Improving Landscapes is Our Job, Improving Lives is Our Passion
Welcome to the "Vision/Painted Picture " of TCLA. The following paragraphs will describe the feelings, actions and results that we will achieve over the next few years. Many of these plans are chapters in a much larger book of the TCLA journey. After all we are all on a journey through life and at times we share the same path.
The previous Painted Pictures have been clear so let me reiterate our "why" so that we can get on to our "what's" and "how's". Our purpose at TCLA is to transform lives. We strive and focus on doing all we can to help those with whom we cross paths, with an expected outcome of improving both us and them. This goes for all interactions amongst the team, our clients and families.
As life moves along and wisdom becomes more apparent, it is clear that as the business has grown it has grown me. The business has not only grown me, but it has grown many team members, some that are still here and others that are not. As an individual I will continue to stay involved in Vistage, read the Bible as well as other leadership books and participate in mentorship programs. After all, there really is no destination, simply a journey. The journey has many ups and downs and forks in the road. Sometimes we are running and other times we are crawling. "You will either step forward into growth, or you will step backward into safety". Maslow
The culture of TCLA continues to be one of love, health and fun. We are a transparent team that grows closer and stronger all the time. We trust each other and are consistently taking steps forward into growth. Our environment is one filled with challenge, support, belief, education and heartfelt commitment to one another and our purpose. Remember, our purpose is to transform lives while our passion is the snow and landscape industry. We have no worries, we take relief in knowing that we will move forward together, we will be what God wants for us, not what the world wants for us. We will continue to have annual strategic planning meetings. We follow up with tactical meetings that result in accountability graphs displaying the project, timeline and champion of the project. Our annual reward systems will measure from October to October to insure accurate seasonal achievements.
Part of our growth has been to relocate our main offices and shop to a new location. This new facility is quite a bit larger than our previous location and houses our administration team, finance team, training center, mechanics and of course our amazing group of snow, lawn, fertilization, irrigation and landscape professionals. As we are growing at a healthy 10 to 15 percent annualized rate our Leadership Team will identify champions to lead and “own“ the following projects; job fairs, training sessions with hired speakers and our clients, location of the next facility based on our client demographics and other projects that arise from our tactical meetings.
Helping those around us to be the best they can is always at the top of our list. We have a metric for tracking, managing and sharing the growth of each team member and of each department as well. This metric includes all individual certifications as well as any additional education or training that is needed or required for growth to the next level in our company or to remain "the best " at the existing position. These metrics are shared on our dashboards. We look to create a group of business leaders outside of TCLA with the intent of creating a program for speaking/educating/enlightening middle school and high school students on the financial and emotional value of having a career in the trades in place of a college education. We host job fairs at churches in towns where our staff resides.
Dashboards of communication have become deep rooted in our culture. Finance and Human Resources prepares and shares weekly reports with Operations and Ownership. Monthly Dashboards are used to track strategic agendas both operationally and fiscally. A really exciting Dashboard is the one that tracks all of the amazing growth of our team members. And to top it off, we have finally mastered consistent and current electronic displays of all pertinent Dashboards. To be specific; meeting notes, calendars, job updates, department updates, certification updates, sales team results and team behavior goals to mention some.
Our core values are now part of our evaluation process and the results are exponential. There is no wavering from what we all want out of our lives at TCLA. We will write, share and live by the TCLA “ways”. We post our core values in two languages for all to see, we add them to our interview process and we add them to our culture in ways we haven’t experienced yet.
Knowledge and education - we remain the leaders in the industry. We are the number one most educated snow team in the country and we are the number one most educated "green" team in the country (for companies of our size). Beyond these achievements, we continue to achieve gold awards for our work entered in the local MGIA banquets and strive to win the "best in show" annually. When we have or attend training/educational events we take notes, our results our outstanding. We have been taught and have learned from experience that those who do not take notes in meetings have at best, a 7 % retention capacity and that's not good enough for team TCLA. We establish a stipend program for those who attend classes and obtain skills related to our industry or their job description. A champion arises to capture our shared knowledge in a video format that is tracked and categorized. The video training sessions will document the Team TCLA Ways for many years to come.
Leadership is constantly seeking out and training more leaders. After all you will always harvest what you plant. New leaders are stepping up in all areas. They are running meetings (within the structure set forth by leadership) and they have a clear path for their future as well as their departments. Because, what lies behind you and before you pales in comparison to what lies within you. Each leader has a shared list of their “replacement in training“, the metrics they need to achieve to obtain incentives and to grow to new positions.
Communication is always a challenge with a large group of people. One challenge that we are up for! Our meeting rhythm and repetition of meeting style and content leave no unanswered questions. Leadership is in continuous education and personal growth to become the greatest possible communicators that they can be. We build a layered meeting schedule with specific agendas that require updates from the previous meeting and are filled with prompted questions that require specific answers. Starting with quarterly “Breakfast with Leadership” and “Fab 7” meetings, followed by Monthly Leadership meetings, Weekly Management, Field Operations, Office Operations and daily team huddles in all departments. We will continue to learn the best ways to communicate without being face to face. These solutions could include group chats, FaceTime and other technology applications.
Systems . . . systems . . . systems . . . have been and will continue to be our focus. As a very proud ISO 9001:2015 SN9001 company we know and believe that systems/processes lead to the best results. Whether we are discussing customer relations, quotations, operations, meetings or equipment, processes and systems are the path to the greatest and most consistent results. We use financial analysis to build strategic Sales plans. We use LMN to insure accurate, fair and consistent bidding results, which feed data to Operations for their success. And of course, we closely monitor our "people growth " system because as you know, happy team = happy clients.
Clients stay on the forefront of all our internal growth. We build our systems and processes to best serve their needs and we share any information that we feel will help make their lives/careers better. We host education meetings at our facility and invite clients to attend. We send out monthly newsletters, seasonal surveys and pre-storm weather warnings to name just a couple of the forms of proactive communication at TCLA. We believe no day is complete without doing something for someone else.
Social media - we have grown quite a bit in this area. We fill our sites with relevant, informative and helpful information. Internally, we are measuring our results monthly and adjusting based on our clients’ needs and wants. We hire and/or outsource a creative team to manage media, gather footage, create training videos, publish TCLA Ways, and build the brands for TCLA, HOT PINK and individuals on the teams.
Profitability is a key "health" measurement of any good company. We use all of our tools and processes to steer TCLA to a consistently profitable destination, year in and year out. We are using weather insurance options and forecasts’ built internally by seasoned professionals to insure the fiscal stability of TCLA for our team and for our clients. Some of the details include, improved department Dashboard management, equipment lifespan analysis and right sizing of our overhead resulting in a consistent portion of profits being shared via predetermined metrics.
Fitness is a key component to our success. We support all aspects of fitness including physical, mental, dietary and more. For those who prefer to join a gym, we offer a $20/month payback with selfie proof of at least 10 visits per month. Our new office has enough gym equipment in it to afford a little break from the daily grind or to begin or end the day with a little stress relief or curl. Our food events and vending machines offer healthy choices for all to choose from.
In closing, although this painted picture may not include every piece of the TCLA puzzle, it covers most. We welcome input on our direction from anyone willing to share. We are only as good as those we hang out with and we strive to hang out with the best. TCLA has come a long way since the days of a teenage kid with a $200.00 truck and $100.00 push mower, banging on doors asking to be trusted to cut their lawn! TCLA is a family and in fact a very nice family, one that does what's right, no matter what. And as a strong family we know, that after all, if not us then who will accomplish this painted picture?