How We're Responding to the Labor Shortage

Posted by Joseph Barnes on Dec 22, 2021 11:52:33 AM

There’s no denying the fact that like so many other industries right now, there have been significant labor shortages in landscaping. We understand that you might have heard about this on the news or from other sources, and it might have you concerned about how it will affect your property.

While it’s true that labor shortages in the Green Industry are a major problem right now, the good news is that Yellowstone Landscape has been incredibly proactive in addressing this problem and that’s worked in our favor, even during some of the difficult times.

While we certainly aren’t immune to the labor shortage issue, we do feel that we are doing all we can to keep our teams at full staff.

In this article, we’ll explain how we are addressing labor shortages in the Green Industry so that they don’t become a problem for the clients that we work with. We are incredibly committed to both our team and our clients and we continue to strive for the best for both, even during difficult times.

We Offer “FLIP” to our Front Line Employees

We want to pull back the curtain to let you know about one of our inside programs, FLIP, which stands for the Front Line Incentive Program. This is something that we have been doing long before the labor shortages in landscaping became a national problem.

Front-line workers who start the season with us in March or April (whenever the season kicks off in their area), and who show up every day and do the hard work, will earn a seasonal bonus that we pay out just before Thanksgiving.

team member meeting with management

This is a check for up to $2,000, depending upon their tenure.

This is an extra bonus with no special work that has to be done—the team literally just has to show up and work safely. This past season we distributed $2.4 Million to 1,800 of our front-line workers across the country.

It’s some nice extra money right before the holidays (aptly timed!) and it’s our way of saying that we know our labor force is our most visible workers and we have a lot of respect for them.

We rely on these team members and we want them to know that we value their hard work.

We Already Pay Some of the Highest Wages in the Industry

Of course, we understand that the bonus wouldn’t be terribly helpful if we weren’t already paying our team members well. It’s important to note that we are already paying some of the highest wages in the Green Industry.

Again, this is something that we have been doing long before the labor shortages in landscaping started making national news.

yellowstone maintenance employee

We understand that in order to hire the best people out there, you have to pay for it. As a commercial landscaping provider we strive to be at the top of the industry, so we know that we must pay a higher wage to attract the best people. It’s one of the reasons why we’ve also been able to retain so many of our staff over the years.

This is a time when many companies are suddenly scrambling to offer more money because they realize they hadn’t been paying enough to attract workers. But we’ve always been focused on this philosophy, not in a desperate attempt to attract anyone that we can but rather to attract the best talent out there.

Not all companies are able to do this, but as a large, national company we have the resources to make this possible.

We are Always Hiring and We Incentivize Recruitment Efforts

Another key way that we are addressing labor shortages in landscaping is that we are always actively recruiting. We are always looking for great people. This includes efforts such as online applications and a lot of participation in job fairs and other hiring events. We take the approach that we never want to be stagnant in hiring and reach a point where we’re desperately looking to fill a need.

Instead, by always hiring we are constantly bringing in new people who enhance our team.

employee being interviewed

Our efforts to constantly bring in highly qualified new people also include incentivizing our team members to do some of our recruiting work for us. After all, we have found some of the best people from our existing wonderful team members. They know our company better than anyone and they understand what we’re looking for.

This comes from the idea that if you are a great worker already doing a great job, maybe you know other great workers (like friends or family members) who would also want to come work for us.

If our employees bring in more good people, they get paid for that effort.

Job applicant interview

This often becomes a competition every year as the team wants to be the person who brought in the most qualified workers. For example, we had a team member recruit 17 new employees in 2021, and he got paid $5,000 for those efforts.

We had another two team members who each brought in 10 people and they each got paid a $2,000 bonus for those recruitments.

At the end of the day, we find that our team is a valuable asset to help us with recruiting and we are making sure they know we appreciate their efforts.

Helping to Keep Labor Shortages in Landscaping from Impacting Your Property

We know that labor shortages in our industry can be worrisome for commercial property owners or managers because they don’t want their landscaping to be affected in some way. Consistency is really important to our clients. They want to know that it’s going to be the same landscaping crew coming to their property every week, taking care of them.

After all, the team gets to know the client and what they like—and that’s important!

crew meeting with client on commercial landscaping property

That’s why we are so committed to these efforts. They not only help in recruiting new people, but they help us in retaining the team that we have. Taking good care of our people helps to keep them on our team and that leads to the consistency our clients are looking for.

Because we are frequently bringing in new people, it also allows us to “scale up quickly” and start new jobs. As other landscaping companies may be struggling to add any new clients or take on new projects, we are training some amazing teams and ready to tackle new work as it comes.

Crew digging along road for irrigation

It’s one important way that our size has come to play a valuable role and benefit our clients.

We know that some companies are struggling to get the job materials, trucks, or labor force that they need to get projects done. But by using our size and collective buying power, we’re able to take on projects of any size for our clients because we are able to get what’s needed to get the job done!

Giving You the Peace of Mind that You Deserve

There’s no question it’s an unsettling time right now for many industries and the Green Industry has not been immune to that. Even though landscaping is more desired than ever, getting highly qualified workers has been a struggle for many companies.

At Yellowstone Landscape, we have the benefit of a national perspective and we know that some markets are struggling more than others with these issues.

But we feel that our proactive efforts, which began long before these labor shortages became a major national concern, have helped us to weather the storm.

Uncertainty has a direct impact on our clients. But you shouldn‘t have to worry about the state of your commercial landscape right now, when there are so many other things on your plate. We know that these past couple of years have been stressful and you just want to feel confident that your landscape is in good hands.

With our aggressive response to the industry labor shortage, we’re able to offer our clients peace of mind that they’ll continue to receive the best services and results, even during these difficult times now and into the future.

Are you looking for commercial property landscaping from a company that is committed to offering the best? Request a consultation today. We’ll meet to learn more about your property and its challenges and come up with a comprehensive plan to take care of all of the details for you.

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Joseph Barnes

About The Author

Joseph Barnes

Joseph Barnes has served as Marketing Manager of Yellowstone Landscape since 2013. He writes on a variety of topics related to the commercial landscaping industry.