The Best Exercise For Retaining & Rewarding Top Talent

Home / Blog / The Best Exercise For Retaining & Rewarding Top Talent
rewarding top talent

What if we told you there was a no-fail method to hiring new employees, retaining talent, conducting annual reviews, and handling promotions? Well, there is–and it starts with the Red, Yellow & Green.

Not only will this exercise save you time in each of these scenarios, it will ensure you’re making the best decision for your business, too. Any landscape business owner will tell you that the key to success is having a great team. But how do you create a great landscape team? How do you hire effectively? How do you know when a certain employee is no longer a great fit?

If you can figure out how to do each of these things, you’ll not only breed an environment of positivity and teamwork, you’ll be surrounded by employees who have the same vision for the business as you do. Here’s how…

Step 1: Look at Your Organizational Chart

Start by getting out your org chart (or making one if necessary!), and find–you guessed it!–a red, yellow and green pen.

Step 2: Ask the Question

Once you have your supplies, look at your list of employees. As you scan each name, ask yourself the question, “Given what you know about this person, would you rehire them?” Some are probably an easy yes or no, while others may land somewhere in the “maybe” range. That’s okay–we’ll break those down in step three.

If you find yourself trying to find the best in each employee and you’re thinking “Gee, I’d rehire all of them!” you’re either the luckiest business owner in the world or you aren’t being honest with yourself. Remember, this exercise is meant to benefit you, but it won’t bear useful results if you aren’t completely truthful. So, while it may feel good to say “yes” to everyone at this moment, it won’t serve you in the end.

Step 3: Gut Check–Red, Yellow, & Green

Once you’ve asked the rehiring question, circle your “yes” employees in green, your “no” employees in red, and your “maybe” employees in yellow. Remember–you’re rating the actual person, not the position they’re in. If you aren’t sure how to rate someone, try asking yourself the following questions to give you a clearer answer:

  • Are they reliable?
  • Do they perform their job well?
  • What is their attitude like?
  • How do they interact with the rest of the team?
  • Are they punctual?
  • Do they go above and beyond?
  • Can they handle criticism?
  • Are they teachable?

If the answers to these questions are positive, this employee is likely green. If the answers are more negative, you should circle those employees in either red or yellow. Learn the difference between the two in step four.

Step 4: Follow Up with Reds & Yellows

To better understand why you’ve marked certain employees as red or yellow, we’ve got to look at the three reasons people don’t do what you need them to do: training, capacity, or attitude. Start by asking some questions like:

  • Have I equipped this person to succeed?
  • Do they have the capacity to succeed in the role they’re in?
  • Is their negative attitude affecting others?

Your answer to these questions will help further determine your next steps.

Step 5: Let Your Answers Guide You

Now that you’ve categorized each of your employees, it’s time to act on your results.

  • Green employees - It’s time to empower them! This can look like a title change, a pay bump, meeting recognition, and other incentives that reward their hard work.
  • Yellow employees - It’s time to train them! In order for them to reach their greatest potential, they need the tools to succeed.
  • Red employees - It’s time to make a tough decision! Letting go of a bad employee is a hard part of the job, but as the owner you’ll know to do what’s best for the business.

Be the Best Leader

We’re in the business of bettering your business–and that starts with helping you become the best landscape business owner you can be. From peer groups and leadership development to bookkeeping services and recruitment help, we can support whatever your needs may be. This Red, Yellow & Green strategy is just one of many helpful tools we offer–and we’re hoping you’re interested in learning more.