In last week’s blog, I shared a list of effective methods used by super successful volunteer organizations to recruit and keep hundreds/thousands of dedicated contributors engaged year-after-year. There are a few more that I think are worthy for you to consider adding to your thinking process (or as you develop your own focused course of action).  

Just to review, we did confirm that the culture must be one of respect and quality and that senior managers must be committed to working to improve the recruiting and retention.  Managers can quantify the savings from less turnover, easier and more effective recruiting and higher morale as a part of the program deliverables. 

Some of the ideas we did not yet cover: 

Execute a carefully planned monthly action plan for employee retention.   Here is a suggestion for a Campaign for Monthly Focus on Retention: The employees hire date will determine what their trigger dates will be for monthly updates.  

Month 1– Distribute a new employee welcome packet.  Onboarding is key.  This is in addition to the New Hire Packet that everyone has that collects forms and signatures.  In this piece, the employee receives input about the individual’s value to the company.  This is a foundational base among all of the administrative details covered in the package. 

Month 2– Invite and engage new employees by inviting them to take part in an event or project. 

Month 3– Send a personalized check-in message to new employees.  “We want to keep in touch with you to make sure you are settling in.  If you’d like to send us an email of your thoughts or have a conversation about areas you have questions in, we can schedule something now.”  (Sometimes it helps if the person can speak to someone in the main office who isn’t their direct supervisor.) 

Month 4– Emphasize how valuable they are to the organization.  Use a specific example when possible.  When you did this on the Smith project, we were impressed with your initiative, for example. No negatives.  That’s a different track. 

Month 5- Assign a mentor from the old-timer’s group. (Don’t forget to build a mentors success program.  I mentored five new people this year – they are all still here – one got promoted already –that’s partly due to my mentoring — I got a bonus based on them staying with the company and doing so well.) 

Month 6Survey to establish the level of satisfaction with your company.  Verify original reasons we hired this person and how they’ve stood out since they started with the company. 

Month 7Strengthen communication/connection with a team member.  Send a personal note or email.  Offer to have a phone call.  Decide who does what level of people and whether exceptions should be established at hiring. 

Month 8Shine the spotlight on the new employee – introduce them in the monthly company newsletter or blog to customers. 

Month 9Introduce future leadership possibilities to the new employee.  Have they considered training to be a supervisor if they are team leaders now?  How to get from here to there. 

Month 10- Demonstrate the value to the employee of being part of the company. 

Month 11– Send a personal note thanking the person for their contribution since they were hired and asking them to recommit to the next year as even more success in their future. 

Month 12Celebrate all the successful retention efforts with the team.  Have a social event to share the success. 

Having a team member focused on this kind of monthly effort keeps the communication lines open.  Everyone wants to be “seen” and valued.  This kind of effort responds to those needs. It also establishes an outlet for suggestions or issues that may have arisen in addition to their supervisor. 

Other ideas to consider: 

  1. Build a prospective employee database as a tool to identify potential future recruits.  Track who might have brought them to your attention and get that person to let you know if they might still be available.  Does that person have additional folks for us to consider? 
  2. If you have a website that allows people to apply online, measure those results to see how well your company is drawing.  Some people will focus on getting in the door at your company and those should be noted. 
  3. Is your website outreach section outmoded?  Do you have a presence in local social media for potential employees to let them know who you are looking for?  
  4. Do your existing employees know about your recruiting bonus levels?  Have they been successful in recruiting or are they frustrated and need input to be more effective? Can you give a lunch and learn to teach employees about how to recruit on your behalf? 

If your team members are committed to being ready, willing and able to assist in the recruiting process, you should experience an additional positive result from their investment in the labor force initiative.  Not everyone will be comfortable with this role, but it takes just a few additional successes to have a rewarding result.  

Those results pay off for your new team members as well as your existing team, all resulting in a more positive workplace for your landscaping business.  If you would like to discuss the value of your business, your exit plans, selling or buying another company, let’s have a conversation.  It’s rarely too early to think about setting goals.  Have you bought a business and are having trouble integrating it?  We can help with that too. 

I can be reached anytime via email: alison@harvestlandscapeconsulting.com or phone at: 224-688-8838.

We’re here to help you Harvest Your Potential!

Alison Hoffman

has more than 25 years of experience in strategy, operations, mergers and acquisitions and delivering business-to-business client solutions. Her areas of expertise include managing operations for profitable growth, organizational design and strategy activation. She brings a wealth of experience through her work in evaluating, valuing and purchasing over 30 companies, leading company-wide cultural and business integration projects and consolidating best practices among business processes and corresponding computing systems. Read Full Bio