Graduating Landscapers?

Dear Lawn or Landscape Business Owner: The graduation season is kicking off. Kids are graduating…and with their graduation, new chapters in their book of life will start shortly.

Our education system does a great job of setting expectations for graduates. It doesn’t matter if the graduation is from high school, technical college, or a university, the student has been told time and time again:

  1. Stay in school.
  2. Make good grades.
  3. Get a great job.

Unfortunately, career success is hardly ever that simple. Nope. 

Professional success after school graduation is rarely guaranteed by good grades. 

You can bet next week’s paycheck the graduate’s success will be determined MORE by:

  1. Being dependable.
  2. Staying cooperative.
  3. Taking initiative.
  4. Solving problems…and…
  5. Creating happy customers.

Your’s truly has been a job creator since 1987. I’ve been making payroll for 1,924 weeks and counting. In fact, I just signed payroll checks again yesterday afternoon.

II have significant experience on this subject, which brings me to today’s lesson for those lawn and landscape business owners who have a graduating student on their team (or one who might join you soon). 

I share this employer lesson with you to help you find, hire, and keep great employees. We cover this strategy (and include step-by-step instructions) in the pages of our latest book: The Landscaper’s Guide to Find, Hire and Keep Great Employees (follow the link to order). 

Here’s a landscaper lesson just in time for graduation season:

The day an employee graduates from ANY school and receives their diploma, they expect an increase in pay. If you want to keep them…YOU better give that graduate an increase in pay on the very next paycheck! If YOU don’t give them the recognition they deserve by earning that diploma, THEY will find someone else who WILL give them more money. 

The same rule applies to those students who receive an industry certification or professional license. You can’t wait another week to recognize the accomplishment if you want to keep ‘em. 

Yep, graduates will get paid more by someone, it might as well be YOU…that is…if they are:

  1. Being dependable.
  2. Staying cooperative.
  3. Taking initiative.
  4. Solving problems…and…
  5. Creating happy customers.

Would you agree? Hit reply and share your thoughts.

We will wrap up this landscaper lesson with one word of caution. Even when you hand out pay increases after the diploma has been added to their personnel file, many will be leaving you anyway. Regardless of what you pay, graduates feel like their best opportunity is somewhere else… out there…not here. Yes…many will leave anyway. Don’t be discouraged.

You have to do your job as an employer. Recognize your graduates if you want to keep them. Provide a generous increase in pay. Give them public recognition for their graduation. They just might become the superstar employee who helps you retire with a seven figure payday.

Or…they just might break your heart!

Either way, recognizing your employees for furthering their education will always be a winning idea!

Happy Graduation Season!

Tony Bass, founder


PS – One of the most overlooked employee recruiting tools you could ever add to your company is a well-planned Internship program for students. You can hire young people at affordable prices and train them up with your best business practices. And some will stay with you after they graduate! Learn how you can do this in your company by reading The Landscaper’s Guide to Finding, Hiring, and Keeping Great Employees.