Many companies are ditching the Time Clock. Doug Ireland at Freeland Painting has build his company culture around autonomy and trust, NOT the time clock. It’s all in how you hire!

Freeland Painting Autonomy – Beyond the Time Clock

Josh: [00:13] So earlier you mentioned that you had people there riding around in trucks with other employees, getting to know them and you also mentioned that there is a high level of autonomy. So how does autonomy, time management, being that people are out on the road all the time, how does that play into who you guys are, who you hire, how you operate?

Doug: [00:33] I think it’s a little shocking for new employees. It can be. I’ve got one nodding his head over here right now.

Josh: [00:43] He’s not In the room?

Doug: [00:43] He’s not in the room.

Josh: [00:44] It’s just me and you.

The Novelty of the Time Clock

Doug: [00:44] Oh, stop looking at me. So most jobs you have to be there at a time. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had jobs before where you had to punch card with the thing. Oh, that’d be great to put on the wall, wouldn’t it? Put a Freeland Painting time clock on the wall? I’m totally going to Amazon that, man.

Josh: [01:13] It just says you’re here every time you step in. There’s no time on it.

Doug: [01:17] We’ll put it right above Jeremy’s desk. So I mean we don’t — most people are used to time structures and organizational structures that have rules. And we’ve got rules, but our rules are more like broad. Stay within these boundaries and do anything you want to do within that fence. And I think that’s shocking for some new employees in terms of a cultural shift because like, I mean, I think that there are times where I’ve gone two days without even talking to an employee and there are other times where they get texted at 9pm.

NOT Micromanaging

[02:05] Well, when there’s something going on the next morning that’s super critical, I want to make sure that everybody knows where to be and what to do.

Josh: [02:13] You want to have the oil-based paint ready.

Doug: [02:16] Oil based, all these primers ready. I would like to think that people talk about micromanaging versus whatever not micromanaging is. I don’t think there’s a term for that, I think everybody has a little bit of both. I’ve got certain things that I’m very specific, have to be done a certain way, and so my management style comes out a little anal retentive in those situations. We want things certain ways, but the rest of it, employees will come in and say, “How do you want me to do this?” And I’m, “How do you want to do it? What’s your solution to the problem and tell me what you think is the best solution. Let’s go with that one or let me maybe give some advice on what I think I would do in that situation.” Kind of —


Josh: [03:08] It felt —

Doug: [03:10] — there’s a little bit of gestalt. There’s some EO; EO has definitely affected and I don’t know if we’re talking about EO in this interview or not, but EO has definitely been an influence on my management style. And it’s funny, it’s kind of married to my management style as well because there were things that I was doing that didn’t really have a name for.