How to Build a Successful Team Training Program for Your Landscape Company

Home / Blog / How to Build a Successful Team Training Program for Your Landscape Company

Quality training is simply the best investment you can make for your landscape company. When you prioritize your team members’ growth and development, you’re guaranteed to get an ROI greater than any new mower or truck could ever give you. Here’s a simple truth—quality team members want to be trained. They want to learn how to do their job as efficiently as possible. They want to be proud of their work. Even more so, they want to be proud of the person they are and who they’re becoming.

As a business owner, you expect your team to show up and get right to work. Have you thought about what they expect from you?

Don’t leave your people feeling aimless and out of the loop. If you want a stellar company culture where everyone works hard and feels like a valued and essential part of your company’s success, training is non-negotiable.

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day workflow, but don’t let your daily agenda take precedence over building your dream team. We know that developing a training program from scratch can feel overwhelming. Come behind the scenes with us to get an inside look at how one of our ACE Peer Group members is doing it right.

Coastal Shores Landscape and Property Maintenance is a leading example of how to successfully train your team.

One of our ACEs in South Carolina, Coastal Shores Landscape and Property Maintenance, has built their own training program because they know that investing in their team is just as important as caring for their customers’ properties.They knew if they were going to carve out the time to do this for their team, they needed to do it right. And quite frankly, we think they’ve knocked it out of the park.

Coastal Shores offers a year-round training program called SALT, which stands for Safety, Application, Life, and Team. They formulated their training with the goal of empowering their team so they can be the best at work AND at home. The topics cover everything from the importance of wearing a safety vest to how to balance a checkbook. When sitting in the team room, the chatter is not just limited to work. One conversation at a time, they encourage one another to be better partners, parents, and people overall.

One thing we have noticed about what makes the SALT program so successful is that they do it 52 weeks out of the year. No matter how busy their workload is or what season they’re in, the date, time, and location (their dedicated team room) to meet is set in stone.

Another reason Coastal Shores’s training program is such a success is because they’re very intentional about the topics that are covered. They’ve chosen four specific areas to discuss as a part of their rotation, and now that you’ve gotten a sneak peak of how they run their training program, you’re ready to start your own.

Give your teams the skills they need to exceed your—and your clients—expectations.

Here are a few categories and talking points to consider when beginning your own team training program.

In the landscaping world, safety is the number one priority. Everyday, your team is potentially put in harm's way when they drive to and from a job site, handle hazardous chemicals, climb ladders, and operate equipment. While the potential consequences of these actions might be very obvious to you, a lot of people don’t learn until they experience a very painful (and expensive) mistake.

Consider training and retraining your team on:

  • Clear driving guidelines for getting to and from a job site safely
  • Ensuring every tool and piece of equipment is kept in its proper place
  • Using correct containers for transferring potentially hazardous chemicals and concentrates
  • Reading labels and familiarizing themselves with product ingredients
  • Wearing gloves, goggles and ear protection while using power equipment such as blowers, weed wackers, mowers, and heavy machinery
  • Mitigating the risk of falling when climbing ladders and accessing heights

While it’s important to train your team to take every safety measure necessary, it’s just as critical to support their professional development.

Professional development goes further than just doing a great job at work. Continuing your team members' education even after they go through initial training will allow them to develop new skills, stay up-to-date with their fellow coworkers’ priorities, and advance their knowledge and expertise.

It can be easy to assume that everyone knows what you know, however, this is never the case. No matter how long someone has been working for you, they can’t read your mind. And when there’s a lack of communication, teams tend to assume the worst. By keeping the flow of information steady, you’re building trust and confidence in your company and workplace environment. This is the key to a team who believes in what they do, who they do it for, and why they do it.

You might be thinking it’s too time consuming to dedicate this much effort to build a thriving team, but supporting your existing crew will certainly pay off in the long run. Fewer people quitting means you won’t have to spend so much time, money, and energy to train their replacements. So while it may feel like a lot of work up front, we can assure you that it’s worth it.

By demonstrating better ways for your team to connect with each other at work, you’re showing them the importance of good relationships that will have a ripple effect on their lives. Whether you think about it often or not, your team members have personal lives. How do you want them to feel as through the door of work? Eager and supported or dreadful and disconnected? The difference between these feelings is how you show up for THEM.

As the leader, your team is a direct reflection of you and your values. It’s up to you to set the example for what continuous growth looks like and create the standard for them to do the same. Your team is always watching and listening. They notice when you’re showing up as your best self and know when you’re just phoning it in.

When you value your team members as individuals, they’ll genuinely feel seen, heard, and understood. In return, their performance will go from good to great. You don’t have to be best buds, put a ping pong table in the breakroom, or try to become one big happy family. To make your team's experience at work something extraordinary, make sure you take the time to help develop their skills outside of the workplace and not just where it benefits you.

Your team members are your greatest asset. What you pour into them is what will be poured back into your company.

Knowledge about team training is useless if you don't do anything with it. We know that what works for other companies won’t necessarily work for you, and that’s exactly why landscape owners join our ACE Peer Groups.

ACE stands for Accountability Creates Excellence, and when you join one of our Peer Groups you’ll discover why. When you become an ACE, you’ll be provided with all of the tools, skills, and services needed to scale your business.

New groups are forming now.