Several years back I remember stepping back and looking at the sign I’d hung at the entrance to our shop. I was hiring a landscape foreman again. We were growing, we’d lost a key person or two that year and I really needed to hire a landscape foreman (or two!) to keep up with the [...]
“I’ve tried for years to get better… but I still end up back in the same place. It’s been 15 years and nothing’s changed. I never really know where things are at until I check the bank account and even then, I’m constantly surprised (and not the good kind). I never really feel like I’m in control of anything – or that I truly know what’s happening other than what I can see with my own two eyes in the field.”
It’s been said a lot, studied a lot, and if you’ve hired under-30 workers, you’ve seen it a lot. This younger generation is different. Generations for years have talk about ‘the way things were’, but perhaps its never been so different as now. Wishing for the old days and complaining that this generation doesn’t work like you worked isn’t going to change a thing, but here’s a few tips that might:
Focus your time on eliminating reasons that demotivate your people and you’ll improve employee retention, field productivity, customer service and ultimately, your company’s profits.
Every new hire is a new opportunity to find and hire a superstar in your business. Every wrong hire is one more person we have to manage, babysit, discipline, and eventually let go. People make and break us in the business – what could be a better investment of your time than a hiring process that helps you find the great ones and leaves the rest for your competitors?
One of the most important lessons I learned in my landscape business is that trying to find and hire excellent leaders was going to take me a lifetime. We must continually invest in developing leaders in our company, especially the 5 leadership skills that are critical to successful foremen.
We are all aware of the major role that health and safety plays in the day to day activities of all those involved in the landscaping industry, or any industry, for that matter. Executing and maintaining a comprehensive health and safety program is not only the law, but also communicates to your employees, that you care about their well-being.
Mistakes are all-to-frequent in every company. It’s really easy to look back and blame someone, get frustrated, or shake your head, but it’s almost as easy to tune your ears to hear mistakes coming. The best mistakes are the ones you can stop before they happen.
Stress is excitement and enjoyment in your work gone wrong. It comes from many different sources in the landscape business but most of all I think it comes from a lack of planning and a shortage of systems.
I have come to realize after speaking personally with many landscapers in our management workshops and operating my own landscape company that most companies and managers in the green industry tend to hang on to deadwood employees for too long. Don’t be afraid of turnover. The success of your business depends on it.