February 15, 2009
Bob Adams
LO President

tom intven Once again a successful Congress has come and gone. Many thanks are offered to everyone involved in hosting this great show. The Congress Committee, each and every Congress volunteer and the entire Landscape Ontario staff need to be recognized for a job well done. From move-in, through the awards and the AGM, to a very smooth move-out, everything went like clockwork. Thank you for a job well done.

The following is a letter that I received recently from a fellow member that I wanted to share with you:

I found your article on Gen Y (December 15, 2008 issue of Horticulture Review) excellent and I hope folks take it to heart. I would like to add a couple of points.

It takes a bit of getting used to, but Gen Y people have a better life balance than my Gen X generation. They have a limit of how much they’re willing to work and often won’t go beyond it. At first this was frustrating. Now I envy it and strive to attain it. One of the best ways to keep these excellent and intelligent people is to offer them quality of life – not overworking them. At Fern Ridge we try and finish the day by six on a regular basis and almost never work on weekends. We do keep a reserve team of part-time employees for emergencies.

It should be noted that, unlike much of our industry, we have more great potential employees knocking on our door than we can hire and end up referring them to our colleagues. This is because we constantly network the community for our employees, just as we would for customers. And, when we get them, we treat them well. We get the overwhelming majority of our crew from word of mouth...and they’re a pleasure to work with because we keep offering them knowledge, respect and life balance.

On the whole the challenges are worth it and really, they’re challenges to my preconceptions. It may be that their outlook and boundaries are the ones we should all strive for. Gen Y is responsible, hard-working and often has deeply ingrained ethics and eco-sense. They’ve been raised with a strong sense of ‘right.’ Something we also need to live up to.

If, as an industry, we can meet their expectations as employees, we’ll be well set up to meet their future expectations when they’re ready to be our customers.

Sean James NPD
President of Fern Ridge Landscaping, Milton

Please, if you have an idea or concern, feel free to contact me at robertadams@landscapeontario.com. I encourage you to become involved in LO. It is your association.