Why Todd Pugh gave up $115,000 and you should, too

Why Todd Pugh gave up $115,000 and you should, too

Editor Chuck Bowen got to spend a day at Enviroscapes in Ohio.

January 13, 2015

Chuck Bowen

Last month, I got the chance to spend a day with Todd Pugh and his team at Enviroscapes in the bucolic town of Louisville, Ohio. He’d invited me down to speak at his annual Growing Day, when he brings everyone in to the main office and offers some professional development, networking and delicious barbecue.

As I sat in the barn with the nearly 200 employees who had come in from multiple branches, I marveled at the dedication Todd has to make sure his employees understood where the company is today and where it’s going in the future.

The day’s speakers ranged from the tactical – the company that manages Enviroscapes’ 401(k) plans discussed personal finances, and how to budget on a seasonal salary – to the high-level – former CEO of Husqvarna Dave Zerfoss and his wife, Barb, covered how to set long-term goals and work toward them.

Hanging above everyone were giant photographs of employees that listed where they started with the company and where they are now. Faces of men and women who came in as laborers or crew leaders and now work as account managers and foremen smiled down.

Todd started like many contractors: He lived in his parent’s basement and would buy any kind of truck he could get at an auction for $2,000. Now he’s got a network of branches with shiny new Ford Super Duties sitting outside. (Presumably, he no longer lives in his parents’ basement; I didn’t ask.) Enviroscapes has 190 employees and this year did just north of $14 million in revenue. The one day cost it about $115,000 in payroll and lost revenue, not counting the barbecue and coffee.

But the message Todd sent was clear: In the next few years, he wants to boost that $14 million by 30 percent, and everyone wearing bright yellow safety vests is a part of that. They’re vital to the current success of the company, and there is opportunity and growth for them personally and professionally if they stay.

Whether or not you spend the next few months dealing with snow, winter is a great time to slow down and focus on the development of yourself, your team and your company. You don’t have to shut everything down for a whole day, but take some amount of time to sit back and think about where you’re headed. Then – and this is the most important part – you have to share that vision with your employees and let them know what they can do to help you get there. Show them the opportunity and they’ll help you grow.

– Chuck Bowen