Help Your Team Understand Each Other

"The sales team just drive all over town in their air-conditioned cars all day. They have it so easy."

"The production team pays no attention to detail! If they could just do their jobs, I wouldn't have to deal with this unhappy client."

"The owner just sits in their office all day. I should just start my own company!"

How many of us have heard phrases like these through the halls at our landscaping companies? Maybe we've even thought or said them ourselves. It's the mental trap that comes along with people being good at their jobs: when they do it well, they make it look easy to the rest of us.

The truth is that there isn't a single job at any landscaping company that's exceptionally easy, but with clearly defined roles, it is easy for teams to forget all the little things their teammates are doing to keep the company running. It becomes easy to take our coworkers and the work they do for granted.

In our monthly all-team meeting recently, where we share company metrics and update the team on progress towards our goals, we dedicated time to addressing the important roles our team members play in our success. Our goal was to help everyone understand each other better. Here's how we structured it:

We asked three team members to share with the team what their responsibilities are and what they do on a typical day. We had one of our landscape designers, a maintenance consultant, and a group leader lead a short session. Each of these roles is critical to the success of the company, and they all have responsibilities that impact the rest of the team.

For example, we have compost piles and make our own wood chips for jobs. Each week, our group leader checks to ensure we have enough compost and chips processed for the jobs scheduled. If he didn't do this, we could suddenly run out of material even though we have acres of compost on our lot. This one simple task sets all of our crews and salespeople up for success, but most of us never even see him do it.

Every job within our company is critical for the team's success, and building empathy within our team helps us all to work better together. By being transparent about what a role entails, we're helping them understand how they can work better together. Find ways to do this within your teams this week. I'll talk to you again soon!

Marty Grunder
President & CEO
Grunder Landscaping & The Grow Group

P.S. If you are struggling to define the responsibilities that go with roles in your company, join us this month at our Field Trip at R.P. Marzilli, held in partnership with NALP. We'll hear from each department in their company, and learn the details of how they assign responsibilities to execute huge construction projects and detailed maintenance services.

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