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!!

I went off to college and then California, and Kyle went off to raise four amazing kids who still, to this day, call me Uncle John. Kyle went back to school in his 30s to earn an engineering degree (I give him so much credit for such a feat) and then went to work for a defense contractor in his 40s.

One of his stints was in a clandestine sandbox where he supported the warfighter on point for the nation. Again…so super proud!
You can take the guy out of pizza but you can’t take the pizza out of the guy. In a few short months, Kyle was rolling dough with the natives, using their clay ovens they had for nan, and then serving it to the troops. His reputation grew in theater and soon his pizzas were being sent to the front lines via chopper in a real wartime pizza delivery service---how cool?? His call name was “Nightmare” so he became known as Nightmare Pizza. He was a legend!

And the soldiers and airmen who got a slice of Nightmare Pizza said their morale and sanity were boosted by every bite! Kyle is now stateside, being an awesome grandad, husband, and son to his aging parents, and I could not be prouder of my friend, Nightmare!

My story is to set the table for the simple act of feeding your team…rewarding them with a pizza for staying late and tagging the plants. When they go above and beyond during a cold Christmas Tree weekend--offering some hot chocolate and homemade cookies. Closing out the year with a taco truck rolling up, or even donuts and bagels in the morning. A little thoughtful food goes a very long way and is usually what the team remembers more—We grow what we feed!

A Garden Center Group Client, Louisiana Nursery, has embraced the Great Game of Business culture that sets up mini-games for employee engagement, accountability, and fun, and in October rewarded the location with the highest average Mystery Shop score with a fully stocked break room. Hot Pockets, Jimmy Dean breakfast croissants, drinks, snacks, fruit, and cookies were loaded up into their Coursey location and the team just loved it! Congrats, Team Coursey! We grow what we feed…

They are a GroupSpace apostle and actively use the platform to offer digital “kudos” to team members, across all three locations, who go the extra mile, step up, help out and “get er done!” Here’s a sample of their attraction video as to why you would want to join the team at Louisiana Nursery-- (click on image below to watch video)

Another Garden Center Group Client, Forest Lake Greenhouse, after a very hot summer day, offered a nice ice-cold, quickly-melting ice cream treat to cool off the team. That single thoughtful effort made all the difference in the world.

Another client created a mini-game from the Great Game of Business---Safety is one of their core values and if they went 30 days without an incident, they got popcorn. 60 days without an incident was a pizza party, and 90 days without an incident was a pig roast. The mini-game focused their attention on a key issue of improvement, goals were set, rewards were established, and the team had tons of pulled pork as the reward! We grow what we feed…

I know this is not a foreign idea to many or most of you, but sometimes we get so focused on the work, it’s easy to forget the worker. And building a culture of engagement, education, recognition and fun is a great way to attract and retain talent in this competitive time.

Your workplace culture doesn’t have to be a “Nightmare!” Pizza (and candy) can go a very long way!!

If you would like to learn more about instituting the Great Game of Business program into your workplace culture or about how over 20 garden centers are finding value in www.yourgroupspace.com, just reach out and we can get you ready to make 2023 the best year yet!

Merry Christmas from the Kennedys.

John Kennedy is Co-Founder of BoomerWrangle, LLC. with his amazing wife, Souny.

BoomerWrangle is the new corporate entity that houses all of their talents & tools to support The Garden Center Group members.

From innovative solutions such as “Your GroupSpace,” customized on-boarding videos,  strategic planning and team engagement,  BoomerWrangle, LLC has become a single-source digital solution & strategic planning agency to maximize employee engagement, organizational excellence, build sales and service cultures, ease of ordering and operational efficiency!

www.Boomerwrangle.com www.JohnKennedyConsulting.com
for more information and insights into their growing toolbox of IGC solutions!

[email protected]
[email protected]

REMEMBER: Your interaction (by phone and email) with Group Service Providers such as John Kennedy, Tim Quebedeaux, Sid Raisch, Jean Seawright, and of course Danny Summers are included in your retainer!

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