How to Build a Positive Landscape Company Culture

Like so many others, Joshua Malik, owner of Joshua Tree in Stockertown, Pennsylvania, says recruiting new hires has posed an ongoing challenge.

Malik, whose business is 55 percent general tree care, says finding experienced tree workers has been the most difficult hiring experience. He can remember a time when he was getting several calls with interested candidates every month. But today he may see an ad for a tree care technician go unanswered for months at a time.

Inside the Joshua Tree team's company culture.
The Joshua Tree team.

Malik doesn’t see the labor market improving any time soon. As a result, he is shifting his focus inward. Keeping the great employees he already has by fostering a strong company culture has been the answer.

Building Company Culture Tip #1: Implement Team Building Activities

Malik feels like his team is a “family.” As a result, he’s always worked hard to foster a family culture with team building activities.

“I never wanted to hire people who just want to clock in/clock out and not develop stronger relationships,” Malik says. “We do a lot of team building and hang out as a group outside of work quite a bit.”

One year, Malik chartered a bus to New York City and the group made some great memories as a team. He has also taken everyone to Kalahari Waterpark and done smaller group activities, including taking some of the technicians to a NASCAR sporting event or going golfing. He has an Escape Room trip scheduled for the office staff in the near future.

“It really helps with employee morale and to show people you care when you make the extra effort,” Malik says.

Building Company Culture Tip #2: Provide a Work/Life Balance

Though work activities are certainly critical to a positive culture, Malik says respecting his team’s time outside of work has also played a clear role in building the kind of company where people want to work. Malik says making sure his employees have plenty of time for their families is important to him.

Whether it’s having to duck out of work a little bit early to make it to a child’s game or coming in a little late because of having to take a family member to a doctor’s appointment, Malik respects these family obligations that come up.

“I believe in a healthy work/life balance and I know that family is important to my team members,” Malik says. “I would never want them to miss something important with their family because of work.”

Building Company Culture Tip #3: Provide Reminders

Malik is currently in the process of creating some visual reminders about what Joshua Tree is all about. Reminding employees what the company stands for is also a critical part of the overall company culture.

“I’m having some signs made up that we’re going to strategically place throughout the office,” Malik says. “There will be one for our core values, our vision statement and our mission statement. I want them to be very visible. Ultimately, I believe it is our employees who have driven the business to where it is today. We got here as a team. I love the idea of visually reminding our team who we are and what we’re striving for.”

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