Fielding a good team is hard but it’s not impossible.

Fielding a good team is hard but it’s not impossible.

With spring nearly sprung and our industry’s busy season about to get underway, I know many of you are struggling with finding good workers. I would love to be able to tell you—and me!—that there’s a simple silver bullet to solve this problem. But the truth is it takes hard work to find hard workers.

But there are steps you can take to improve your results. At GROW! 2018 in Tampa last month, we heard from a range of industry leaders about which tactics are working for them.


1. Make your company a great place to work. Many of you have heard me say this again and again, but I keep trying to hammer it home because it’s true. Create a fun, supportive atmosphere that people actually want to go to every day and foster a team spirit they want to be a part of. Everyone at GROW! 2018 saw the success Ameriscape Services has achieved by doing this. You can catch a quick glimpse of it for yourself in the photo above.

2. Provide a competitive wage—also known as duh. Even the most intrinsically motivated employees care about money. Pay your team fairly. Consider how much money you’re expending just trying to find people, and how much it costs you when you lose a good worker to another company or industry. You will never succeed in the long run by trying to outrun these metrics in the short term.

3. Offer a signing bonus. We have just started trying this now for the first time at Grunder Landscaping and we’re already seeing promising results. If you go this route, make sure you clearly promote it online on your website, job-search sites, and social media—you will instantly stand out.

4. Opportunity is the best motivator. This advice comes from my friend Bob Grover, president of Pacific Landscape Management in Portland, Oregon. Frank Mariani and I will head to Bob’s stand-out operation in August for our annual NALP field trip. “We don’t have a recruiter, but we don’t have any problems attracting talent,” Bob told the audience at GROW! 2018. “We attract with opportunity.” Have a plan in place to share with job candidates about how they can grow with you. Paint a picture for their futures. Get them excited about the possibilities.

If you’re struggling with finding good workers, challenge yourself to put in motion at least one of these tactics this week. Step by step, you’ll get where you need to go.

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