Management Training Program Overview

Steven Cesare, Ph.D.


An impressive landscaper from Pennsylvania called me the other day to talk about her company’s aggressive growth plan spanning the next several years, across at least three states. As we all know, fundamental to every landscaper’s business model is staffing; especially for those landscapers fixated on significant, substantive, strategic growth.

With her field operational recruitment plans aligned and accountable (e.g., internal, external, technological), the landscaper has adroitly focused her eclectic attention onto supervisory, mid-management, and executive-level positions necessary to drive future success, all the while strengthening the company brand image. Given the rule of thumb that 75% of management positions should be filled with internal promotions, juxtaposed by the complementary 25% representing “new blood” from external hires, the landscaper has designed and begun to implement a management training program intent on instituting definable managerial competencies consistent with the company’s results-based team-oriented culture to fuel a continuous internal managerial candidate staffing model.

The innovative landscaper has partnered with industry-wide trainers, consultants, and internal executives in such a manner to create a 12-module management training program. Though flexible based on staffing needs, the elementary framework suggests that “interested” (e.g., ambitious, high-potential, exemplary) employees complete at least nine of the 12 monthly modules within a rolling 12-month schedule to solidify their managerial “readiness” to be considered for promotion.

Subject to change, based on varied business needs, here is the current training module set:

Business Acumen
• Legal Issues
• Building Relationships and Improving Conflict Resolution
• Personal Leadership and Time Management
• Performance Management
• Customer Service
• Delegation
• Employee Engagement and Retention
• Establishing Goals and Performance Expectations
• Active Listening and Accountability
• Communication and Interpersonal Skills
• Conducting Performance Reviews

With training content drawn from myriad professional sources, saturated with green industry concepts and application, the delivery mechanism for each module is video-based, presented in 5–10 minute segments, accessible on the company web server and cell phones. For employee tracking purposes, the training segments will monitor access, duration, and completion, compiled forward for each entire module, representing a summary of actual progress for each candidate.

The monthly timeframe allows the attendees to first learn the modularized training content, and then work with their respective coach (e.g., manager, supervisor, executive) during supplementary one-on-one sessions to bring that content to life in the “real world.” Thus, by doing so, this managerial certification program blends content training with applied development to ensure a wholistic generalizable knowledge transfer to the actual work setting.

Like all systems (e.g., purchasing, safety, reporting, information technology, social media), this training paradigm should be reviewed annually, validated by results, and continually re-engineered to upgrade its ability to add capitalistic value to the company’s culture, stated staffing goals, and employee competence.

A forward-thinking executive team, fostered by a well-crafted commitment to employee training, underscored by a supportive culture working symbiotically, lends confident excitement to the belief that this program will improve with each passing revision. Nice job! Keep up the good work!

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Steve Cesare Ph.D.

has more than 25 years of Human Resources experience. Prior to joining The Harvest Group, Steve worked with Bemus Landscape, Jack in the Box, the County of San Diego, Citicorp, and NASA. Steve earned his Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Old Dominion University, and has authored 68 human resources journal articles. As a member of The Harvest Group, Steve’s areas of expertise include: staffing, legal compliance, wage and hour issues, training, and employee safety.  Read Steve's full bio.