Communication
Photo by Genesis Landscape Solutions

Improve team communication in 2024

By John Waters

Communication is essential to the success of any company, and it is a great area to focus on if you want to grow your landscaping company in 2024.

The ability of you and your employees to communicate with customers and other team members is connected to your reputation as a company, which is tied to improving your bottom line.

A profitable landscaping company needs the best communicators, and the best are made with practice. Here are a few tips for improving team communication at your company this year.

Buy into the growth of your employees

The best way to improve communication with your team is for you to know them and for them to know you. Check in on employees to see how they are doing at work, as well as at home. The frequency you check in depends on how big your company is, but every owner should have an active interest in the growth of their employees. Small landscaping companies should individually meet with every employee weekly. Large landscaping company owners should hold individual meetings once a month.

Meetings are the best way to personally get to know your employees. They can help you learn their strengths and weaknesses, as well as help both of you strategize how to improve the employee and owner relationship.

Your contractors are your most valuable asset, so take the time to talk to them and get to know them. These meetings represent a tiny fraction of time, but lead to a huge improvement in efficiency. The meetings should establish clear expectations for improvement for the company and how well everyone met the expectations set at the previous meeting.

Your meetings are also about establishing a personal connection with your team members. Remembering a birthday or another big event in an employee’s life can go a long way toward creating a good working relationship.

Productive individual meetings with your employees will help them improve as people and as employees.

Team meetings are also a necessity for any landscaping company. You should conduct whole team meetings once per week if your company is small and once a month if you run a large business.

Team meetings are about peer accountability. Both you and your team have goals; you must hold them accountable for meeting those goals and your employees must also hold you accountable. You and your team must know how everyone is performing and how they can help each other meet those expectations. Team accountability means that successes are more likely to be recorded and failures are quickly noted and fixed.

Contractors should be involved and engaged during these meetings and asking questions should be incentivized. Get everyone involved by politely posing a question to team members who haven’t talked much during the meeting. It is imperative that meetings are a safe and intellectual environment. No one should fear speaking, and no one should be treated poorly for saying something incorrect.

A company with efficient communication requires an environment where everyone feels comfortable communicating.

Essential tools for crews

Sometimes issues with communication are not an issue of process but an issue of technology. Buying the proper tools to improve team communication goes a long way. For example, two-way radios are great tools to streamline communication at your landscaping company.

Two-way radios provide your team with instant communication with the push of a button. A large crew working on a massive property can communicate to colleagues on the other side of the property instantly if they need something done.

Implementing two-way radio use in your landscaping company is a great first step to improving communication.

Communication is not just verbal

Effective communicators use more than words by practicing active body language. When your team interacts with customers they should give direct eye contact, stand up straight, and communicate with the client with an upbeat and professional demeanor. Clients want to work with a landscaping company that is happy to work with them.

Owners should take this advice to heart when it comes to communicating with their employees. Companies are more likely to retain employees if they feel like they are being listened to. Take the time to talk to your employees and listen to their suggestions and concerns. Listening to your team will improve your landscaping business.

The best business owners understand that good professional relationships lead to successful businesses. Good professional relationships require trust, and you establish trust by listening to your team.

John Waters is the principal of Waters Business Consulting Group in Scottsdale Arizona. Waters and his team are experts in helping contractors create plans to grow and scale their businesses.