Editorial Advisory Board: April 2019

April 23, 2019 -  By
Editorial Advisory Board graphic (Graphic: Landscape Management)

Graphic: LM staff

What’s the best way to retain employees?

Landscape Professionals

Richard Bare
Arbor-Nomics Turf
Norcross, Ga.

“Make sure they love and respect their boss. When questioned in surveys about why employees quit their jobs, it wasn’t pay or benefits, as you would imagine — most of the time they couldn’t stand their boss. So, in reflecting over my work career I would say that’s certainly a big factor, over the past forty years my biggest problem has been my boss — who is me. My lack of control and wisdom has landed me in the doghouse many a time, so I’m always trying to clean the log out of my own eye before worrying about the splinter in everyone else’s eye!”

Troy Clogg
Troy Clogg Landscape Associates
Wixom, Mich.

“The best way to retain employees is to provide a culture/environment that is solid and focused. An environment that is supportive. As leaders, it is our responsibility to be a coach and mentor. It is our responsibility to ask “how we can help” and then actually help. Now, to be clear this doesn’t mean that we should provide whatever we are asked for — quite the contrary. We need to have a clear and shared plan/vision that is filled with desired and expected behaviors. When we find, attract and nurture those that align with the behaviors that we desire and expect, then we will retain employees. And those who don’t fit will typically self-select their way out. Building a winning team is a lot like building a winning sports team. Some sports teams have a culture of making money, yet never winning a championship (Detroit Lions). Other sports teams have a culture of winning championships and making money (Patriots). As leaders, we are in charge of designing, sharing and building the team of our choice. So, what will yours look like?”

Paul Fraynd
Sun Valley Landscaping
Omaha, Neb.

“Make them feel at home, truly cared for and treat them like they are an owner right alongside you. Be open and honest in good times and in bad. Your best employees are here to help build something bigger than themselves, give them the chance to do this at your company!”

Chris Joyce
Joyce Landscaping
Cape Cod, Mass.

“The best way to retain employees is to pay attention to them. Attention = retention.”

Bryan Stolz
Winterberry Landscape & Garden Center
Southington, Conn.

“For us, retaining employees has become a top priority, due to the industry’s labor crunch. To do so, we do a lot of small employee engagement and appreciation events, just to take the opportunity to say thank you. This year, we canceled our kick-off party and replaced it with small kickoff parties per department and a large, company-wide appreciation event in early summer. We will be having a cookout offsite with equipment operation competitions and prizes for our team members. We hope that moving our biggest event after spring startup and removing the usual speeches will allow everyone to just enjoy each other’s company and show everyone how much they mean to us.”

Industry Consultants

Marty Grunder
The Grow Group
Dayton, Ohio

“The best way to retain team members is to create a culture that they want to work in, which requires the owner and leadership team to listen and find the balance between holding the team accountable/pushing to get things done and empathy and love for their people. Starting with very clear expectations, goals and then constantly discussing the progress is the best way we’ve found at GLC and the companies we help grow.”

Phil Harwood
Grow the Bench
Grand Rapids, Mich.

“A highly engaged employee will rarely leave. It’s all about engagement.”

Kevin Kehoe
3PG Consulting
Laguna, Calif.

“There are some very simple things: good bosses who treat people as they would want to be treated and fair to top end of the pay scale.”

Jeffrey Scott
Jeffrey Scott Consulting
Trumbull, Conn.

“Treat them like owners. Or, as my client says, ‘Treat them like volunteers.’”

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