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“Expect labor problems to persist in 2022” is probably the understatement of the year. But I’m saying it here anyway to remind you that turning your company into a great place to work must be your priority.

(Photo: NanoStockk / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images)

(Photo: NanoStockk / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images)

So, what’s your plan to make your workplace desirable to keep the team members you have and attract more? Becoming a great place to work all starts with strong company culture.

At Grunder Landscaping Co., that means:

  • Showing appreciation to team members;
  • Communicating goals and career paths;
  • Promoting safety; and
  • Maintaining engagement.

Showing appreciation to team members

There are untold ways we can show our team members we care. You can host team meals, do shout-outs at meetings, hand out prizes, write thank-you notes or texts, honor employees’ birthdays and company anniversaries, give bonuses and more. Saying “thank you” is not difficult, but you have to make it a point to do it. Get creative and see what you can come up with.

Communicating goals and career paths

In my opinion, the best reason to grow your business is to provide new opportunities for your ambitious team members. When it comes to communicating goals and career paths, GLC uses the following tools: annual performance reviews, career paths, Aspire dials that show progress, one-on-one meetings and team meetings.

Team members shouldn’t have to guess where the opportunities are within your company. Lay it out for them and help them achieve their goals. Also, remember, you don’t want higher-up employees to think they have to leave the company to get a better opportunity. Think beyond the organizational chart to give them what they’re looking for.

Promoting safety

Safety is important because it shows how much you genuinely care about your team. A safe workplace seems like it should be table stakes in our industry, but it’s often not treated that way. Consider implementing a safety program with routine components that reflect how important it is to you and the organization as a whole.

Here are some things you can do:

  • Monthly safety breakfasts;
  • Quick daily safety briefings and other messages, as needed;
  • Safety shout-outs (positive recognition, not public shaming);
  • Taking pictures of other companies to learn from their hits and misses;

Maintaining engagement

Finally, maintaining team member engagement is key to positive company culture and employee retention. Your team wants to do good work and be successful. Retaining a talented team is all about empowering them to do that. Share the metrics and information they need to do their jobs well, and consider offering profit sharing as an incentive for contributing to the company’s success. Combine information and incentives with things like knowing and using your staff’s names, building personal relationships with them, and demonstrating servant leadership — walking the walk — and you’ll lay the groundwork for creating a great place to work.

Review your company’s approach to the cultural elements above to ensure you’re at the top of your game. “Good enough” is no longer good enough.  

For more information on this timely topic, consider joining us at GROW! 2022 in Nashville, Tenn., on Feb. 23-25. You’ll hear about “Growing Your Team Member Engagement in the Era of the Great Resignation” from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School faculty members Megan Parker and Tracy Wallingford, among other talks on human resources. I hope to see you there!

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Marty Grunder

About the Author:

Marty Grunder is president and CEO of Grunder Landscaping Co. and The Grow Group, based in Dayton, Ohio.

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