by Danny Summers

Very few activities exemplifies TEAMWORK like being part of a competitive rowing crew. Though I have never participated in this sport, I think everyone being so in-sync to produce the best (in this case... fastest) results is a great way for us visualize TEAMWORK.

What about TEAMWORK in your Garden Center? The goal of every Garden Center should be to create a fun and rewarding environment for each team member to be excited, motivated and inspired to be an important part of your team with the purpose to ultimately serve the customer.

During The Fall Event 2015, in Orlando, Florida, we were introduced to Simon T. Bailey. Simon shared with us his career journey, beginning as a desk clerk at a Day's Inn in downtown Atlanta and making his way to the Walt Disney Company. Simon went on to stay for 7+ years and received multiple promotions including Director of Sales at Disney. He says, "Disney didn't hire me for a job. They hired me to create a moment."

As the time of his presentation in 2015, he had already written two books, "Release Your Brilliance" and "Shift Your Brilliance." Since then Simon has written 4 more books to challenge, encourage and inspire us. In his most recent book titled, "Be the SPARK", he quotes a number of successful people (including himself). One such quote that I feel is very important for my message this week is by Sam Walton, founder of Walmart:

"The way management treats the associates is exactly how the associates will treat the customer."

In his book, Simon shares his "Five Platinum Service Principles" for Creating Customers for Life. I will share one more small token from Simon's book to encourage you to get your own copy. He says, "Good leaders take three simple action steps that guide them in delivering Platinum Service to both employees and customers." He calls them The 3Cs.

  1. Establish a Culture where everyone matters.
  2. Create a deeper Connection with team members, and
  3. Spark a relationship to create Customers for life.

I haven't finished the book yet but I am already excited about many of Simon's ideas and inspiration and how it can help you and all of our Centers. I hope you will take the time to order your own copy of Simon's latest book HERE.

The idea of the workplace environment you create for your team being the foundation for how your customer service experience will develop is an interesting one. Jean Seawright provided a number of "Ideas for Developing a Recruiting Culture Mindset" during her presentation at The Fall Event 2021. She shared her thoughts on how our Centers must first retain their staff and be well-positioned to attract great new talent. She encouraged each Center, before recruiting, by saying, "Group Owners must ensure they are in a position to attract and keep talent, which often means making some adjustments to compensation, benefits, and/or their overall messaging when they post a job and interview candidates. Once they are in a position to attract and retain talent, then they need to effectively “sell” what they have to offer with enthusiasm and pride! They should always be ready to explain their value proposition—that is, what they offer that makes working at the garden center a better opportunity than working elsewhere. They should be able to rattle this off like an elevator speech!"

Jean shared a new handout during her session titled, Talent Sourcing is a State of Mind - Ideas for Developing a Recruiting Culture Mindset. Group Centers can access this handout in The Group's WebSystem. Simply login and go to Clients-Only Menu and down to POWERtools for a quick PDF download.

TEAMWORK is only possible when you have the right work environment. Helping team members grow as well as having a strong recruiting position helps set the stage for TEAMWORK development with results being the ultimate customer experience.

You are going to need your very best team to serve your customers' needs in 2022. One important tool available to you is The Group's Mystery Shopper Program. See details by logging in to the WebSystem, go to Client's Only Menu and scroll down to the Mystery Shopper Program – or give me a call or send an email!

Continuing with this important theme, next week we will be introduced to an innovative approach to attraction and retention from the creative studios of John Kennedy. At The Fall Event 2021, John said, “We sometimes care about our plants’ environment and well-being more than our own people” and has now crafted a “Plant Your People” program that offers the five stages of successful team development.

Be sure to watch for next Monday's GROUPtalk. Until then, be thinking about the work environment at your Center. How's your Center's TEAMWORK?

Sharing is at the heart of The Group and your ideas are very important. If you have any trouble logging into The Group WebSystem, please let me know. Are you and your staff all subscribed to our eLists such as GroupEs, Retail-Grower, Retail-Landscape, Owners-Only, and a number of others? Need help subscribing? Let me know so I can show you how you can sign up.
Thanks for sharing!

Danny Summers
[email protected]
Tel: 678-909-7770
Cell: 678-761-7145

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

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