It happened again this week. The stress of finding and keeping lawn and landscape employees (while EVERY input cost is rising faster than any time in the past 40 years) is taking its toll. We had another business owner say they are ready to throw in the towel. 

Here’s the story line..

A key crew leader was jumping ship and headed for higher pay at another employer. The landscaping business owner reports that he “just can’t find a crew leader to replace him. He will have to jump back on the truck to take care of the maintenance contracts.”

First, jumping back on the truck for a short time may help this business owner learn some valuable lessons. Little things like having equipment that is easy to start, tools that are easy to find, route sheets that are well organized and teammates who carry their fair share of the workload make a HUGE impact on the retention of good workers. 

As this owner returns to the truck, he may find a lot of little details that make the work experience easy and enjoyable have gone missing. Perhaps this will teach him important lessons.


There is another BIG issue in 2022.

Inflation is forcing every employee to think long and hard about pay. 

When I asked the landscape business owner about his current pay rates, it became quite clear that his pay scale is NOT keeping up with market prices for good employees.

We wrote a controversial essay on the subject of pay for landscaping employees and what you should do about it a short time ago. I loved the hate mail from non-believers. You can read it here. The plan we laid out is clearly an option you should consider if turnover could cost you your entire company.

Personally, we will be raising wages again this month in our company for qualified employees to avoid unnecessary turnover.

But pay alone won’t fix turnover. That’s why we want you to take care of the basics first. We all have a fiduciary responsibility to improve our company’s retention. We’ve laid out a 4 step plan here in the Wealthy Landscaper Letter over the past few weeks.

In case you missed these lawn business employee retention systems, you can access here:

And now we will share step 4.

Step 4 – Calm, Cool and Confident 

I’ve met many busy business owners who are addicted to urgency.  They are addicted to feeling NEEDED by their employees.  They get a dose of adrenaline every time their employees ask them to help solve a problem.  Over time, they may feel indispensable and irreplaceable as they put out fire after fire.  If this sounds like you, please keep reading.

I know…being a business owner can be stressful at times.  We get super-busy in the spring and summer with endless business opportunities. We juggle the management of employees, customers, vendors and equipment.  Nothing compares to the stress of employee management. 

So let’s get to work. If you follow the best-practices as described above, you will be able to reduce employee burnout and slow down turnover of employees in your company.

Every time you decide to adjust your business practices, you have a chance to learn and improve.  So don’t think you are stuck with burned out employees and high turnover.  This doesn’t have to continue!  Adjust YOUR behavior and adjust your business plans.  

Confidence comes as you witness improvements in your organization.

Burned out business owners can’t keep happy and productive employees. You need to stay energized, positive and productive.  Step 4 to slow turnover in your company is make sure YOU avoid burnout.

We recently published an article that has received huge praise from owners of lawn and landscape companies.  We titled it: 5 Ways Landscapers Avoid Business (and personal) Burnout.  It’s a short read.

I need you to be the calm and cool adult in the room when things go wrong.  So please use this process when you face a difficult situation. From upset customers to disgruntled employees here’s a 3-step process to help you stay calm and in control.

  1. Get the facts about the situation. Take notes so you get it right.
  2. Repeat what you just heard back to the employee and make sure you clearly understand their concerns.
  3. Ask them what they would like for you to do about it.

You may not be able to meet their request.  They may ask for something you can’t do.  

But…simply by listening, staying calm and showing empathy you demonstrate a willingness to be respectful. By listening you make people feel important.  People who feel important are likely to stay with you for the long haul.

So there’s your 4-point plan to help your employees avoid burnout and help you reduce turnover in your company.  Let me know what you think.  If you need help, just call or email.

My team and I are standing by…

Tony Bass, founder


PS – If you’re still having trouble finding employees to retain…

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.