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Knowledge Transfer to Better Your Business

Knowledge Transfer to Better your Business

According to a study from the Work Institute, the estimated costs of employee turnover ranges from 33% to as much as 200% of the departing employee’s salary. Costs include lost revenue from reduced human resource levels, project delays, accidents, recruiting, training and on-boarding new personnel. The range of cost is affected by the skills and experience (knowledge) lost with the employee. Consider the difference between losing a seasonal employee to the cost of replacing a long-term retiring employee with advanced skills and years of experience with the company and the profession. With the later, the loss to the company is not only an employee but the knowledge that employee provided to the success of the operation.

Understanding that knowledge loss is the major casualty of employee turnover is the first step towards better employee management.

Researchers began studying the impacts of knowledge loss in the early 1990’s. The concern was related to one generation retiring and the knowledge lost as retirements increased. From that research the concept of knowledge transfer developed. Knowledge transfer is a method of sharing information, abilities, and ideas across different areas of your business. It helps capture the knowledge before it leaves the organization and is then used to train replacements, expand service offering and or cross train employees to increase efficiency.

One of the major benefits of a structured knowledge transfer process is uncovering the ‘special sauce’. People who have mastered their job have skills and experience that make them more successful. In addition to having the knowledge, they know when, where, and how to use that knowledge to work effectively…the special sauce.

Googling ‘knowledge transfer’ will give you a whole host of resources, however, the Knowledge Maverick is a free web resource which can assist you with understanding the concept of knowledge transfer and how to implement it within your company. They have developed a series of questions to get you started. The questions were developed to be answered in a conversation between the person with the knowledge, and the person interested in receiving the knowledge. The conversations will help develop more questions and productive discussion. They are also a good framework for employee mentors.

Lastly, there are knowledge transfer professionals that can assist you in developing a transfer system. Because the loss of knowledge within your company represents a large risk to the health of the organization, ArboRisk has created a Knowledge Transfer portion of Thrive to lower this exposure. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the ArboRisk team to learn more.

Written by: Jim Skiera

Easily Increase Your Social Media Engagement

Easily Increase Your Social Media Engagement

The number one question I am asked when consulting with different tree care companies is, “How do I increase engagement across our social media platforms?” It can be incredibly frustrating to work so hard to produce quality content and have your followers scroll past without taking the time to even LIKE your post. Fortunately, there are some quick and fairly simple ways to help your engagement increase across your platforms.

Tip #1: Earn engagement

The top piece of advice I can give to help increase your engagement is to earn it. What do you do on a daily basis to encourage your audience to engage with you? Are you commenting and engaging on their posts? Are you posting content beyond sales pitches? Are people seeing #BTS (Behind the Scenes) of your life and business?

In order to see your engagement increase, you need to be an ACTIVE participant on your social media.

Tip #2: Create a trackable strategy

First and foremost, you should have a strategy when it comes to your social media accounts. Second of all, you should be able to track it in a way that makes sense to you. Take the time each month to analyze what you are doing. Which posts received the most likes? Which posts were saved the most? How many people viewed a particular story? How many DMs did you receive regarding your content? Which hashtags increased your exposure?

In order to up your engagement, use these numbers and create new content around what has already worked for you.

Tip #3: Likes does not equal reach

You never know who you are influencing. Just because someone doesn’t take the time to hit that “LIKE” button (even though it is literally the easiest thing on the planet to do), doesn’t mean they are not watching you. Something you post may trigger a sale or outreach 2, 4, or 6 months down the line. Do not give up simply because you are not seeing the “Likes” come in like you want. By continuing to show up with quality content, you are positioning yourself as the expert in your industry.

Even when you think you are not, you are making connections that will someday positively impact your business.

All in all, increasing your engagement does not need to be frustrating or defeating. Take the time to look at your strategy and Keep. Showing. Up. The more times you show up authentically, the better your engagement will continue to be.

Written by: Katie Petersen

4 Must’s of Effective Leadership

4 Must’s of Effective Leadership

isIn that last couple of decades, neuroscientists have shown that one of the most important aspects of effective leadership is emotional intelligence. A well-known leader in this research is author Daniel Goleman. Goleman states that one of the most important roles of a leader is helping employees engage in their work, ultimately leading to a satisfying work life balance. A key to unlocking that engagement is emotional intelligence.

Although leadership typically focuses on external pieces; such as employees or the direction of the organization, we first need to focus on ourselves, the leaders. In his book “Primal Leadership”, Goleman discusses the importance of leading your followers with emotional intelligence. Whether we like it or not, there is a direct correlation between the leader’s mood, employee’s moods, and performance. Below are 4 key pieces to effective leadership utilizing emotional intelligence:

1)Know Yourself

As a good leader, your employees will mirror your moods, work ethic, and even decision making. This means that the most important piece of being a good leader is being aware of yourself and your mood. If you, the leader, are upset and communicating poorly, what impact will that have on your employees?

Goleman mentions three things we can do to make sure our mood isn’t negatively impacting our followers.

1.Self-Awareness: What mood are we in? Why are we in this mood?
2.Pausing/Reflecting: What impact does this have on others? Is it beneficial or harmful?
3.Adjust: What mood do we need to be in to lead effectively? How do we adjust?

Though these sound simple and straight forward, building self-awareness into your everyday life will help with more than just building strong work environment.

2)Know Your Employees

Once you’ve got a hold of your own emotions, we can start looking out towards our employees. Think of morale, motivation, and optimism as three good measures for productive employees. Outside of work, how do you make people close to you feel like you understand them? An MIT article mentions 3 ways to help people feel understood:

1.Questions: Asking employees how they feel or what their thoughts are on certain topics is the best place to start.
2.Active Listening: Active listening is the idea of repeating what others say to you without inputting your own ideas to make them feel heard. Disregard your personal opinions at first to make sure you’re really understanding how they feel.
3.Perspective: It is important to understand where your employees are coming from in their perspective, not yours as the foreman, manager, or even owner. This will help you work towards a solution much more efficiently.

3)Know Your Organization

Organizations are constantly shifting, often times based on the needs and preferences of their employees. An effective leader should be able to adapt to the culture of the organization as it grows. One important distinction is understanding that there may be different cultures in different departments, each requiring a different style of leadership. I’d challenge you to assess your company culture as a whole, at a department level, and potentially at the level of each crew. This should help identify who your core leaders are, and what type of leadership they need to utilize in each role. Below are some questions to help you get started:

1.What is the organization most known for?
2.What is the organization best at?
3.Where is the organization headed?
4.Who is in charge of getting it there?

 If you need help addressing culture concerns, take ArboRisk’s culture assessment! This assessment can give you a baseline for where your culture is at and you will receive a FREE one page summary of your results!

4)Create a Vision

Effective leadership, and effective organizations for that matter, all require leaders and their employees to work towards a common vision. A clear vision. It is the leader’s responsibility to ensure everyone has a positive outlook on the organization’s vision, creating a positive work environment. The leader should be able to understand bottlenecks arising out of working towards the vision, listen to the employee concerns, and come up with creative ways to work around those issues ultimately keeping the organization on track. This is usually done with the following:

1.Delegating: This is where creativity can come in. Who is best at specific tasks? Who enjoys specific tasks to ensure they’ll be done proficiently?
2.Goal Setting: Visions are long term, goals are short term items that help work towards completing the vision. How can you utilize goals to help motivate your crews?
3.Coaching: “Success is in the journey, not the destination.” Utilize working towards the vision as a way to help your crews grow and learn.

The organization has its goal, but so does each employee. Most people want growth, some want money, others want education. Learn what drives your employees and build that into your overarching goal.

How important are leaders within your organization as it stands? I’d argue leaders are the engines that drive an organization towards its future goals.
A strong company recognizes the need for effective leadership within their organization and utilizes leadership to motivate employees to work harder, smarter, and more efficiently. I’d encourage you to check out some of Daniel Goleman’s work, but there are plenty of resources discussing effective leadership on YouTube as well. This process will hopefully help not only with achieving your company vision, but building a strong company culture along the way. Feel free to reach out with any questions!

Sources:
https://hr.mit.edu/learning-topics/leading/articles/basics#forms
Primal Leadership, Written by Daniel Goleman

Written by: Malcolm Jeffris, CTSP

5 Ways to Combat the Imposter

5 Ways to Combat The Imposter

Unfortunately, the tree care industry is an over-commoditized industry. A simple Google search in your area will probably show so many tree services it will make your head spin. So how do you compete against the non-professional guys; the ones that aren’t playing by all of the rules and paying cash for labor, not purchasing insurance, and skipping on safety? It is not an easy thing to do, but below are my 5 ways to combat your competition.


Don’t Create the Price Game – Believe it or not, the price game is created by tree services, not the customers. Companies that come in and say that they’ll do the work cheaper than anyone else are the ones who devalue the work that you do. Fight this by getting to know your customer and what their goals for the property are. Do they want a backyard oasis to play and relax in? Are they concerned about a branch falling on their house or children? Whatever their concerns are, focus your solutions around those. Everyday consumers choose certain brands over others and choose to pay more for those products or services because they believe in the value of it. Tree work can be the same way, but you have to believe in your value and know how to communicate it to the customer.


Specialize – What does your company do particularly well? Are you known for a specific service in your area? If so, concentrate your sales efforts on that service as it is much easier for you to explain why you are the better choice than a non-professional tree service. You also should be able to do the work in your specialty more efficiently than your competitors, thereby increasing the value to your customer.


Use Technology – What does your Customer Journey look like? Have you thought about the experience that your customers have each time they come in contact with you? There are many software programs out there to help you make your business stand out: from automatic follow up emails such as Active Campaign, to video email software like BombBomb, to creating proposals for the customer (while still at their house) using Arborgold. Each of these tools will help showcase the level of professionalism that your company has over your competition.


Use Pictures – Examples of poor tree maintenance are all over the place. With digital cameras in everyone’s pocket these days, you should be able to create a vast library of local trees that have been hacked at by an inexperienced tree service. Use these photos, along with before and after pictures of proper tree care, in your presentation to your customers. Your proposal should not be lengthy and full of technical details, but rather clean and crisp, showing what you intend to do and how it will help the customer reach their property goal.


Promote your Professional Designations – Are you touting your designations? Bragging about your credentials is not something that many people are comfortable doing, however when trying to separate yourself from a low bid competitor, you must be able to do so. ISA and TCIA both have great resources that allow you to show why your education and commitment to your industry makes you the best choice for your customer. When the property owner understands that you invest time and money into improving your own company’s professionalism, they will begin to see the value that your expert opinion brings.


Competing against illegitimate businesses is one of the most common challenges within the tree care industry and unfortunately, this problem is not going away. Use these 5 tips to begin to separate your tree service from the rest.

Written by: Eric Petersen

Unlock Your Potential: 4 Steps to Cross-Sell More Business

Unlock Your Potential: 4 Steps to Cross-Sell More Business

One of the most common goals that I hear from our clients is the desire to sell more Plant Health Care work, so I put together my list of 4 steps to effectively cross sell additional services to your customers. Whether you would like to perform more tree risk assessments or sell firewood and mulch to your existing customers, the approach is essentially the same.

Targeted Service – Defining what service you are looking to cross sell to your current customers is the first step. To determine if a particular service is appropriate to begin a cross selling campaign, ask yourself the following:


Is this service a strength for our company? If not, what will help it become a strength?
Can we handle an influx of additional requests for this service?
What challenges could arise if we have increased interest in this service?
Are we known for this service already or do we have to educate our customers?
Does our ideal client need this service on a regular basis?


It Is Not About the Sale – It is very important to understand that cross selling additional services should NOT be strictly about the revenue generated from the new service. Instead, the focus should be on the relationship with the customer. When customers hire your company for more than one service or product you will generate much more customer loyalty. These loyal customers will become your promoters and tell others about your organization, driving growth within your ideal clientele.


Training – Not everyone is meant to be a sales person, however, everyone within your organization that has contact with your customers should have a basic understanding of the services you provide and how it can benefit your customers. From the receptionist to the crew foreman, train your team members on the “why” your services are important. A few ideas to help your employees begin a cross sell conversation are:


Emphasize that healthy trees eliminate hazards to your customers and help increase their property values. Proper tree care is much more than pruning and a Certified Arborist can help your customer determine the course of action for their trees.
Use an Amazon approach: Whatever your cross sale service is, combine that with what your ideal client would also purchase for an easy transition into providing additional services. For example; those that have had their trees pruned, also have their trees fertilized. Or, those that have their trees removed also purchase firewood from us.


Reward employees for cross selling additional services. Create a monetary reward for a team member that goes beyond their normal job duties to cross sell your desired service.


Special Offer or Pricing – If your desired cross sell service is new to your organization or one that your customers rarely request, you probably will have to create a special offer or pricing structure to gain interest in the service. This can be a limited time offering for trunk injections or a multi-service discount if they also purchase mulch from you. Be creative with the offer to engage your customer into taking action with your desired cross sell service.


Cross selling additional services to your current customer base can be the hidden secret to growth for your organization. Use these 4 steps to unlock your company’s cross sell potential.

Written by: Eric Petersen