Finding, recruiting, hiring, training and retaining superstar landscaping employees is the toughest job in the USA today. At least…that’s the feedback we continue to receive from lawn and landscape business owners.

With an unemployment rate nearing 53 year lows…well…it’s certainly a unique time to be an employer.

We agree. The job of an employer is not an easy one. But we also firmly believe that the folks best suited to tackle the employee challenge of today are…well…an informed entrepreneur.

Please note that we say, “An informed entrepreneur” for a reason. Here’s why…

Entrepreneurs are problem solvers. They get a thrill out of tackling tough problems and finding solutions. Today’s employee challenges definitely fit the bill. We wrote about the unsettling trend of lawn and landscape business owners giving up on their business and calling it quits because of perceived employee shortages. You can read the essay right here.

The “informed entrepreneur” understands they MUST continually educate themselves on the subject of Human Resource Management Best Practices. Education comes from reading, listening, watching and doing. Those employers that have consistent inbound voices have an opportunity to learn from others, adjust their playbook and win the game of business. The fastest way to learn anything is to learn from someone who has a proven track record of success.

Here at the Wealthy Landscaper Letter, we’ve been sharing best practices from three plus decades of finding, recruiting, hiring, managing, training and retaining blue collar employees with dirt under their fingernails.

So… what can YOU do right now to keep your team together?

Step 2 – Build Consistency, Repetition & Clarity of Policy

Busy business owners…especially the young start-ups and owner-operators working in the field…make a lethal mistake that instantly creates high-turnover.

They fail to establish and stick to regular work hours. Let me explain. 

Most companies have an established “start time”.  You know…the time everyone is supposed to report to work.  It’s typically something like 6, 7 or 8 AM.  And…if your staff doesn’t show up on time…it can ruin the whole day.

Well, you can ruin your staff’s whole evening AND contribute to family problems when you fail to establish a “quit time” and stick to it.  I have learned that the best way to keep dependable family-oriented employees is provide consistent work hours.  People want to know if the stop time is 4, 5 or 6 pm.  And YOU (the workaholic – never stop until it’s dark or it’s done) better honor the commitment to let people go home at quitting time.

Again, this is a simple idea, but one that can pay huge dividends for years to come.


Speaking of staying consistent, as you add employees, a written policy manual is an essential tool to help you apply company policies fairly with all employees.  Time and memory has a funny way of altering words.  Written policies can be referred to over and over again. Think of how important the Constitution of the United States of America has been to our country.  4543 words that have guided our country since 1776.

Your policy manual explains things like:

  • your start and stop times
  • holiday schedules
  • vacations
  • calling in to alert you when they can’t make it to work on time
  • pay schedule
  • how to answer the phone
  • how to speak with customers and so on.

Failure to build a written policy manual that guides your enforcement of company policy is a guarantee that you will have HIGH turnover.

The more detailed instructions you create inside your policy manuals, the more people you’ll be able to manage. And make sure you write this one down on your bathroom mirror:

Until you have a written policy manual, DON’T hire a manager!

Hiring a manager WITHOUT having a policy manual to guide their daily responsibilities is like begging for an encounter with poison oak.

Eventually, your policy manual will grow to include things like organizational charts, customer service training, job descriptions, daily management schedules, paperwork training and so on.

Probably the best book ever written on this subject is The E-Myth Landscape Contractor: Why Most Landscape Companies Don’t Work and What to Do About It.  This book teaches you “systems thinking”.  It outlines the key systems a successful will create to build a company that works when the business owner is not there. You can order online right here.

Our framework of thought, strategy, tactics and actions for solving your employee problem works.

This is similar to what you might find if YOU take on the role of an HR Manager at a Fortune 500 company with world-class resources and well-trained professional management.

Please…let me warn you right up front.

There’s not a “silver bullet” to solve the employee problem.

BUT…. if you would like to learn more about Solving Your Employee Problems and discuss what is specifically challenging you right now, we’d love to help.

Click here for a 20 minute strategy session with Tabitha, our Director of Training and Education.

Thanks again for your comment/questions.

Keep me posted on your progress in 2022.

Tony Bass, founder


PS – When you’re ready…

There are three quick ways we can help you enhance your systems for finding, recruiting, hiring and retaining super star employees.

  1. Purchase a copy of our little-known book titled 50 Ways to Find, Recruit, Hire and Retain Super Star Employees. The print book comes with an audio (4) CD set read by the author. Yes, there really are 50 unique ways to enhance your employee systems and we share the details, the scripts, the job offers and little-known government programs to help you get big-time tax credits for hiring certain workers. Click here to purchase.
  2. Get immediate digital access to The Automatic Hiring Machine training program. You can learn the 11-steps to build a recruiting system that automatically sorts, sifts and selects the very best employee prospects from the lazy and unreliable duds. Click here to order online and get started this weekend.
  3. You can hire us to help you build your very own Automatic Hiring Machine. If you are super-busy and want to move forward quickly, we can help. Please understand that we reserve the right to limit our services via our non-competitive exclusion zone in some markets. Order the Automatic Hiring Machine implementation service by clicking here.