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Hiring happy people

Design/Installation

Attitude is just as important as skill.

Kristen Hampshire | February 17, 2011

Retaining employees starts with a solid hiring process. At Borst Landscape & Design, the prerequisite for employment is a positive attitude. “I don’t always look for where (candidates) have been in the past,” says Mark Borst, president and founder of the Allendale, N.J.-based firm.

Borst tells of an employee with no prior landscape experience but outstanding work ethic and an energetic personality. “He is upbeat and always positive,” Borst says. The guy was hired as a spray tech. “He has worked out great – he enjoys it and loves coming to work.”

Loving your job is what keeps people coming back day after day, even on complex design/build projects where crews may stay on site for months. “We have to keep them motivated,” Borst says. During the peak season, 70 employees work at Borst Landscape & Design, while full-time winter staff numbers about 20 people.

The company keeps workers fired up through simple open communication, regular team meetings and sharing progress so employees take ownership in every project and the company’s overall performance. Managers see field production costs. Borst subscribes to open-book management, and all employees enjoy a profit-sharing plan. “If we hit a certain gross profit level, anything above that is shared,” he says.

 

This is one of three stories that ran in Lawn & Landscape's Business Builder e-newsletter. To continue reading about Borst Landscape & Design:

Successful by design

Get recognized: How to apply for (and win) awards.

 

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