New Methods For Spring, Summer & Fall Training

Apr 9, 2024 | Employees, Growth Tips, Leadership, Training

Before Kevin Kehoe (Aspire founder) passed away, he was asked “What is the biggest challenge in our industry?”

His answer, “The training of middle management.”

We are in agreement.

Many companies struggle here, but not everyone.

Here are some innovative (and simple) training solutions from my community to inspire you.

Training and Development Best Practices

“We do high-level company trainings every quarter. It has become the fabric of our firm. We share full financials, sales pipeline, production metrics, and economic updates. We refine systems through group discussion, educate staff on the latest innovations, and train soft skills via a book club. It has been absolutely effective!” Doug Taylor, Frontiers, Ontario

“Our most impactful training is our 30 min SOP meeting for each dept, every other week, where we cycle through pre-prepared content – sometimes re-run on the basics, other times complex tasks, other times, addressing issues from identified job cost issues from open book management so that people can adjust their approach.” Mark Hutten, Hutten & Co, Ontario

“We hold training rodeos in the spring and fall. We have 7-9 stations and rotate 5-7 people in groups. We cover technical and non-technical knowledge, based on the season.” Jeff Stroupe, Landscapes By Terra, OH

“We provide one-on-one personal finance coaching for all employees who want it.” Dave Wright, Wright Landscape Services, ON

“We create instructional videos of how to do all the most common services or activities in our company using a cell phone and simple editing software. We then create a test with true, false or multiple choice questions. It usually takes us about 2-7 days of work to create a single video between writing all the content, taking video, editing and dubbing it. We created an entire curriculum” John Denninger, Chesterfield Lawns & Landscapes, MO

“We use forced rankings for plant ID skills, it’s a fun competition.”

“We use a comprehensive career ladder to guide development. It covers everything from equipment maintenance and vehicle inspections to plant layout and specialty equipment proficiency. It was designed by our production managers, horticulturists, designers, and foremen.” Ivan Katz, Great Lakes Landscape Design, MI.

“We do constant QC and when we find a crew doing a nice job, we’ll take a picture and text it with a “great job” to the entire company. Then the messages or memes start rolling in from other crews congratulating the employee. Benjamin Lewis, President, Browder-Hite, Inc. VA

ProTip 1: Quarterly or bi-annual reviews help drive individual training goals, and therefore more ownership and accountability.

Pro Tip 2: Hire someone to oversee your training and development.

Pro Tip 3: Assign training dollars to make this real.

YOUR CHALLENGE: Use Outside Resources to Turbocharge People Development.

Your employees need management, people and critical-thinking skills in order to lead people and grow.

Everyone I spoke with uses outside resources: including their vendors, Sandler Training, and HR Consultant Katie Magoon.

It made me proud to hear from my community how they use our Summer Growth Summit for team development.

Two examples:

SAME PAGE LEARNING: “We are bringing 12 team members to the 2024 Summer Growth Summit. I prefer Jeffrey’s format compared to others in the industry because all our team members are hearing the same message, at the same time. It is easier to pick some new things to implement and rally around when your whole team is on the same page.” – Desiree Bouchard, General Manager, Great Lakes Landscape Design, MI

CREATE BUY-IN: “I’m bringing (execs and) middle mgmt. to the Summer Growth Summit. I started in 2021 and it opened their eyes. They saw first-hand that the ideas we were bringing back were real and not BS. Now we can talk higher level with them, and they trickle it down to their teams. Second big win was they met peers in the industry that became friends they can call and talk about issues. – Greg Semmer, Owner, Semmer Landscape, Chicago

Wishing you great luck this year – to develop the strongest team you have ever had!

Regards, Jeffrey Scott

P.S. Super Early Bird ends in 9 days for our Summer Growth Summit! If you plan to bring 5 or more people, email Corine for details.