Leadership is more important than ever right now because of COVID-19. Thankfully, the landscape industry is doing well despite the chaos the virus has caused. Even though the landscape industry is fairing well, having a good leadership team for your fleet is still extremely important. Being a good landscape crew leader is more than giving directions and assigning jobs. There are many ways to be a successful landscape fleet manager and this week we will explain them.
Here are 5 ways to be a successful landscape fleet manager.
- Be approachable: Managers need to have an open ear at all times. They have to be ready and willing to listen to the crew’s concerns. Crew members may approach a manager as a group, or they may approach you alone. You have to present yourself as approachable and willing to listen to a crew member’s concerns no matter how major or minuscule the issue might be.
- Be a teacher: Landscape fleet managers need to know company procedures and they must be able to communicate them with their employees. This is especially important when doing jobs that have safety concerns such as operating large machinery and pesticide application. As a fleet manager, you should be able to train your employees well which will ensure safety and efficiency in the jobs that they do in the field.
- Keep things organized: When managing a larger crew, things can easily become chaotic. To control this chaos, it doesn’t hurt to plan things a week in advance. This planning can include scheduling, preparing in advance for next week’s jobs, and making sure you have the proper lawn equipment and personal protective equipment for employees ready to go. There are times when planning in advance won’t prevent unexpected hiccups. As a manager, being able to handle these situations quickly, and calmly is imperative.
- You have to follow through: This goes along with being approachable. No matter what the problem is, you need to come up with a solution for it. If someone has a problem, they will look to a leader for guidance and a solution. If you can’t fix it immediately, try to come up with a temporary solution but be sure to follow up with a more permanent solution. This will instill trust and help your crew see you as a leader.
- Always show appreciation. Gratitude to employees goes beyond them receiving a paycheck. You should always show appreciation to employees in other ways. Maybe it’s thanking them in person or buying them lunch. Whatever the gesture appreciation is, employees will have something to look forward to when working on harder jobs.