The Immigration Guy

Women Leadership in the Green Industry with Jennifer Burnett

November 16, 2022 Kyle Farmer Season 1 Episode 14
Women Leadership in the Green Industry with Jennifer Burnett
The Immigration Guy
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The Immigration Guy
Women Leadership in the Green Industry with Jennifer Burnett
Nov 16, 2022 Season 1 Episode 14
Kyle Farmer

This week Jennifer Burnett of LandCare sits down with Kyle to talk about stepping into a leadership role in the green industry, the value of happy employees, and finding talent in a tight market. Listen for all the details! 

We know, the immigration system is messy! It’s complicated and confusing, especially for those looking to gain a visa or hire foreign workers. Farmer Law PC’s Immigration Guy, Kyle Farmer, knows all of the tricks of the trade. The firm specializes in innovative immigration solutions, some of which you’ll get to hear about on this podcast. Tune in for commentary on immigration-related news and industry insights, and The Immigration Guy’s thoughts on much more!

If you're interested in talking with one of our Business Relationship Developers about solving your business labor needs, click the link and fill out your contact information. We will get back to you shortly!

Sign up for our free webinars using the links below:

Send an email to media@farmerlawpc.com if you'd like to be featured in an episode, if you have a question Kyle can answer, or if you'd like to purchase an advertisement on the podcast.

Follow Kyle Farmer on LinkedIn, here.
Subscribe to our monthly Immigration Insider Newsletter, here.

**The information provided on this podcast does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available are for general informational purposes only. Listeners of this podcast should contact their attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter.  No reader, user, or browser of this site should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information on this site without first seeking legal advice from counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.  Only your individual attorney can provide assurances that the information contained herein – and your interpretation of it – is applicable or appropriate to your particular situation.  Use of, and access to, this podcast or any of the links or resources contained within the description do not create an attorney-client relationship between the listener and Kyle Farmer. **

Produced & Edited By: Drew Tattam

Show Notes Transcript

This week Jennifer Burnett of LandCare sits down with Kyle to talk about stepping into a leadership role in the green industry, the value of happy employees, and finding talent in a tight market. Listen for all the details! 

We know, the immigration system is messy! It’s complicated and confusing, especially for those looking to gain a visa or hire foreign workers. Farmer Law PC’s Immigration Guy, Kyle Farmer, knows all of the tricks of the trade. The firm specializes in innovative immigration solutions, some of which you’ll get to hear about on this podcast. Tune in for commentary on immigration-related news and industry insights, and The Immigration Guy’s thoughts on much more!

If you're interested in talking with one of our Business Relationship Developers about solving your business labor needs, click the link and fill out your contact information. We will get back to you shortly!

Sign up for our free webinars using the links below:

Send an email to media@farmerlawpc.com if you'd like to be featured in an episode, if you have a question Kyle can answer, or if you'd like to purchase an advertisement on the podcast.

Follow Kyle Farmer on LinkedIn, here.
Subscribe to our monthly Immigration Insider Newsletter, here.

**The information provided on this podcast does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available are for general informational purposes only. Listeners of this podcast should contact their attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter.  No reader, user, or browser of this site should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information on this site without first seeking legal advice from counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.  Only your individual attorney can provide assurances that the information contained herein – and your interpretation of it – is applicable or appropriate to your particular situation.  Use of, and access to, this podcast or any of the links or resources contained within the description do not create an attorney-client relationship between the listener and Kyle Farmer. **

Produced & Edited By: Drew Tattam

Welcome back to the Immigration Guy. I appreciate everyone tuning in Today we're sitting with Jennifer Burnett of LandCare. Uh, Jennifer has more than 24 years of experience in the landscape industry. Uh, she helps people grow and thrive, uh, using their leadership skills. Through this, she's been able to develop and employ strategies to implement and improve structure and process for learning and talent development, onboarding, and achievement programs.

Uh, anyone with a growing business realizes how hard those things are. Uh, so I certainly commend Jennifer for her ability there. But anyways, welcome to the show. Hey all, this is the immigration guy with Kyle Farmer.

Well, thanks for that great intro. Uh, I think on the personal side, because I think it might be relevant to a topic we touch on a little later. I'm the mother of two. Um, I've been married for 28 years. Um, and while what you covered definitely covers my current role, it may be of interest, uh, to know that my career began on the finance side of the business and my last role before transitioning, uh, into.

Organizational development was actually as a director of finance. Um, the projects I first initiated when I joined LandCare were to restructure the budget, forecast monthly and close process, and implement a region controller role. Um, and so kind of how I ended up here is that I learned regardless of what role I've held throughout my career, I've always worked to develop the members of my team and found the greatest sense of satisfaction in doing that.

And so, through watching the or yeah, go ahead. Sorry. Oh yeah, no, no problem. I was gonna say that that's awesome. That's, uh, the 28-year marriage that, that is particularly awesome. Uh, but so good, good job with that. You're two years away from the, the 30-year anniversary, which is, uh, one that every married couple should certainly be striving for.

I, I, so this is really cool. I actually didn't know this, uh, about you. So, you started. Sorry, can you share just a little bit about LandCare, uh, just so people kind of know y'all's organization, but then I, I really wanna touch on how the financial knowledge has helped you with your, with your current role.

Cause I, I find that really, really interesting going from finance to kind of more opera, operationally driven. That's really interesting. 

Yeah, absolutely. Um, so LandCare is a national commercial maintenance organization. Uh, we serve over 20 states, uh, with about 60 branch locations. Um, we are really focused on being employee centric.

Um, and have evolved tremendously over the last eight years, uh, since the current CEO Mike Bogan took the helm. Um, in 2014, we were known as TruGreen LandCare, not to be confused with the TruGreen you see on TV doing, uh, lawn care. Yeah. And. So say they were part of the same company and split off, and so.

In 2014 when we were TruGreen LandCare, we were owned by a PE company and really struggling, struggling to be profitable. Uh, since then, use private equity. Private equity. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Uh, and since that time we established a set of core values, uh, by seeking feedback from team members rebranded as LandCare, uh, turned the financial performance around.

And in 2019 along, uh, the leadership of the company, along with a small group of investors, purchased the company back. The, the private equity firm. And so now we're privately owned. 

Oh, I love that. So it went, it, so a private equity. When did the private equity company buy it? 

Uh, 2011, I believe. 

Okay. So private equity company owned it from 2011 and then to 2014?

Is that what you said? 

Um, no till 2019, we, they, we took it back from them. 14 was. Yeah. 

Gotcha. Okay, cool. And then was it rebought by some of the same people that owned it prior to the private equity company's acquisition of it? 

Um, no. They're actually, uh, the majority ownership is current LandCare management team members and then a small group of friends and family, uh, outside of the, you know, that are still in the industry.

But, um, either friends or family of, uh, the management team at land. 

And that's, that's really cool. And how long did you say that you've been with LandCare? 

I have been here, uh, since January of 15, so almost eight years. Okay. 

So, you've got to see some of the Yeah, some of the, the progression and, and the development.

That is really interesting. There is something certainly to be said about. Companies that can go from one owner to another, and then it sounds like in this one, to a group of third owners, uh, and continue to, to strive and thrive. Uh, so tell us a little bit about how your financial acumen, your financial background, has played a role in your, your current role.

Uh, with, with LandCare. I, I, I love how those things interact and it's actually, uh, applicable. To our business too. So, I, I would love to hear about how that's benefited you and how that transition's gone. 

Yeah, absolutely. Uh, so, you know, interestingly, I think regardless of what function you are as a leader within the company, if you're leading, you're leading people.

And so, you know, I think that that easily translated, you know, leading a group of controllers within the company, um, and watching the operators within the company. Figure out the right ways to lead their branches to financial success because again, we were digging out of a hole, uh, really allowed some learning on my part to see how people learn and what the, the, um, the concepts behind adult learning.

So, you know, it's not one and done. You can't go and tell someone, do this thing once and then they know how to do it. It's a lot of, um, repetition and reinforcement that's required. And so, the transition of improving the company on the finance side, I was able to have, I, I was spending a lot of my time doing those things.

I was spending time helping controllers learn how to, um, to do new things. I was helping through change management. I was helping operators in the company. Learn financial acumen. And so, all of that part directly translated. And then I think being on this side of the business and the organizational development, it's easy for me to understand and prioritize the learning efforts that we do because I do understand all of the financial pressure and, and what it takes for the business and the things that they have to focus on.

I'm also very process driven, and so that comes from the finance side and I'm able to apply that on the ODI side. 

Yeah, no, figured you were process driven when you've successful those two roles in. That's, that's so interesting to me. So basically, you're, you went from teaching people about finance and getting 'em into financial systems, uh, into teaching people about other things, uh, but putting 'em into a system.

But regardless, you were, it was about maximizing efficiency within your team and, and making sure setting up people for success is what it sounds like. 

Absolutely. Absolutely. And, uh, yeah, so now I'm really focused on leadership development and. How people can focus on retaining. Uh, employee engagement, hiring practices.

Um, really, really focused right now on, uh, the current initiative is on talent acquisition, and so everything people based I get to be involved in. And, and I that's, that's a lot of fun. Yeah. 

Yeah, it fun is how very few people would describe it, which is why you're so good at your job, I suppose. 

Yes. Well, we had a conversation, um, a couple weeks about ago about how you think what you do is fun, and I said the same thing back, so

Yeah, yeah. No, yeah. No. We both have our own problems, I suppose. it is just so funny. People are like, why do you like this so much? I'm like, how do you not, what is wrong? Exactly. Uh, when, when you began your career, did you ever imagine that you'd have a leadership role in a landscaping company? 

Absolutely not.

Um, I think you could ask a lot of people that are in, you know, 25 years into their career and that would be there, their response. But I, I went to San Diego State and was getting a degree in accounting. The path I was on was to go into public accounting. I, my first professional job was actually. A software consulting company whose primary customer base were local landscape providers.

How about? Really bizarre that that was where she landed. Yeah. And uh, so I. , um, was working there and, um, helping her customers do software upgrades, which meant I was on site, you know, for several weeks at a time and while working, I really, you know, this, this company, local company that I started with really just was sitting in their accounting office one day and someone came in and said, Hey, we're look looking for someone.

And we know you're in an accounting program at San Diego State. Do you know anyone who's interested? And I, I physically raised my hand, I'll do it, I'll do it. Pick me and then, and then I never left. You know, I realized that, uh, I really liked the environment, and you know, when I knew what I was gonna have to go through to actually get my CPA and be a public accountant.

And that was the time of Enron for anyone who remembers all of that. It just wasn't who, Enron. Yeah. It isn't super appealing at the moment. you had a job offer from Arthur Anderson. And you're, and then, Enron came out and you're like, I'll do the landscaping thing. I'll take that. 

Um, pretty much, exactly.

But yeah. Yeah. No, that, that, that's, that's interesting. It's also, you know, accounting that is such a versatile major. It's like one of few that I'm, that I, uh, fully intend on hoping that my kids actually pursue in college. There are so many degrees now that I'm like, I dunno, why wanna go to college?

Irrelevant and useless. But accounting man, you can do a lot with accounting and it, it is so accounting is just so applicable in any business setting that I I love that. And you, and you gotta see the, the direct translation from, uh, what is more of a, a white-collar industry to more of a blue-collar industry and, and how it's still drives the success.

So that's, that's really. 

Yeah, absolutely. And I, I think it's, you know, the language of accounting hasn't changed in a really long time. It's one of those things that, uh, you know, I think it's transcending time and there's very few professions that you can say that about. 

Yeah. Numbers are numbers, they're, they don't like. They're honest. Exactly. Wait, so what, what have you found to be the most significant barrier to be a female in the, in a leadership capacity in the landscaping industry? 

Um, you know, I'll give you a little bit of background before I jump into that. So, one of the areas that I am involved in here at LandCare that I'm deeply passionate about is an employee resource group that me.

Start with a smaller group of women in the company that we call the Women's Initiative Network. Um, our mission of that initiative is to provide the women who work at LandCare with effective support and education so they can achieve their personal and professional goals. Uh, we currently have about 115 members and offer activities including a mentorship program, book club, quarterly, all member calls, um, where we periodically invite guest speakers to.

I, I have perspective on this question from the work that I have done with that employee resource group and also from, from, from being a female within the landscape industry. And I think the most significant barrier is perception. It's the perception that field experience is a requirement to be a leader.

The perception that women don't have the capabilities or interest to be in the field to gain that experience. And that I think that perception is from both genders, um, and the perception, perception that it's untenable to balance a leadership role with being a mother. My career began before I graduated from college, and since then I've ascended into several leadership roles, raised two children, and, um, I work with several women that I'm, I'm not saying that to, you know, toot my own horn.

I'm saying that cause I know several other women that are leaders in the industry that have done that and more. And so, I know it can be done. 

Yeah, no, it, it certainly can. Me and my wife have four kids and our oldest one's six and she has, uh, continued. To work. And, uh, she's also at home raising her kids.

So, she's a, she's a super person, so I dunno how in the world she manages that. But it's, it's certainly impressive, uh, to, to take the roles of, of industry leading professional and, uh, mother so seriously and, and to passionately pursue both of those. I, I, that is, that’s tough and something that I, I think a lot of men certainly can't do.

Uh, you know, that it is funny what my wife started staying home with our kids, I think back in May-ish. And I remember when that happened and, and, uh, I would. Come home and then she'd still be in a good mood, still be ready to go. I'm like, man, after eight hours with four kids, no help. That is brutal. But no, she, she, she still, still managed to do it happily.

That's, that's really cool. I also like how your, uh, your initiative is focused on helping the women in your group grow both professionally and personally, and have you seen. Implications that that's had in terms of, uh, employer re. 

Absolutely, because I track membership of that group and I can see that we're at about 90% participation that, uh, I see very little turnover within the group of women that work for the organization.

I also can see the leadership roles that we've had women in our company ascend into since we've started this employee resource group. So that has been really rewarding. I think when we started, we had, uh, female branch manager and we have five now and we had one female vice president and now we have one on the executive committee, which is myself and, um, so, and another vice president.

So, we're up to two, which I know still doesn't sound like a lot, but that's um, a hundred percent improvement. 

Yeah. Yeah. So, we'll call that success. That is awesome. So, this is a, cuz y'all have branches all over the place. Yes. Uh, this is a national group. This is. Everyone, women throughout the country participating.

Yes. Uh, and we don't make an assumption because you're a woman and hired to LandCare that it's something that you're in interested in doing because it's not for everyone. So, we actually have a formal invitation, and we call them and let them know what it's all about, and then we reach out formally and ask them if they would like to join.

And so, it's, it's really. Gives them the opportunity to affirm it's something they want to be a part of and not just something they're assigned to doing because their gender. And I think we get a lot more engagement because of that process. 

Yeah. I mean, you've got 90% participation. You're, you're, you're so close to just being able to assume that they'll participate.

Right, but don't want to. Exactly. No, I know, I know. And it's hard to engage the, you know, that 90% is of our, uh, our, our salaried team members. It's really hard to find a way to engage the females that we do have on the frontline, which we actually have, um, quite a few just because we're holding those activities.

During the workday and they're out. Yeah. You know, in their trucks and performing the work. But that's one of the goals that we have, is how can we provide the same level of support or whatever level they would appreciate. And so, we're, that's one of the things we're actively, um, trying to implement with this group.

That's really cool. That is very cool. How do you, uh, go about finding talent in the current labor market? It's tight. So, and I guess you, this is actually particularly interesting from your perspective cuz y'all have to deal with, and we've got obviously a national labor market, but uh, it's varying pretty significantly from location, location, so I.

I'm, I'm really interested in this one. 

Yeah, absolutely. Uh, yeah, we can't pull from it. National labor pool. So, we have 60 locations. Yeah. We have 60 different markets that, you know, we're trying to have 60 different strategies for. Um, you know, we have found that we're actually in the midst of shifting our process from a traditional recruiting strategy to a more nuanced sourcing strategy, uh, at the leadership level because, unemployment is so incredibly low right now, especially if you're looking within the industry.

You know, there's so many organizations swimming in the same pool that we've had to get much more creative about how we go about finding, uh, talent to fill our leadership roles. And, you know, we would, we found a, a lot. Um, more success when we engage and create relationships with potential candidates rather than sitting and waiting for someone to come apply to an open requisition.

The challenge, yeah, at the field level is much different. And so, depending on. The area of the country. You know, if you look, I'm in Southern California. We have a very unique, uh, opportunity to pull team members in, um, because we are close to a large migrant workforce. Um, and then you look in the northeast part of the country and it's very different.

And we, uh, will utilize the H-2B program. across the company, we know that the best success we have is using a referral program and getting employees to refer another employee. That's where we get the longest retention, the most engaged employees. You know, someone won't refer their friend if they feel like they're gonna make them look bad.

And if you're referred, you feel like you have, you know, um, you're more motivated to, to really try and perform really well. So that has always been a strategy to really promote that employee, but it's, it's a challenge with the level of growth, um, that we're, uh, achieving right now, which is great, you know?

Mm-hmm, that's not our, our constraint isn't how fast we can grow. Our constraint is how fast we can fill our open positions. 

Yeah. Yeah, yeah. That's a, that, that's an interesting thing. That's, that's the thing that always irritates me so much about the H-2B numerical cap in particular, because there's this idea behind a numerical cap that the rationale for it is that you, set a numerical cap to ensure that the visas that are being issued don't adversely affect the domestic workforce in the area where those workers are coming.

So, like that's the logic behind the numerical gap, but that makes zero sense when the employer has a burden of proof. Particularly in the H-2B program where you have to as establish every single year that you are not adversely affecting the US workforce through the application process. So, right, you're already proving you're not adversely affecting the US workforce, but just in case you are, here's this artificial completely arbitrary numerical cap that hasn't changed in forever.

Right. And it irritates the crap outta me because, It, it is exactly what you just said. It is a restraint on your growth and it's an artificial one. It makes no logical sense, and y'all aren't unique in that way. I mean, anyone that has a seasonal workflow where it increases during a certain time of year, uh, they all face that same problem, which is now we're having to fight this numerical cap over here.

And if I didn't, I could sell all of these jobs, but I can't because I'm restricted. The number of people I can bring in. It's wild. 

Yeah. And so that's really forced us to, uh, and just the unreliability of the program, you know, if we knew, yeah, that was the cap and we were gonna get this many people every year, but we don't, it's, you know, it feels like a lottery, and you hope you win and you can't run a business that way.

And so, we've really tried to employ local recruiting efforts to say, look, you know, you can't count on it. You can't, you can't. It's, it's unreliable. And, but we still have areas of the business that they do because they just, yeah. You know, despite their best efforts, they still have these roles that they need to fill.

And sometimes I, I, we have been very, um, successful in, in being able to pull in the number of H-2Bs that we need, but that's not, you know, it's not always, doesn't always happen smoothly. It doesn't always happen at the timing that we expect. It doesn't always happen in the exact areas that we need them.

And, and it's, it's a challenge. It's definitely a challenge. Yeah. 

Yeah, it's, it's expensive too. I mean, there's always, and, and then I don't, you love when people say things like, well, Jennifer, you could just pay them more. Just pay people more. Then you'll get 'em. That is the most ridiculous. Anyone that actually has industry experience knows that that is the most ridiculous idea for a number of reasons.

It's ridiculous because one, you're actually not gonna get the people that you want, but let's say in hypothetical land that you. What does that do to your pricing that makes it where your pricing has to go way up, which makes you either uncompetitive or passes it on to whoever the consumer is. I mean, it's a, the idea that you can just.

Inflate wages to attract the necessary talent is, is ridiculous. 

Have you heard that one? It's ridiculous. Yeah. Oh, of course. And it is ridiculous because if you think that you are going to find someone who, let's say you paid them what they could make to be an account manager, right? Just as an example. Um, then, you know, the person that has the skillset to make that amount of money, they're not going to be attracted to do the type of labor that you know, is required of that role.

And so, you're not going to be able to retain them. And so, there's this balancing act of, you know, Yes, you need to pay a people, you need to pay people the appropriate wages, which, you know, that's part of what that program kind of level sets, right, is that we're paying them the appropriate wage and you still have to have enough people that want to do the type of work.

And not everyone does. You know, it, it's hard work. Yeah. It's hard. It's labor intensive. Uh, and yeah, no, the, and I do think that we're kind of, as a country, I think we're shifting more and more, uh, with our domestic workforce away from those types of jobs. I think that even if unemployment rate went to 8%, I don't think that your problems are gonna be alleviated.

I think that you would still have. Uh, problems hiring the necessary number of people to meet your business objectives. I just, I just think that that's the way that the labor market is now. 

Yeah. Which is why we're so focused on retaining those when they're here, you know, which takes a lot of added effort, is that, look, if we have them here, um, it's already so difficult to get them here.

Let's be really smart about the way we treat our people once we get them here, so that they wanna, they wanna stay or they wanna return if they're seasonal workers. 

Yeah, no, absolutely. Uh, with, with your employee referral program, uh, have you seen that it's had any positive implications on y'all's business in terms of culture?

Yeah, I, I absolutely think so, because, you know, one of the challenges. culturally in a truck. You know, the if, if you're in a truck with a crew, you're spending more hours with those people in that truck than you are with any other people in your life. Right? Yeah. And so that is its own little culture in and of itself, and it's really important that those people want to spend that much time together every week and get along with each other,

That's right. That's right. So, when you fill that open spot with a referral, you've kind of already bridged that gap a little bit. Like, okay. Someone here knows this person and you know, there, there's kind of that mentality that, um, there we're over the acceptance, maybe over the, the trial by fire, hopefully.

And, um, we have a lot of other things going on where we try to create education and combat that, but I think the employer referral program absolutely helps with, with that aspect. 

Yeah. Yeah. No, I, I, I think that that certainly makes a lot of sense. Uh, with your executive level, level positions that y'all are constantly recruiting, uh, have you seen any other industries that translate really well to landscaping?

Other than software apparently. 

Um, that is an excellent question. Um, I, you know, we have, uh, there's other industries that are branch based like our organization is that the structure is similar, and the expectations translate well, and you look at like the uniform industry, um, waste management industry, and.

Like, maybe like the Rent-a-Car industry, right? Mm-hmm, they're very similar. Mm-hmm. in their structure. And so, you know, we have leaders that have worked at companies like that before. Um, but we're also very focused on recruiting young talent and. Helping them learn the business as quickly as possible and so that they're ready to ascend into those leadership roles we're, we would much rather take a seed lean and grow them, um, the LandCare way.

Yeah. And so, we're looking at industries like hospitality, communications, business, obviously all of the, you know, the green industry programs at the college level as well, but trying to expand our horizons and, and realize. Focusing on, someone's ability and ambition to learn is much more important and valuable in the long run.

And having the right, uh, characteristics and behavioral, um, traits are going to lead, lead to a successful leader. We can teach them the landscape. 

Yeah, that's always something that every, every executive and every business that's involved with hiring has to learn is, uh, and, and they will, and everyone does.

It's that you. You can't teach attitude, but you can teach skill. And so absolutely focusing on attitude is, is extremely important. Now, you, you mentioned the, uh, the resource group that y'all have. Uh, you've, and then it sounds like y'all also really promote hiring and building people. Uh, are there any other types of initiatives or, or structures that LandCare has for engaging in retaining their top.

At the executive level, field level, any of those areas? Yeah, we have a couple. Um, we, you know, we were talking about that, that culture of the crew. And what we've discovered is that, that the supervisors that you know that are. That are leading that crew every day. Throughout my time in this industry, what we've seen is that they've been primarily responsible and trained on the technical aspects of landscape.

They understand their, the expectation is to get the, you know, the people in the truck, the equipment in the truck, and then get to the site and perform all of the tasks so that the site looks way, the site is supposed to look and, and maintain that quality. But there's never been this really focused effort on teaching them to be leaders of people.

And so, we've, um, over the past couple of years implemented a program specifically for the supervisors to focus on training them to be leaders of people and how to connect with the team members in that they're working with day in and day out, and the importance of doing that and how to, you know, conflict resolution and communication skills and also kind.

Remove this, um, maybe protectiveness that they've had over their own jobs and explain the mentality that there's enough for everyone to go around. And that if you help the people on your crew learn to do your job, that just creates more opportunity for everyone, and that doesn't mean they're going to displace you.

Um, that that's kind of been, you know, something we've been focused on and, and something. That we've heard a lot of positive feedback around the business that this is something that has been needed and has been, you know, really impactful. So, we're proud of that. Um, and then we also promote, um, Stephen Covey's book, the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

We teach that broadly across the organization. Um, so that's one of the other areas of development. Um, and we have other programs in place, but, you know, those are the two that come to mind that, um, we've been really focused on the recent. 

That's, yeah, that's really cool. So, uh, let's say that I am.

Someone in HR or someone in operations, and I'm trying to convince my CEO, that we wanna start a supervisor program to train and be leaders of people. Uh, obviously this is something that costs money. It's not, you know, it, it costs money and. In terms of resources that cost money, in terms of time, how would you go about convincing them that this will be worth it at LandCare?

You know, we really feel like that the employee comes first. Um, you know, there's, there's several stakeholders within a business that are important. You know, the, the vendor, the shareholder, the customer, um, the community. But we know that we can't make our customers happy if we don't have happy and engaged employees.

So, if you want to improve customer retention, improve employee retention first. And the way to do that is for people to be excited about getting up and going to work the next day. And so, any investment that you can make in having your people feel that way is worth it. That's awesome. I didn't know which way you were gonna go with that.

Uh, I also didn't warn you of that question, so that was, that was, uh, part of the wild card aspect of it. No, that's, that's interesting. So, I, the way that I was thinking of it, which I think is also probably very true as well, is consider the offsetting cost of replacing these people. This is an initiative to improve our retention, uh, and this this'll and no better way to do that through having happy employees.

And so, think about the cost associated with. And this is too, this, this will be offset-ed by that cost. But I like the way that you did it more, the way you did it. More is far more convincing, which is, uh, you wanna make our customers happy, you wanna make sure we're not having to replace those customers.

You wanna make sure, uh, that they're gonna come back to us year after year and you can rely on them for our continued growth that's done through our happy people. That's a way better. Dang it. Alright, I'm gonna, I'm gonna write that one down next time. Thanks Kyle. Yeah, no, that's really good.

Uh, awesome. So, what advice or closing thoughts would you give to professionals entering this 

industry? Um, I love this question and my answer is pretty simple. Be curious. The best thing you can do when you begin your career in any industry or role is to learn as much as you can, as fast as you can. If you have a question, ask it.

If you're presented with an opportunity to learn, take it. If you see an opportunity to learn that isn't offered to you, ask for it. Uh, the most successful people that I know achieved their success this way. They were hungry, humble, honest, and. They always wanted to learn more. They were willing to admit when they didn't know something, and they did what they said they were going to do.

So that's my answer. Hungry, humble, honest, and smart. That sounds like some really good core values. 

Yeah, those come way back in my career, but um, they've really stuck with me. 

for sure. Yeah. No, that's, that's perfect. Yeah, no, I think that I think you're exactly right. Be I, I was gonna even say, uh, it sounds to me like a, another word.

Curious. Could be hungry, but you beat me to it again. That's, that's awesome. So, if, uh, our listeners are trying to, to connect, uh, with LandCare or, or with you, how, how would you recommend they go about doing that? I think that fastest and easiest way is through LinkedIn, uh, can find me under Jennifer Burnett.

It's a great way to reach me. I'm very responsive to InMail, um, or connect. So, uh, I'm available that way and, and happy to connect with anyone within the industry or anyone that has questions. Uh, I'm always happy to help. 

That is awesome. You hear that we have. The one person that responds to emails on LinkedIn, we found her.

I try to, I, I, I get, I get some that I have to sort through, but I try to be very responsive. 

Yeah. No, my favorite, my favorite thing about LinkedIn is, uh, and I actually, I saw a, a meme about this on LinkedIn earlier this week, and it was Ron Burgundy saying, well, that escalated quickly wherever someone sends you a LinkedIn.

you accept it and then regretfully. So cuz the very next message is how they can improve your life and, uh, make. A multimillionaire overnight. And I'm just like, this is, this is trash. I, I, I very rarely even open up the messages and sometimes I do. But that, and I, I luck. I'm lucky whenever I do, cause sometimes I do have actual potential clients reach out to me on LinkedIn.

So, uh, but that's great. Well, thank you so much Jennifer. It I really do appreciate you taking the time, uh, to, to talk with us and we'll, we'll talk to you soon. We appreciate it. 

Absolutely. Thank you so much. I appreciate you asking me to be a guest. 

Thank y'all for listening to the Immigration Guy Podcast.

We really appreciate it. You can find us on our website. Go to www.farmerlawpc.com. You can find me on LinkedIn and Twitter. Just search at Kyle Farmer, FLPC. Uh, you can find our law firm on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube. All you have to do is search for a Farmer Law PC. Go ahead and subscribe to download all the episodes of our podcast.

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