Managing millennials is a new hot topic for landscape companies. Many companies are shifting the way they work to better cater to the growing amount of millennials in the workforce, and the different expectations that millennials expect when working for a company. Millennials are employees born in and around the 1980 and 2000. They’re tech-savvy, jack of all trades that expect gratification, growth opportunities, and positive working environments with innovative tools.
Landscaping, in general, is a business that hasn’t changed too much over the years in terms of how the companies work. Yes, new tools have helped companies evolve, but management may not have caught up to this new way of working. Attracting and retaining millennial workers has become a huge priority for many corporations, and it’s important for landscaping businesses to also adapt.
What does “adapting” for millennials look like for landscaping businesses? Managing millennials isn't as daunting as you might think! With a few small changes, you’ll not only have a company that is appealing for millennials, you’ll have a company that is better managed overall.
Here are three things to adopt today in managing millennials in your landscape business:
Focus on Technology
Millennials like working with technology, that’s no secret. What was previously done with paper and a pen is now done with an iPad or an app. The great thing about technology is that adopting it is a win-win. Yes, millennials will be more fulfilled at work, but your company as a whole will be working more effectively and your customers will love it.
There are a ton of technology tools and apps that can be useful to your landscaping business. Technology can make everyone’s life easier – from frontline employees all the way to head office. For example, virtual and interactive landscaping design software, such as Structure Studios lets you create 3D and even virtual reality mock-ups of your projects. NextTraq is a GPS tracking device and fleet management service that lets you access vehicle data, maps, and monitors your dispatchers. There is even small innovations such as handheld soil testers, billing software (like Wave or Freshbooks), and marketing software like Hubspot or MailChimp that can help make your processes easier and let you better track all work that’s being done in order to measure results.
Incorporate Gamification & Rewards
Most people, and especially millennials, have a shrinking attention span. Gamification, such as graphs and reports on their sales, notifications about work orders, and other apps that provide instant updates and feedback is a great way to keep everyone engaged. Millennials want to know how they’re doing, and they’re a very goal-oriented workforce. They like to have milestones to work towards, so find ways of incorporating goals and milestones.
To go one step further, offering commissions or some other “carrot on the stick” incentives can really help boost overall productivity. Especially in a world where millennials are likely to find a new job if they aren’t happy, you need to find ways to incentivize your employees and have perks over the competitors.
Go Mobile in Managing Millennials
Gone are the days where everyone needs to come into an office or use paper to complete orders and estimates. If you haven’t already, consider adopting mobile estimators and mobile crew apps. Use apps to schedule your employees and send out digital maps and invoices.
Apps like Arborgold's Mobile Estimator is a sales tool where you can manage customers and make daily routes, send out messages, make appointments, and make proposals. There are a ton of apps out there, most offering a free trial, so try out a few and find what works for you and your crew.
Try New Things & Talk to Your Team
The great thing about an evolving digital world is that it makes life – and work – a lot easier. Adopting new technology can help your team not only be happier but work more efficiently. It can help your business not just save money, but make more money! Adding things like commissions or incentives is also an investment, as employees will work harder and drive results if they know there is an added bonus in it for them.
Lastly, if you’re not sure if you’re appealing to millennial employees, then talk to them! Ask them what they’d like to see, give them a voice at the table, and listen. That process alone will attract and keep millennial employees, as they will feel valued and like a respected member of the team.