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Keyboard with training key (Photo: ChristianChan / iStock / Getty Images / Getty Images Plus)

Photo: ChristianChan / iStock / Getty Images / Getty Images Plus

As landscape professionals, we know that our jobs go beyond just doing the usual work outside. We’re experts and professionals solving problems clients may not even realize they have. A challenge everyone is having right now is having enough professionals on their team to do the work they already have sold.

Hiring based on experience isn’t always possible, so instead, we hire for attitude and train for knowledge and skill. There are correct — and incorrect — techniques in our industry, and if we expect our team members to know what they are we must train them on it.

At Grunder Landscaping Co., we set our training schedule for the year before the season starts, but we always leave room for topics that we may need to cover because of mistakes or incidents later. No matter what, each year we cover:

Weekly safety trainings

We want our team to be safe in everything they do. Each year, we cover safety issues that we know are common, either in our area or even unfortunately among our team. Common topics include identifying poisonous plants, heat and sun safety, driving and spotting and what protective equipment is needed for different tasks or equipment.

When setting your own schedule, ask: What’s something negative that just happened in the last week that you wish you had trained on. What is your most common worker’s comp claim? Can you do a training that would help prevent that injury in the future?

Operations trainings

With our team leaders, we cover topics that will help them be more efficient and effective on a job site. Common topics include where to park a truck, how to start a job, how to use the hours you are given and how to manage tasks on the site.

When setting your own schedule, ask: Your managers may have more operational experience than those in the field. How can we best pass that knowledge on to our team?

Customer service trainings

Our crews are our ambassadors to the community and can be our best salespeople. Trainings on customer service include reminding our crews to be friendly on job sites, teaching how to interact with a client or neighbor and how to be courteous drivers on the roads.

When setting your own schedule, ask: Some team members may be shy or not speak the same language as your clients; Can you help your team know what to say if a client or neighbor approaches them?

Come see my team and me at one of our upcoming Grunder Landscaping Co. Field Trips. We have spots still available for this small event, where you’ll see our operation firsthand and learn directly from the leadership team that is ensuring our entire team is well-trained and supported through this busy season. Register here. 

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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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