At Crawford Landscaping, it's no secret that our employees are our greatest asset. How we take recycled laborers and turn them into quality experts is a subject for another blog post. But what I want to focus on here is my heart for how we at CLG treat our employees. And for that, I turn to God's Word.
"He who pampers his slave from childhood will in the end find him to be a son" Proverbs 29:21
What does it mean to pamper? It means to treat with respect, or treat someone the way you would like to be treated. It's at the core of Servant Leadership, a leadership style predicated on Christs' example in Mark 10:45 - "In the same way, the Son of Man did not come for other people to serve him. But the Son of Man came to serve other people. The Son of Man came to give his life to save many people."
"Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained" Proverbs 29:18
The goal of leadership is to always be casting vision for our employees; to set out before them questions like: what does it mean to work at CLG? At CLG, am I working towards something that matters or makes a difference? What does quality really look like? What does it mean to operate as safely as possible? And in our daily interactions, we are constantly trying to impart our "vision" into our employees hearts and minds that answer these and other core questions. We know what we stand for (QUALITY, SERVICE, INTEGRITY, or doing what you say your going to do.), and it's our job to transfer these beliefs to our employees on a daily basis.
"The rod of reproof gives wisdom" Proverbs 29:15
It's important to correct bad behavior. Period! As parents, we're taught that if you "spare the rod, you spoil the child," and the same is true with employees. If you don't respectfully correct bad behavior, the bad behavior is bound to repeat itself. That's why we have a Corrective Action Report, or "CAR", that we use to document actions that need correcting. We also have less formal Safety Violation tickets. We look at the privilege of employing people as a responsibility, and make it our goal to help everyone to improve. Improvement is only made possible through correction. But at the heart of that correction, must be a genuine concern for that persons growth - not simply a desire for them to do better so we look better.
"know well the condition of your flocks, and pay attention to your herds." Proverbs 27:23
Knowing your employees is paramount. Obviously it's difficult to know everyone, especially if you employ 200+ people. But if you establish a culture where everyone is made to feel like family, meaningful relationships will develop at all levels of the company. And when an employee is met with a difficult life experience, showing your support and concern goes a long way. And unlike family and friends, where the expectation of caring is par for the course, when your place of work rallies around you, it offers a whole new level of support.
"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6
Training is vital to an employees success at Crawford. We have very high standards for quality and safety, and we take our job of preparing our staff seriously. Every once in awhile we get a perfectly trained employee, but in most cases, we need to "train up" our staff to reach our performance standards. This investments has paid dividends in our lack of turn-over, safe operation, and high quality work.