It’s no secret that in the landscaping industry there’s a severe shortage of labor. For us at Landscape America, it’s been harder than ever to attract new employees. Yet, over the last few years, we’ve been able to grow in size — and maintain the same high level of service our customers have come to expect.
This growth has allowed us to do outstanding work for you, our valued clients. But I don’t attribute our success solely to Andy and I’s leadership. I think we’ve been able to grow because we care for our team — and have empowered them to succeed.
What does that all include? There are three major things that I believe have contributed to our success: our transition to “Open-Book Management,” celebrating our team’s achievements and the benefits we’re able to offer each employee and their families.
Some of the companies I really admire are Southwest Airlines and Harley-Davidson. The reason for this? They practice Open-Book Management — a style of management that gives employees access to company financial information so they’re able to better engage with the work they do.
We decided to implement this in 2019. It’s taken a few months to get it off the ground, but so far it’s going well. Our managers, foremen and crews are able to see how their work affects the company’s overall financial picture. With this knowledge, they're empowered in their decision-making and are able to more easily track whether they’re meeting their goals.
Part of the philosophy of Open-Book Management is when the team wins, everyone gets a stake in the proceeds. All members of the team are given the opportunity to make a bonus as long as the team wins — tying each employee’s success to the overall success of the company.
There’s a quote from the founders of Open-Book Management that we constantly repeat around the shop: “Business is a team sport, and we win or lose as a team.” I couldn’t agree more.
Celebrating our “wins” as a team brings us all closer together as we work towards a common goal. Our mission at Landscape America is to ensure outstanding experiences for property owners. We do this by creating opportunities for busy, driven folks to find and enjoy beautiful spaces outdoors.
This is why we try to find as many ways as we can to celebrate our team outside of the workplace.
Some of the ways we celebrate include…
- Reimbursement for educational programs, certifications & licenses
- Gifts — At one point, we were so thrilled with how our team performed during a snowstorm that we bought them all embroidered jackets.
- Monthly cookouts — These are open to each employee’s families too!
- Christmas party — An end-of-the-year bash is the perfect way to celebrate our team’s hard work.
- Open-Book bonuses — Christmas bonuses have now been replaced by quarterly Open-Book bonuses.
- Referral bonuses — We pay a referral bonus of up to $600 to employees if they help us find a new team member.
Looking After Each Other & Offering Benefits
I like to tell people that Landscape America has a “family feeling.” We truly care about one another and our relationships with each other go beyond day-to-day work. The stronger our team is, the better the work we do for you will be.
I think this is best illustrated with a testimonial from Karen Cowan, our lead irrigation technician:
"At the end of 2017, I hurt my back. It took quite a while to recover and it never fully healed. I was having a hard time managing the physical aspect of my work. In January of 2018, I went to Doug to give my notice because I needed to get into a more managerial role. While I was talking to Doug, he told me he was surprised because he had no idea how bad my back was. We chatted for well over an hour. Doug listened and went to Andy and Kyle and put together a more managerial position for me. The position they created has been great and I can really see the opportunity for me to grow. I came to realize that Landscape America is where I need to be. This company has so much potential and so much to offer. I’m really glad I stayed!"
It’s stories like these that I think help shape a great company culture!
It goes beyond stories, though. We also give every employee access to benefits and insurance. This is because how we feel outside of work influences how we feel while we’re at work. Benefits allow our employees to breath a little easier — and bring their best selves to the job site every day.
Our benefits include…
- Competitive wages
- Simple IRA with match
- Health insurance
- Dental plans
Whether it’s a quick chat during a break or after hours, empowering our team through Open-Book Management or the benefits we can offer each employee — our workplace culture is based on caring for each other. The landscaping industry may be dealing with a labor shortage, but we're trying our very best to combat it with excellent workplace culture. Through this, we create outstanding experiences for our customers.