January 8, 2021

Cultivate Quality, Creativity, and Craftsmanship

I crave two things: To surround myself with great people and to deliver the highest-quality work to our clients. It’s that simple. But getting to that point takes time, effort, and a bit of ingenuity. Over the years, I’ve discovered what works… and what doesn’t. Today I’m going to share some thoughts on achieving the best of both worlds—people who are as devoted as you are to learning and improving their skills, and how to consistently turn out products that you can be proud of.Let’s dig in…


Yeah, I know—easier said than done

I get asked this question a lot: How did you find such great craftsmen and professionals to work for NS Builders? The simple answer is to hire the best people. Executing that process is where it gets challenging.

A person’s résumé may look amazing—you read it over and think: This is going to be the one! And then you meet them in person. During the interview it becomes painfully apparent that this is definitely not going to be the one. My point: Just because a person looks great on paper doesn’t mean they will be the right fit for the company. That’s why I like to walk them around the shop and meet other team members during the interview process. It lets us both see what it’s going to look like working here and whether or not the vibe feels right.


Build the right company culture, and you’ll find the right people make their way to you—and stay!

So, what exactly is “company culture?” Simply put, it’s shared values, attitudes, goals, best practices, and commitment to excellence that everyone collectively promotes. Think of it as the collective personality of the company.

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I was committed to building an exceptional company culture at NS Builders. I knew it would take time and effort to do so. But the payoff would be immense: A strong, supportive, positive culture that would be alluring to prospective candidates and improve retention and engagement. NS Builders had to be that environment where people actually wanted to come to work every day. And it starts from day one. Allow people to discover, make mistakes, learn how to do it right the next time, work as a team and not as a competitor, and enjoy the work family's camaraderie.

Most importantly, empower your employees to improve the quality of their work and craftsmanship through continual education on the job. Encourage creativity and innovative thinking. Expect them to bounce ideas off one another, challenge each other to come up with solutions, and never be satisfied with mediocrity.


When mistakes are made (and they will be made—we’ve all got war stories), it’s crucial that constructive criticism be delivered in a blanket of commendation. Offer sincere commendation where appropriate, give the needed counsel, and then wrap up the conversation with one last piece of praise. The goal is to keep the employee’s confidence in place while assisting them to see what they did wrong.

When people feel secure and appreciated in the workplace, they will accept correction, strive to improve, and demonstrate their commitment to the team. When the team is happy, we’re all happy!


I’ve made it my mission to build and maintain an excellent reputation for NS Builders. And my team contributes to this goal every day on every project—big or small. In addition, I’ve built relationships with subcontractors who share a similar viewpoint on quality. It all comes down to communication.

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Cultivating collaboration is an art. Everyone needs to be on the same page, so I push for open communication regularly. We take time to walk through the process of a project, not just what our team will be delivering, but also the other trades on-site. For example, even if your work will be covered up behind a wall, will you still perform the work in a way that you can be proud of? Attention to details (even those that will never be seen by the homeowner) is where we excel. Stapling wire on a stud, making sure that the Romex is flat, coming down with plumbing pipes in the wall straight and plumb—it all matters. Even cleanup—everyone is responsible for keeping the job site clean and tidy. Set the example, and others will follow.

Keeping our promise to the client—that we will deliver exactly what was asked for—is a truly satisfying experience.  


When you empower your people—your work family—to strive for nothing less than excellence in quality, creativity, and craftsmanship, you are elevating your business to the next level. And when you apply those same principles to your product, you’ll be on the fast-track to success.    

If you find yourself increasingly dissatisfied with your current home, give us a call today to see what NS Builders can do for you! Need some inspiration? Check out this upscale kitchen remodel in a 100-year-old brownstone in the heart of the South End of Boston. Let’s craft something distinct.

—Nick Schiffer


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