We hosted our annual HindSite Business Summit a few weeks back and we were extremely happy with both the turnout and the insights that we were able to gain from our customers! It was great getting to meet some of our customers and discuss their businesses - some of the opportunities and some of the challenges that they are facing.
One of the breakout sessions that we held was What is a Leader, with Clayton Schwerin of Vistage, which is a leadership group for CEOs and other business executives. One of the questions that was asked to all the green industry business leaders was this:
What are the three most significant leadership decisions you need to make in the next 6-12 months?
Of the 25 business owners that were part of that breakout session, the three most common responses revolved around these themes:
- Employee appreciation
- Employee development
So I wanted to take some time to compile a few resources for green industry business owners to utilize within the next year that will help improve their communication, create a culture where their employees are valued and are also developed throughout the year.
One of the things that came up after we held this session at our business summit was the importance of holding status meetings. One of our customers mentioned that his company had gotten to a point where his employees were taking their trucks home every night and he would go for weeks at a time without seeing any of them
It created an impersonal atmosphere and issues arose out of the lack of communication. While it was nice that his employees were able to just head to their first job in the morning from their home, they never were able to discuss issues in a face-to-face setting.
One of our customers mentioned that he would host a morning meeting once a week, where he would buy breakfast and host just a quick meeting before his employees went out for the day. We thought this was a great idea, especially since we have our own Monday morning breakfast ritual, too!
Here are few great resources to help promote communication:
The second most common theme that we saw during the leadership session was that green industry business owners need to show more employee appreciation. There seemed to be a range in level of appreciation, from as simple as saying ‘thank you’ more often to considering new forms of compensation.
A few of our customers mentioned that they felt they needed to give more positive feedback and not just point out negatives. Another said that they wanted to start ‘understanding employees’ motivators and their troubles’. I think this is another important factor in employee appreciation. It means a lot to employees when you take time to understand them on a personal level.
Here is a great article on showing employee appreciation: Top 10 Ways to Show Appreciation to Employees. Notice how one of their points is about getting to know employees interests/hobbies.
This can often be a difficult one for field service businesses since many are seasonal. The time that you have to spend on employee development isn’t as great as year round businesses. Many of the customers that were at our business summit we’re irrigation professionals. Not everyone has a full calendar year of working with employees.
However, with that being said, employees still want to grow in their career and learn valuable job skills, regardless of how long a season you have. We recently wrote a post on how to develop employees on-the-fly. Here are a few other articles to help you create a development plan for your team members and the benefits that employee development has for your business:
- 5 Steps to Creating Employee Development Plans That Truly Work
- If You’re Not Helping People Develop, You’re Not Management Material
- Making Sure Your Employees Succeed
Want to learn more about how to develop a great team? Download our free eBook below!