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Magnetic Personnel-ity

Magnetic Personnel-ity

by Sid Raisch

Finding people is one thing, finding people who CAN actually do the job we need them for, and who actually WILL do the job is quite another. People fitting these two criteria don’t often walk in the door asking to fill out an application, outside of the dwindling luck we may have had in the past, or hope to have now.

It’s not good people vs. bad people, as in, you have to go to the county jail on Monday morning to bail them out and bring them to work. It’s about good people as in developing a workforce of effective and productive people. We can’t passively wait for another person who can pass a drug test and background check to walk in asking to fill out an application. And we can’t spend enough money on Internet ads, job boards, apps, and so on to hire people with any confidence they’ll be right or will show up, or stay long. Innovatively attracting the right candidates who match up with our ability to develop them into fully functioning, long-lasting associates is the relevant objective today.

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Knowledge by Knumbers

Knowledge by Knumbers

by Danny Summers

OK, my spellcheck is not disabled. I wanted to intentionally misspell Numbers in order to grab your attention. If you are reading this now I guess it worked. ;-)

In general, Numbers is a big part of The Group Experience. Just from a "people point of view" when you consider our largest eList, GroupEs, has over 580 people subscribed to share all types of information. That's Numbers.

And at the heart of The Group Experience are two industry-exclusive programs that share Numbers – lots of Numbers. Both the Weekly Department Review (WDR) and the Annual P&L Study compile and share an amazing level of Numbers. By the way, you only have 10 more days before the deadline (February 15) for the 2023 P&L Study reporting. Don't miss your chance to be in the study and gain valuable insight from these Numbers!

Another important Numbers program begins this Friday, February 9th:

The 2024 Financial Basics of Garden Center Retailing Series

This February to October Series is starting its 9th year and believe me... it truly is Knowledge by Knumbers!





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The Heart is a Muscle!

The Heart is a Muscle!

by John Kennedy

As we kick off the new year with high hopes of projected profits along with extra expectations of customer counts, I thought it important to bring out an oldie but goodie.

Past:
A few years back, I wrote and presented to The Garden Center Group about a healthy business being equivalent to a healthy body. The similarities are easy to see and the approach is easy to execute.

When we go to the doctor’s office for our annual check-up (or unfortunately when we are sick), there are a few Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) or body metrics that they measure---Blood Pressure, Height/Weight, Temperature, Pulse and BMI (Body Mass Index). These provide a window into your current condition and are usually compared to your last visit.


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What's Your Blind Spot?

What's Your Blind Spot?
How Cognitive Biases Limit You as a Leader

by Carl Phillips

It’s been over 22 years since the roll-out of The Garden Center Group Mystery Shopper Program. Over three thousand, six hundred (3,600+) shops have been completed that form the basis for great customer service benchmarking.


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NEW: Wednesday Walk-About

NEW: Wednesday Walk-About

by Danny Summers

Beginning this week, we introduce Wednesday Walk-About, a new way to gather together to explore areas of The Group WebSystem. We will walk about the many areas and drill down into the tools and resources you may not even know are available to you as a Group Center. Have you ever wondered:

  • How can I quickly search for other Garden Centers in our area?
  • Is there a map showing all Group Centers?
  • How can I search and connect with other Centers and peers?
  • How can I quickly search for the Top Performing Centers?
  • How can I add new staff members for access?
  • How can I or my team subscribe to one or more of the 12 eLists?
  • How can I subscribe my team to weekly eNews GROUPtalk?
  • How can my team learn more about The Group Financial Programs?
  • How can I engage my team to learn more about The Group Marketing ideas?
  • What is the easiest way to connect with The Group Service Providers?

These are just a few of the many areas we will explore this Wednesday. Watch for a Zoom invitation coming to the GroupEs eList. If you are not currently subscribed to GroupEs, send me an email and I will show you how to log in and subscribe.

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The Power of Asking

The Power of Asking

By John Kennedy

A few years ago, a grower client was trying to come up with new ideas to improve and innovate the customer experience within their business model. My suggestion set off a chain reaction of ideas and improvements by the simple (yet somewhat complex) approach—why don’t we ask the customer?

Note: Don’t ask a question if you’re not prepared to hear the answer!

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Eureka!

Eureka!

by Danny Summers

At first glance, you might think of the word Eureka as referring to a city or town. There are 4 or more in the US alone. But this message is intended to challenge you to think about the word as an exclamation:

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Talent Development is All Math!

Talent Development is All Math!

by John Kennedy

As we see the initial signs of the 2023 economy play themselves out in April’s numbers, and forecast for May, June and July are just around the corner, we should never underestimate the investment in your people.

One of the Centers within The Garden Center Group has committed to a “People First” vision for 2023. Another has committed to “Build the Bench!” in 2023, and both are poised to propel themselves into the future of their businesses by focusing on the soft skills just as much as the hard goods of their retail operation.

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Your Work as a Craft

Your Work as a Craft

by Danny Summers

Have you ever thought of your work as a craft? Not craft as a hobby, but as a craftsman. I often refer to our industry as having some of the most wonderful people and how there is something very special about people who grow or sell plants.

Horticulture, much like farming, has great assets in the people. For us, it is the people who call Nursery, Garden Centers and Landscaping home.

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We Grow What We Feed - 2

We Grow What We Feed - 2

by John Kennedy

My very first job that I can remember, that was not chores on the farm for $5 a month, was stuffing church mailers in Alice Springs, Australia. Between 1972-1974, our family lived “Down Undah” and they remain some of my most cherished memories as a child.
In exchange for working a few hours on the weekend, we were compensated with candy. That candy was the only time I was able to eat it other than Easter and Christmas.

So, I guess you can say I ate candy, religiously! (I’m here through Friday…tip your bartenders!)
Another job I had in my teen years was at a pizza shop--Vennari’s Pizza in Columbia, Maryland. My High School friend Kyle got me the job and taught me everything I “kneaded” to know…from making the “special sauce” to spinning the pizza, I was in my element working there, and not only paid in pizza but also made $3.15/hour! After 2 summers, I saved up enough to buy a purple 1974 AMC Gremlin. Yup…I did!!

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What's Your SuperPower?

What's Your SuperPower?

by Danny Summers

A SuperPower is a unique force or gift – something that you’re especially good at or something you are recognized for. Just like Superman (or woman), we all have our SuperPowers (or strengths).

Recognizing each person on your team's SuperPowers can help unify and build upon these strengths. This also can help spread those talents across the entire organization. You already know who is "Super" in certain areas. Recognizing these SuperPowers will encourage everyone to learn and grow.

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Permanent Decisions Made Over Temporary Problems

Permanent Decisions Made Over Temporary Problems

by John Kennedy

Years ago, before The Garden Center Group Fall Event was in Nashville, I took a flight down to see my favorite band—Counting Crows. They were playing at The Ryman Auditorium,  and I had never seen a show there before. Toad the Wet Sprocket opened for them and it was a delightful evening and amazing venue. I wanted to make it an extra special experience over all, so I booked a room at the famous Hermitage Hotel (I felt I had earned the gift to myself with nearly 15 years on the road) and it became the first official check on my newly scribed “Bucket List.”   Seeing U2 in concert was next, and I am happy to report I earned another Bucket List Check Mark the following year!

As I walked back from the show with my newly purchased merch-- a Counting Crows Tee Shirt with “I am Color Blind” printed on it--- I approached the hotel, and the doorman kindly opened it, smiled and said: “Oh, are they in town?”

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Service Please!

Service Please!

by Danny Summers

Sir Winston Churchill once said, "We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give."

This simply yet powerful statement emphasizes the importance of serving. Whether serving our family, our faith, our community, our country, or each and every person we see each day, the act of serving has great value. This also relates to every Guest that enters your Center. On May 2 of this year you may remember a message I shared titled "At Your Service". In that message, I said there is one thing you and your Team can do to begin... (Ok, actually 3 things)

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Water the Bamboo

Water the Bamboo

by John Kennedy

 

As Danny’s article, The Final Stretch, and the featured video shows, closing strong is always vital to any mindset in business and life. What a stunning finish. The heart & soul of a champion!

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What Matters the Most

What Matters the Most

by Danny Summers

This past week, I ran across a short story that I had seen and enjoyed before. I have seen it titled several different ways and always its author is listed as "unknown." It's Week 21 and this is some of the busiest times for you and your Center. It's Week 21 and this is some of the busiest times for you and your Center, but I hope you will take a few minutes to read (or re-read) this story of making time for what matters most...

When things in our lives seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.

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Report Card Grade - Not Yet

Report Card Grade: Not Yet!

by Danny Summers

At first glance, you might think I am referring to Spring 2022 performance numbers and this title very well could be used to describe the late spring arrival and the numbers we are seeing in the Weekly Department Review (WDR). But I want to first ask the question... Have you ever heard of a Report Card Grade of "Not Yet"? I hadn't until a few weeks ago when I found a quote by Dr. Carol Dweck to use in the April 25th edition of GROUPtalk for the Quote of the Week. The quote is:

“The hallmark of successful people is that they are always stretching themselves to learn new things."  ~ Dr. Carol S. Dweck

Dr. Dweck is a renowned psychologist who introduced the world to the term “growth mindset”. She is the author of Mindset, a book that introduced the differences between a Fixed Mindset and a Growth Mindset. As I read more and even watched several presentations of Dr. Dweck's work and her research on having a growth mindset, I realized this is not just for children and their development. It applies to all of us.

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We Grow What We Feed

We Grow What We Feed

By John Kennedy

As we continue into the busy season, we want to ensure that we are growing our people just as well as we are growing our plants. We know what a plant needs to thrive (water, fertilizer, and sunlight) but what about our people?  In this short video, you will learn that there are three important fertilizers your people need from you in order to thrive--To be Heard. To be Valued. To be Respected.

The majority of employees who leave organizations claim the top three reasons they left are lack of appreciation (catching them doing something right) delegation (teaching new skills to improve their personal and professional development needs) and communication (being in the know and understanding the “why” relating to their work).  To be heard, valued and respected are outcomes of these efforts…we grow what we feed!

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Circle... The Circle Back

Circle…Then Circle Back

By John Kennedy

As we “spring forward,” we hope to not fall back into old habits!  One bad habit many managers and owners have is the habit of saying too little…until it’s too late.

The opportunity to say more up front and explain not only “What” needs to get done and “How” it needs to get done, but the “Why” with new and existing staff, can lead to less confusion, stress, and frustration—a recipe for disaster in a busy spring with an already uphill fight for employees.

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Pride in Your Work

Pride in Your Work

by Danny Summers

We have known for years there were countless people who went to work everyday to a job they did not like, maybe even hated. I have often said, "Life's too short not to enjoy what you do." For those our us in the "green industry" I think most of us feel very fortunate to be where we are. We may have had some employers or bosses who we wished were different, but overall, people who work with plants every day have a different outlook on life and it makes this one of the most rewarding places to be!

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Plant Your People

Plant Your People

By John Kennedy

 

As the road in this new year is currently being paved, and 2022 slowly appears on the horizon of your garden center’s windshield, it’s always a good idea to reflect on the past year that is disappearing in the rear-view mirror quickly before the lessons and blessings are forgotten.

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