At Maven, we care for people. It’s one of the core principles behind our work. In order for each member of our team to develop as people and as professionals, they need to be proud of their jobs. The best way to get there? Through consistent, ongoing training.
Why invest in training?
Everyone needs training and coaching. And I mean everyone. It’s the only way to constantly improve! I always return to the “Olympian analogy” — even the best athletes on the planet have to wake up and get coached every day. This same concept applies to landscaping — without solid training, we can’t provide the best possible service to our customers.
But beyond maintaining a high level of workmanship and pride in work, there are a couple of other reasons that training matters...
- It helps form a strong workplace culture — Without training, the organizational culture surrounding your company suffers. Culture — the environment you provide for your employees to work in — should make your employees feel good. When employees feel good, they do good work and contribute even more “goodness” to the company.
- It’s a recruitment tool and it prevents turnover — Excellent training will encourage new employees to apply to work for you. Why? Because investing in employees encourages them to stay in the long-term and build a career with you.
So what is training like at Maven?
I try to include as much training as possible at Maven. I’m always on the lookout for new opportunities. There are four major aspects to how we train...
- Standardized and trackable — We use a program called Greenius to get our crews and supervisors equipment-trained and safety ready. This not only allows employees to track their progress and find out what new skills they might be able to learn — but it also allows us to gauge how far along and how well-trained each employee is for each job. The result? A consistent, high-quality experience for every Maven customer.
- Cross-training — One unique aspect of a landscaping company is the ability to have employees interact easily with other departments. For instance, at Maven, our maintenance crew will go out with the irrigation tech crew for a day, or vice versa. This sort of cross-training not only helps employees develop extra skills for different jobs, but it also allows each employee to more fully understand the roles of other departments. When something goes wrong, or a specific crew makes a mistake, the rest of our team is less critical as a result.
- Professional development — Beyond the standard safety training, there’s a variety of other training opportunities out there. If an employee wants to take a course, licensing exam or certification exam, Maven will pay for the course and the time off. In Texas, there are certain licensing requirements that we’d like as many employees as possible to have, such as irrigation licenses, herbicide and fertilizer applicator licenses, as well as a variety of certifications from the Texas Nursery & Landscape Association (TNLA). We have staff with licenses and certifications in all of these areas.
- Equipping and empowering leaders — I have a saying: “You train for the job that you want.” If someone wants to be promoted or be considered for more compensation, the best way to do it would be through training. Dedication to growing and improving as a person is a great gauge for a person’s commitment to the company.
To me, training is about much more than learning new skills. It provides people with new perspectives. It helps them understand things they may not fully understand to begin with. Without it, our team would be a less cohesive group. And the outstanding customer experience we strive for every day would suffer.
Written by Brad Tatum, President