Managing Seasonal Stress
Spring is here and despite seeding a proactive first quarter, we’re seeing a superbloom in reactivity. Mindfulness and planning have been replaced by frenzy. The phone rings, schedules tighten, weather interferes, employees let you down, and workload management is a daily struggle. Everyone seems addicted to the moment.
It’s hard to be strategic when the barn is on fire, goes the old saying. But how does the organizational fire start in the first place and how do some companies manage to avoid it altogether?
It is during stressful times that leaders model their greatest effectiveness by sorting through the chaos, keeping their teams focused on the customer, and by coaching/mentoring newer, less experienced employees to navigate the cycles of a seasonal business.
For landscape business owners, it’s critical to keep your team motivated and solution-focused all year, not just when business peaks. When the workload is stressful and productivity compromised, it’s not uncommon for managers to do their subordinates’ work just to get it done. When this happens, no real learning occurs. When problems are always fixed instead of solved, the behavior becomes addictive and organizational health suffers.
Controlling reactivity is achievable. Solving problems by getting to their root cause comes from thoroughly understanding the parameters and scope of each project and challenge, and breaking down deliverables into actual work. Coaching and mentoring your managers and project drivers on processes, milestones, margins for slippage, and tight schedules can guard your company against debilitating sense of overload.
Smart practices allow landscape companies to project continuity. Sticking to a disciplined action plan will not only help you manage hurdles to productivity that come from seasonal impacts, but also give you the ability to deliver better for your customers.