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:
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 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 jobsite. 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. Do they have any knowledge they can pass on?
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 jobsites, teaching how to interact with a client or neighbor, and 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?
In next week's virtual event, Vince Torchia and I will detail how landscaping companies can best train a winning team. We'll share the schedule we follow and refine year-after-year at GLC, how we structure trainings to make them memorable, and what we do to get everyone involved in both the learning and the teaching. It's a quick virtual event, with just 3 live, one-hour sessions in a day. I hope you'll join us.