This time of year, many landscaping companies are at their busiest, and owners and managers are often at their most stressed. With so much on the line, you’re intently focused on execution — you have to be! — so when a team member doesn’t perform a task or deliver on a project the way you want them to, there’s a real temptation to swoop in and just do it yourself.
But that’s a mistake. You may save time in the short term, but you’ll lose it in the long run because you’ll prevent your team from developing their own skills and competencies. It took me a while to learn this important lesson; years ago, when I was just starting out, I thought I had to do everything myself if I wanted it done right. But you will never grow as a company if success relies solely on you.
So what should you do if a team member is struggling with a task or project? First, take a deep breath and a step back, and then reassess the situation.
Did you train your team member(s) well enough to do what you’re asking them to do? Most people want to do their jobs well; it’s your responsibility as an owner or manager to ensure they’re equipped with the knowledge and tools they need to do that. Review with them again the job at hand and give them another opportunity to ask questions. Training takes time and repetition to stick. But it’s an upfront investment that can pay huge dividends down the line.
Did you set clear expectations, with a firm deadline? People tend to work best when they understand exactly what they’re responsible for and when, and firm deadlines help drive accountability. If it’s a more involved project, setting a timeline, with benchmarks and check-ins along the way, can improve performance too. Far better to learn of any obstacles or difficulties along the way than to discover them when it’s too late. As we say at Grunder Landscaping Co., “No surprises!”
Did you provide coaching and positive reinforcement? Even Tom Brady needed a good coach to reach his potential. Call out small wins along the way and provide useful feedback where needed. You’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
The next time you’re not seeing the results you want, resist the urge to play Superman or Wonder Woman and to try to save the day yourself. With proper training, clear expectations and a little coaching, most teams will step up and deliver.
If you’re not seeing the sales results you want, you or your team may need better training. On June 25–26, Marty is offering a special online edition of his immensely popular $uper Sales Bootcamp; this is a rare opportunity to learn from an industry pro without having to leave your home or office. Visit growgroupinc.com/virtual-sales-bootcamp for more information.