Growing Talent From Within - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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Growing Talent From Within

Hiring is hard, but companies that invest in their people and promote internally enjoy many benefits, from improved employee productivity and retention rates to significant savings in both time and money.

“Hiring from within is important for the culture and growth of your company,” says Jennifer Jorge, COO and partner of King GREEN. “When people join your team, they want to see a path for their success. If they can see and be driven by opportunities to grow within an organization, they tend to find more value in what they do each and every day.”

Jorge will cover how to establish an internal mobility program during her session “Growing Talent From Within” on Monday, Sept. 11, at 9:45 a.m. at ELEVATE. This session is part of the Team Member Experience track and is worth one CEU.

The session will explore what to look for as an owner/operator when you want to grow your talent from within and, if you want to elevate yourself in a company, what you do to get the attention of your management team to grow.

“Coming from a company that has grown steadily over the last 37 years in this industry, and from someone who values their people and the tenure I have within my team, I can assure you, you will walk away with a handful of actionable items to put into place at your own company!” Jorge says. “I look forward to seeing you at ELEVATE!”

Developing Talent

An internal mobility program identifies employees who are capable of growing into new roles, develops their talent and encourages the promotion of internal candidates.

Jorge says some of the key aspects of an internal mobility program include a teaching culture, the right kind of leadership, opportunities for growth within existing markets or new markets and good systems in place to grow with you.

This sort of program should provide training and support as these employees step up. It should also be on the lookout for team members who might not strive to move up unless encouraged by others. Often qualified individuals can downplay their abilities to where they assume they are not a good fit when you know they are.

“Having a diverse hiring system is imperative for success long term,” Jorge says. “Internal hiring is important for culture, education, and growth.”

Pitfalls to Avoid

Jorge says if none of your current staff are qualified for a promotion, you should work to invest in them. However, she says it’s also beneficial to ask yourself some questions:

  • Are you hiring for the now and not the future?
  • Are you spending time to train and elevate your team members to new roles?
  • Are you micromanaging or giving your team the opportunity to do their job?

“Once you believe you have done all you can, you diversify and look outside the company,” she says. “But sometimes, the answer is in the mirror.”

Jorge says hiring from the outside is just as important as internal promotions.

“I believe that most lawn and landscape companies go through the growing pains of hiring someone who has been there the longest versus looking outside the company,” she says. “Sometimes those promotions works, and other times they don’t. It is important to not promote those who aren’t ready, as you are likely to not have them be a part of your team in the future. Their work isn’t valued, they don’t find pride or joy in what they are doing, and eventually they find success somewhere else.”

Another challenge with hiring from within is avoiding bitterness with employees who were not selected over another candidate. Jorge says she’s experienced this herself and reached out to let the candidate who wasn’t selected know. She had a face-to-face meeting explaining why and what she wanted them to work on.

“Of course, it’s challenging, but as long as you give your time and a face-to-face meeting letting them know the news, you can say you did everything in your power to limit the hurt when the announcement is made,” she says.

Ready to provide your employees the opportunity to grow? Register for ELEVATE and we’ll see you in Dallas, Texas!

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the senior content manager for NALP.