In our “Millennials and Technology in the Workplace” blog we stated that millennial's will make up 46% of the workforce by 2020. And soon, businesses will be working with Generation Z, those born after 1997, who have been raised in a technology-driven world. This group is savvier and more demanding than the previous generations. They don’t just want something that checks all the boxes, they want to be part of something greater.
So, can we blame people for judging companies on their culture?
Culture in Action
While spending time at our Client Conference in Tempe, Arizona this past February, I noticed something. I suppose I always knew, but it couldn’t have been more apparent than it was when we brought our clients together in the same room. I noticed that a vast majority, if not all, of our customers have the same mindset in how they conduct themselves both personally and professionally. Sure, each company is at different stage of their business and nearly all of them still have quite a bit of road ahead in terms of growth. However, talking with everyone at the conference and just opening my ears, it was inspiring to hear so much positivity and willingness to help one another. When I walked by tables having open conversations, I heard on multiple occasions someone asking for advice or help from another company, “Come on out to our location, we would be happy to show you how we do it and maybe you can get a few things to take away back to your business.” These folks were welcoming others, many meeting for the first time, with open arms!
Why? Not so much in the sense of “Why is this happening,” but rather, why do we do what we do? Why do the employees come to work every day to bleed the company colors? One simple word, CULTURE. This is not your Granddad's culture, where the workplace was a free for all and if there wasn’t any fighting, all was good. Today’s culture in any company must be one that is appealing to multiple generations. Depending on which stage you find your employees at in their professional life cycle, you could have 3 generations that you are catering to in the workplace at any given time!
Spreading the Culture
This industry has evolved a lot over the last 50 years, but more so in the last 15-20 years. All that has lived through the evolution have been able to see the different seasons our industry has gone through. Even in the face of tremendous labor issues, there has never been a more exciting time to be part of a great industry! The companies we partner with, know this. However, how do they project that excitement into their core business model to insure it is felt through every rank in the company? It’s a mentality that starts with the top. Leadership has strong influence throughout the ranks. It can make them feel as if they are part of a membership with the business. Similarly, being a part of Aspire is an elite membership into a group of like-minded individuals who would be at your doorstep at the drop of a hat if you needed them to be. Oh, and you get an extremely powerful business management platform, too. Having brought a good number of clients on to Aspire business management software and connecting with those we already had, I have seen that everyone shares this great mentality. Not only at the ownership level, but throughout the company.
Growth From Culture
Of course, not everyone will fit the mold, but from what I have seen, a shocking majority fits. It is because great business owners and visionaries know that what we do today affects tomorrow. If we do not grow and adapt today, there will not be a tomorrow. We had the great opportunity of having Mike Rorie, business owner and one of the industries true “greats,” speak at our conference. One thing discussed that stuck with me was how employees want to be part of success. Sure, pay is important, but employees in this industry do not want to be part of a business that is content with the status quo. If individuals are content with the status quo, they typically do not work for the ideal Aspire Client. Employees want to work for a visionary who feels that the company is making great strides towards growth both in business revenue and in life stages of the company.
Companies across the country are evolving their work spaces and environments to fit the modern era of what the next generation wants. More than ever, business owners are focusing on work life balance, because it is important to their current and prospective employees! We know the commitment required to start a landscape company, or any business for that matter. You probably put in 50,60,80+ hours a week for a long time, through thick and thin, with a smile on your face. Why? Because it is what you love to do. However, you shouldn’t have the expectation that your new hires are going to share the same passion. Does that mean they will not be good or even great employees for you? OF COURSE NOT. Just make sure you are putting proper expectations on them, so you are setting them up for success, not failure.
Culture! It can make or break a company. All our clients have the same mindset when it comes to culture. When the employees come to work, it is a welcoming, modern environment that values employees and a good work/life balance. When you build a culture like this, it breeds people that want to work harder for you and produce more. We have some large clients that run our software and they would agree that culture is essentially the building blocks to any successful company. Without it, something or everything will eventually crumble. When there is a great culture in place, it will project through the work you do and the people who sell it. No longer will your sales force need to sell jobs or a product. They will be selling what we at Aspire sell, a membership into a like-minded, productive, superior quality culture.