBuild floor looking at what’s new from products to tools. They are developing relationships with vendors in the process, and by the time the Glazing Executives Forum lets out, they are quick to take me to the areas that pique their interest the most. This of course is after they describe the Express Learning sessions they attended and show me videos of 2x4s, and other random objects being hurled into hurricane-resistant glass. The entire process gets them excited and reinvested in the industry.

The reality is that I haven’t seen a downside to attending the show myself and I haven’t seen a downside to having my employees attend either. Over the years, we have brought in new tools, new learning systems, new operating systems and a ton of new vendors from GlassBuild. Some of those items would have easily been passed over by one set of eyes. But with my team there looking for new and impressive products that benefit their respective sectors or departments, we’ve created some new ways to how we do business.

Dustin Anderson is the owner of Anderson Glass in Waco, Texas.