How to structure your landscaping company for maximum productivity

Updated Jul 5, 2019
Photo: PixabayPhoto: Pixabay

Every landscaping company is always looking for ways to increase productivity, but one aspect you may not have considered is the overall structure and accountability for employees.

“Why is it so rare for employees to care about results?” asked Danny Kerr, director of assessment for Breakthrough Academy, during his educational session at the Snow & Ice Management Association’s (SIMA) 22nd Annual Snow & Ice Symposium in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Some of the responses offered up were if the employee doesn’t buy into the company, if their rewards are lower than the owners or if there is no gain or loss for the crews, they probably aren’t going to care about the results.

Kerr says that having a clear organizational structure can help remedy this by creating clear roles, clear deliverables and clear accountabilities for everyone within a landscaping company.

When employees are in the right roles in the organization, they can deliver the highest value to the company and their job delivers the highest value to them.

“Everyone has something that they are naturally attuned to,” Kerr says. “Put people where they belong.”

It may sound simple but having the right person in the right position will provide the results you are looking for.

As for deliverables, these are the tangible results that an individual can deliver to the company to produce ROI. These could involve revenue, net profit or quality/customer satisfaction, but it is best to focus on a combination of all three.

Without deliverables, it can be hard to prove whether someone is necessary for your company’s success.

Accountabilities is the detailed list of activities that an employee is accountable for. These tasks should directly influence deliverables.

Kerr advises creating an organizational chart based on deliverables. These should be results that are relatable to that individual and are things that are in their control. For instance, a site foreman can’t affect the number of sales made, but they can strive to be five percent under budget on average and have a 9/10 average in quality rating.

Having these sorts of clear expectations can provide clarity for employees seeing how what they do impacts the bottom line. Yet creating this structure means nothing without accountability so Kerr encourages using employment agreements that are introduced early on in the hiring process or during realignment meetings with current staff.

These need to be simple and have accountabilities tied directly to the deliverables expected of the employee.

Kerr advises spending a year tracking your numbers before you know what metrics you are trying to improve and then you can start tying deliverables to job titles.

“The owner is ultimately accountable for ensuring deliverables are achievable and realistic,” Kerr says.

One way to incentivize employees to not only meet these expectations but exceed them is to offer performance-based pay with a compensation structure that rewards them incrementally based on the goals they surpass.

“You want your people earning as much as possible within their role,” Kerr says.

The next step after structuring your company and adding accountability is to monitor your progress to reaching your goals. During meetings with the leadership staff once every week, look at your weekly goals versus what was actually achieved and determine what needs to change.

“For it all to work, you need a strong CRM and to communicate across the organization,” Kerr says.

A strong CRM captures all your leads, estimates, booked jobs, tracks payments and can report on important metrics. Proper communication within your organization means that things are being properly translated from sales to production and key metrics and results are being reported.

Kerr says that proper structuring is just one cog in a larger machine. The ultimate goal is to create a company that can function with or without you. Breakthrough Academy offers a program that can help you upgrade every aspect of your business and allow you take a step back from the day-to-day so you can focus on the bigger picture. Click here to learn more about this program.

The Attachments Idea Book
Landscapers use a variety of attachments for doing everything from snow removal to jobsite cleanup, and regardless of how often they are used, every landscaper has a favorite attachment.
Attachments Idea Book Cover