Keys to workforce success

Unlock the possibilities for your company’s growth.

Welcome to Irrigation & Lighting magazine’s Keys to Workforce Success, a collection of business-building best practices from industry consultants and experts. These articles are meant to give you the tools you need to open the door to brand-new growth for your company this year and think about the challenges your employees are dealing with from a new angle.

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Year after year, the Green Industry Outlook survey shows that one of the biggest obstacles for contractors is labor. Regardless of the size of the business, about two-thirds of respondents say that they can’t find enough quality employees to meet their needs. For some, even increases in pay in the past year don’t seem to move the needle. The columns collected here are focused on several of the steps involved in bringing on the right employees and keeping them happy, as well as developing your exit plan for the future.

Hiring practices. Whether you’re a seasonal or year-round contractor, you’re constantly on the lookout for new, quality crew members. Sometimes it feels like you just need a body to show up and do the work. But what if you were able to make better choices about your hires? Ryan Lisk shows how to hire for fit.

Employee retention. Getting the right employees in place is important, but how do you keep them? Pay raises and bonuses can be tough for your bottom line and only go so far. Learning about the pain points for your employees can make a huge difference. Tom Borg explains how to stop what you’re doing and start listening.

Career path. One of the best predictors for whether or not contractors are able to find the right employees and hang on to them over the long term is a career path. An organizational chart and a line showing the way forward can show employees that this isn’t just a job, it’s a potential career. Julie Schweber lays out the path ahead.

Retirement planning. When you have to deal with the day-to-day struggles of just getting the job done, it’s tough to think about building an effective management team and an exit strategy. But avoiding thinking about the future won’t make time move any more slowly. Larry Klimek talks about how to start mentoring and planning now.

In This Category

Irrigation & Lighting caught up with Dobson to ask what winning the 2023 Irrigation Association Excellence in Education Award means to him. 
Irrigation-Association-joins-Tomorrow-Workforce Coalition
The IA has joined the Tomorrow’s Workforce Coalition, a group of companies with a mission to build support for workforce development policy.
Irrigation & Lighting magazine named the three winners of its Watch Us Grow: 2023 Industry Standouts program.