Why open-book management creates a better client experience

A company performs best when its people see themselves as partners in the business rather than as hired hands.

We believe business is a team sport. One of our core values is “work hard as a team to win!” Our leadership team updates all employees on the state of the business weekly. We believe sharing this information is important so all team members know how their actions can positively affect the company.

It’s also why the team at Landscape America started practicing Open-Book Management in 2019.

Curious about what is it and how we use it? Here’s a crash course behind the strategy and the three steps we took to implement it as a company.

What is Open-Book Management?

If you’ve heard Open-Book Management as a management strategy, you’ll understand why it’s further contributed to the high level of service and client care you know us for.

If you haven’t heard of it before, let me tell you what it is. Open-Book Management is a style of management that gives employees access to company financial information so they’re able to better engage with the work they do.

There are tons of management strategies and organizational tools you can use in a company. These usually show employees how to improve their performance but it doesn’t show them why they should care. The beauty of Open-Book Management is that it gets at WHY team members should care about the success of Landscape America rather than just the HOW.

Since we started using it, Open-Book Management has enabled our employees to think and act like owners. Everyone in the company knows how we’re doing each and every week. With this info, they can make adjustments to make sure jobs are being completed efficiently, on time and on budget.

In doing this, we not only provide you with a better job and a more engaged team. We also protect our gross profit dollars, and when we hit the goals we set, the entire team gets a bonus.

How we started using Open-Book Management

These are the three main steps we followed to implement Open-Book Management.

  1. Sharing information with everyone on the team — First, info that was previously only shared with those in leadership roles had to be shared — and understood — by everyone on our team. We literally opened our books for everyone on the team to see. This info included not just sales and contracts, but financial goals, budgets, income statements and forecasts. Since financial info is how we measure our success, when we’re all on the same page, we can all gauge the individual success of our actions — and how they affect the business.
  2. Holding every team member accountable, regardless of their role — Open-Book Management doesn’t get rid of management altogether. Managers are now responsible for holding their crews and teams accountable for scheduling their work, hitting quality targets and meeting their budget or profit goals. In an open-book company, all team members learn the skills needed to identify and watch key drivers, to forecast and re-forecast, and to analyze the budget for possible trade-offs. They also figure out ways they can get more (or better) work done in the same amount of time.
  3. Earning rewards for a job well done — Finally, in addition to paying each team member for their hours worked, we also reward them for the success of the business. At Landscape America, this is a publicly tracked goal that we all measure together. The rewards are a bonus paid out four times a year after the end of each quarter. For example, in February 2020, each team member received a bonus equal to about two weeks of pay for the final quarter of the 2019 season!
Landscape America employee receiving bonus check.

Some might see Open-Book Management as radical thinking. But so far, we see it as a success story that we want to share with our clients!

Ever since we started, 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.

And when that happens, you can expect a job well done on your property, time and time again.

Do we sound like a company you can get behind? Request an estimate today. Or, if you want to join our winning team, apply here!