Director of Urban landscapes, Holly Youde, discusses the benefits of training your staff in this Pro Landscaper Article.
Last month I wrote about the challenges of recruitment; I’m happy to say we have had good success with recruiting in January. Fingers crossed, the new colleagues will turn into great assets and will stay long term. We believe the best way to ensure that is through training.
Having the candidates with the right attitude is the first step. Next, we need to enhance and increase their skill base, raising confidence and consistency while giving them a boost in knowledge and self-belief – all of which will make them feel more valued. Offering training also encourages applicants to choose landscaping as a career option, which in turn strengthens the industry. Your customers will also gain confidence in your company if you can demonstrate your staff are fully trained and competent in the skills required to complete the work to the highest standards. You can do this by providing certificates or cards proving completion of courses or compliance, and making sure you highlight training in your marketing and advertising, on your quotes or any correspondence.
Having well-trained staff will also enable you as a business owner to relax a little. You won’t need to micromanage every detail, as you (or someone else) would have passed on the knowledge required to ensure satisfactory completion of works. This hopefully reduces revisits or snagging works on site, and could guarantee the smooth running of projects.
Choosing the right training for your staff is even more important as you grow as a company, as you are likely to take on larger projects meaning you will need a wide range of multiple skills split throughout the teams.
It’s not just practical skills that require training. Leadership is a significant part of being able to function as multiple teams. Team leaders or supervisors, managers, office-based staff, all require individual training plans to work from.
There is a possibility you may have some staff that need encouragement to advance career-wise. They may initially be resistant to further training, but a bit of gentle encouragement should be offered as often this is down to confidence issues or fear of change. Once you have instilled a healthy training culture, attitudes and productivity will improve and this will take you forward.
Training can be a large expense in time and money but it’s a vital investment – on which you will most certainly get a return. If you are worried that you will contribute to a team member’s training only for them to subsequently leave the company, then consider including a repayment clause in their contract which requires the employee to repay the training costs in part. It’s always worth seeing what grants are available too.
At Urban Landscapes, for the site-based teams we follow an in-house training matrix, which details various levels starting at labourer and up to team supervisor. We find this helps the employees focus on their development and achievements, to enable advancement to the next role when it becomes available.
Our team have developed the training matrix over the past 12 months, and recently the idea for forming a dedicated training centre for our staff came about. This has now evolved into a much larger project, applicable to the whole industry. The announcement is expected shortly, so look out for a specialist training facility launching over the coming months!
Directly with the client, we constructed and installed a beach themed garden, suitable for Dementia patients
We have been working with this client for a number of years on various projects within this garden including outdoor kitchen, hot tub, Victorian kitchen garden and woodland area
A cool contemporary project on a new build property in Chester.
In this small courtyard development in Hoole, we created a cool split level space for the client who wanted a modern feel.
Directly with the client, we constructed and installed a beach themed garden, suitable for Dementia patientsRead More Large Project
We have been working with this client for a number of years on various projects within this garden including outdoor kitchen, hot tub, Victorian kitchen garden and woodland areaRead More Medium Project
A cool contemporary project on a new build property in Chester.Read More Small Project
In this small courtyard development in Hoole, we created a cool split level space for the client who wanted a modern feel.Read More Outdoor Kitchens
We are the only London Stone partner in the North of the UK, providing their products on display and the same knowledgeable and friendly customer service you expect from this forward thinking landscaping products company.
Gold Partner status meaning we are approved designers and installers of RENSON® canopies
The Horticultural Trade Association provides a vital contact for identifying and dealing with key garden industry issues and opportunities, and represents industry views to Government and is its voice in the media.
We are members of the Association of Professional Landscapers and are vetted annually to keep up to date with legislation and best practice
Trustmark is the only government endorsed scheme for almost all trades in and around the home
All our operatives are ROLO trained which was introduced to raise the standards of Health and Safety and reduce the risks and accidents throughout the industry
We are accredited with Construction Health and Safety who as an organisation, help businesses and organisations manage their Health and Safety risks and safeguard their reputation
We are members of BALI, the UK’s trade association for the landscaping sector who have a rigorous vetting procedure
We are registered with Constructionline – the UKs largest register of contractors, who vet all members to ensure they are qualified, and standards are uncompromised
Urban Landscape Design Ltd, Unit 7d, Barrowmore Enterprise Estate, Great Barrow, Chester CH3 7JA
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