February 8, 2021
Joe SalemiWhen I think back to the most successful landscape businesses I have encountered over the past 18 years, there are several characteristics they have in common. One that stands out the most to me is their willingness to invest in people. Companies that invest in their people — especially with training and professional development, are more likely to succeed.

Let’s unpack that a bit. Why would they be more successful? I often hear other business owners tell me that no matter how much they invest in people, they still have a high turnover rate. There’s likely more at play here. Employees who feel like they matter to the organization will stick around longer. When an employee is encouraged to enrol in educational opportunities at the expense of their employer, they feel valued. Employees that feel valued are much more likely to be loyal to their employer.

Why is this important? Well, it’s hard enough to find people to work for you, so why not do everything you can to ensure they feel valued, why at the same time add to their skill sets? While continued effort needs to flow through the build out and daily execution of your company culture, an intended benefit is employees who believe they matter to their employer.

It’s more important than ever to put a solid effort into the culture of your organization. Here’s my favourite list of easy things business owners can do to live their company culture and make their employees feel valued:

Be positive!

Valuing employees in the workplace starts with a simple mindset shift. And, while it’s easy for leaders to fall into the bad habit of only correcting negative behaviours, the best leaders actively search to see the positive change their people offer.

Seek input

When you ask employees for their ideas you not only gain perspective, insights, and possibly solutions, but you also might discover how that employee feels about his or her role. Seek input often.

Communicate clearly and often

If you’re not communicating, your people will make assumptions about how you view their efforts. And saying nothing doesn’t typically translate in their minds as “good job.” In fact, it typically translates as “they don’t like me.”

Encourage effort

Become the cheerleader for employees. Sometimes it requires a tremendous amount of energy before a goal is reached. That effort needs to be applauded along the way.

Reward results

Employees will feel valued when the reward is on par with the result. An employee who creates a huge win for the organization won’t feel valued if the reward is small and seems insincere.

Facilitate growth and opportunity

Become the person who eliminates hurdles, opens doors, and helps people rise to become their best. When they see you care about their continued growth and opportunity — even if that means they’ll rise out of your department — they will feel valued, and they’ll remember you long into the future.

Celebrate careers

Celebrate the whole person — the value they bring to the organization, the value their personality brings to the team, and the value their expertise brings to the world.

Care about well-being

By showing an employee that you actually care about their physical, social, and emotional well-being, you’re basically proving you care about them personally, rather than just caring about the results they create.

Connect to purpose

Employees feel more valued, and display more motivation in the workplace if, and when, they understand their exact role within the greater purpose. When they understand how their efforts play a part in something much bigger than themselves, they feel more valued by their leaders and by their organization.

Give them a break

For big wins, and huge undertakings, encourage a longer break — a day to spend with family or friends to make up for all those extra hours on the job site. This makes employees feel valued because it shows you care about them, want to reward them, and you appreciate them when they’re fully charged.

As leaders it’s our obligation to foster a healthy environment for our people. What better way than investing in their growth. Landscape Ontario’s professional development opportunities have all gone virtual. There are almost 50 online educational opportunities available to you and your staff with topics for everyone. Consider signing your staff up for some online seminars this winter. It can make a big impact!

Enroll your people at HortTrades.com/professional-development-online.
Joe Salemi
LO Deputy Executive Director and Director of Operations