As the weather warms up across the country and our schedules get busier, it gets a lot easier to get frustrated. Crews are working longer hours, salespeople are going on more sales visits, managers are dealing with onboarding new team members, and all-around tension is just higher.
As you and your team face the challenges and problems that will no doubt arise, I wanted to give you my best tips on facing them:1. Focus on what, not who, is to blame. The blame game is not productive, instead, look for what system failure caused this and stay focused on what went wrong instead of blaming team members.
We have a maintenance client at Grunder Landscaping Co., and each year their spring clean-up takes about 60 hours. One year, it came back at 84 hours. It would've been easy for us to place blame here: to say the crew just didn't work fast enough. But if we'd jumped to this conclusion, we would've missed the chance to solve the problem.
When we asked more questions, we quickly found the actual problem: the year it took the crew longer, we had a bunch of rain, and the property was very wet when the crew arrived. They had to go around the left side of the property with the wheelbarrows because it was too wet on the right side, and that added a lot more distance to cover while moving materials.
The solution? We explained to the client that in the future, we can't do their spring clean-up if the ground is too wet, and we'll reschedule it for a week when it's drier if we need to.
2. Be part of the solution. If you go into a meeting expecting to find problems, you no doubt will. A positive, problem-solving attitude will serve you well. Encourage your team to do the same, to suggest solutions instead of spending a meeting looking for more problems.
Mistakes will happen; they're part of life and part of work. How your company treats team members when they happen speaks volumes about your company culture and the leaders you have. As much as possible, treat mistakes as learning opportunities, and you'll go much farther.
I said this in a Great Idea earlier this year, but remember: you're all on the same team. Don't make your job harder by placing blame and turning against your own team.
President & CEO
The Grow Group & Grunder Landscaping Co.
Our Field Trip, in partnership with NALP, will take place at Russell Landscape on June 6-7, 2023. Have you signed up to join us yet?
Go behind the scenes at this commercial-landscape powerhouse to learn what makes their business successful and how you can implement some of what they do at your own landscaping company. From how they manage their people and their "Power of Purple" to how they handle the logistics and operations of nearly $62M per year in landscaping work, we'll cover it all. Hope to see you there!