It’s no secret that finding dedicated and qualified workers for the landscape industry is not an easy task. Many owners have tried everything; from online postings to job fairs, yet probably still feel defeated. Maybe it’s time for a different approach. Maybe the issue isn’t with finding good staff, but with keeping them.

According to Total Landscape Care the following are a few tips on how to make seasonal employees  into long-term staff.

1. Clearly Explain the Job Expectations

Step one is starting out on a good foot. No one wants to take a job thinking they are doing one thing then be hit with a bunch of surprises. Make sure to start out, even before officially hiring someone, by giving them a clear outline of the job description. Being up front and honest will help ensure they are the right person for the job if they take it. Don’t waste time and money hiring someone for a job they aren’t cut out for, or they will walk away from because they didn’t have all the facts beforehand.

Include interview topics such as; outlining the work day, typical daily/weekly hours, wages, work environment, and of course the company’s values and mission. Make sure the job feels right for them, and they are a good fit for the team.

2. Employee Orientation

Don’t throw a new employee into the ocean and hope they can swim! Each employee should go through a small training period and orientation. If hiring mid-season it may be a hassle to train them, but it is defiantly worth it. Throwing someone into the job with out at least two or three days to learn the process can be over whelming. In a larger company they could shadow a few different people for a few hours such as office manager, on site supervisor, and team member. This will let them see the full process of a job. It will also give them a better prospective of the process once they get to work.

As part of the orientation, be sure to get all the necessary paperwork completed such as tax forms. And, go over company policies, such as paid/unpaid time off and holidays. Once are hired, be sure to give them a more detailed run through of job expectations. In some cases a team bonding such as breakfast on you for the whole team may be a good idea to get everyone antiquated.

3.Pair Them with a Like-Minded Mentor

New hires should be paired up with a mentor. Having a trusted someone to go to is very important, for the company and for them. Regardless of the size of the company, no one wants staff calling with questions on every little detail on a project. That’s why team leaders are important! Assign your new-bee to someone leaders trust to answer questions accurately, and to guide them. This will make the transition easier on everyone.

Be sure to stay in the loop. Have the new hire’s mentor report to daily on their progress. They should give both praise, and voice any concern so they can be addressed as needed.

4. Give Them a Clear Idea of the Future  

It’s good to keep your team informed. If business is good, let them know so they can feel job security, and if business is bad, let them know and reassure them to stop the rumor mill. Be honest in all communications with the team. If they feel in the loop, they may feel more inclined to stick around and help when business is slower. Many of staff members will likely have families of their own. Give them the opportunity to help grow the business when possibles. This can be by training staff to be “specialists” in particular areas, like lighting or drainage, on top of their regular duties. This will build not only the business, but grow a contention between the employees and the business allowing for both to grow.

Gradually giving team members more responsibilities and expanding the companies services are both things people can get excited about. New or not, staff want to see growth opportunity and a chance for a long-term job. Demonstrating that this industry has more to offer than just being a side job during the summer is important. Build lasting employees that can work to grow the business and themselves and repeat business and referrals will ensure the company is more than just one season services with one season employees.

Setting team goals and sharing company progress (and benefits) is encouraging and will build lasting employees. Good Luck!

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