Retaining and Retraining the Right People for Your Business
Going from good to best takes development and training
To an outsider, it might seem as if it doesn’t take much effort to remain fully staffed, but people in the landscaping business know this is hardly the case.
According to Lawn and Landscape magazine more than 56% of those who participated in their latest survey listed quality labor as a major concern. Just a year earlier, only 42% of those surveyed felt that way. As more companies compete for skilled labor, how do you find good people to grow your landscaping business? Even more important, how do you keep good people once they’re found?
It starts with your own approach
It’s important for employees to feel as if they have the ability to make decisions that will help you grow your business. That starts with making sure you are communicating a clear vision. As business.com explains, people who don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing for you won’t accomplish much. Yes, that’s a part of training, but it also requires you to show your staff you trust them.
No matter how busy you are you have to take time for small talk. When you show your interest and concern, you’re demonstrating a level of leadership that encourages people to take a deeper interest in their own progress.
This can also inspire creative thinking. You may discover that your team actually has discovered a better and more cost-effective way of accomplishing certain jobs.
Always be looking
The job market is tight for most industries. It’s still possible to find good new hires, but it means changing your outlook on the process. Recruitment and talent acquisition can’t be something you start and stop. It must become an ongoing process – and that’s mainly because it takes longer for these efforts to get results than it did when there were more available workers.
It’s also possible that you’ll come across individuals who exhibit a lot of potential, but who don’t necessarily have the skills you require. It’s time to look at the return on investment of providing growth and development opportunities for your employees.
Is it possible for you to help employees see a path for more pay and promotion within the company? Comprehensive job descriptions might sound like overkill for a landscaping company, but knowing specifically what’s expected and how this can create promo ability isn’t something that an employee can intuit.
The benefit of cross-training
Landscaping isn’t alone in this – employees in many industries face the risk of burn out. One way you can retain good employees is to offer them opportunities to tackle things that require them to learn new skills. It also allows you to take advantage of the expertise and talent you have on hand with your staff.
This is a highly empowering thing for your employees. You may discover that they’ll take it upon themselves to gain additional specific knowledge. It is your job to be an educational resource, but the desire to upgrade skills has to start with your employees.
If you don’t have a deep source of talent on your team, maybe it’s time to invest in it. Finding and hiring the cheapest labor you can find places your company in a race to the bottom. Discovering and retaining employees with related degrees and who are members of landscaping trade associations, positions your company as competent and industry experts. You’ll be able to charge more for your services, which helps to pay for the salaries of these qualified employees. They’ll also make excellent teachers.
Outfit employees with productivity-enhancing tools
Jerry Gaeta, a landscaping industry veteran, tells totallandscapecare.com that you can’t buy loyalty with money, but you can empower your employees and give them the tools for success. “That’s going to pay off for everyone,” he says.
One way you can retain employees through empowerment is to outfit them with landscaping tools that make their job safer, cleaner, and faster. Battery-powered landscaping equipment dramatically reduces noise and traditional pollution caused by gasoline engines. The renewable energy source shows employees that you also care about ecology – not to mention that you’ll have no fuel costs, so operations become more cost-effective over time.
Smart landscaping equipment like battery-powered wheelbarrows can help to reduce labor costs. It means you can focus on retaining quality people to grow your business. Learn more about the benefits of introducing battery-powered equipment to your staff.