Three aspects of a high-performing culture in turf construction

The Green Horticulture Group turns 25 next year, and Sally and I have often found ourselves reflecting on the years gone by. In almost every case, we’ve been talking about the people that made the business what it is today.

Our team have been with us every step of the way, and by no means would the business be what it is today without them.

Along the way, a big focus for us has always been on quality craftsmanship. It’s a simple business idea, but in reality, it’s hard to execute. In an industry where tendering is a big part of winning projects, price – who has the cheapest price – is often a factor. And as you can imagine, quality work and dropping prices don’t exactly go hand-in-hand.

Buying the latest equipment that’s used by industry-leading professionals isn’t cheap. However, our strong discipline to remain a high-quality option in the sports turf construction industry has been our point of difference and will always remain our focus.

And while we always pay our team above industry pay, Sally and I have learnt that there’s much more people need from their profession to be fulfilled and to build a high-performing culture. So below, I’ve listed the three key aspects of our culture that made it what is today.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t set out to achieve these things 25 years ago, I just wanted the business to survive! But with time, these lessons came to us.

Team enjoyment and mateship

Most of the team here at GHG have been with us long-term and have forged friendships with each other in the midst of solving problems, hard work and completing satisfying projects.

Work is always easier when the team around you are simply your friends. Good satisfying work is even better when you’re having a laugh along the way, the odd hard conversation when needed and enjoying a few drinks on a Friday knock-off.

Outside the walls of your business, the team certainly don’t need to be best mates (great if they are though), but within the business, it’s certainly important to them that they feel safe around the people they spend most of their time with.

Giving the team ownership:

Like most leaders in business, I learnt early on that micro-managing isn’t the most productive way to run a business. It’s not that I didn’t trust my team, I simply couldn’t let go of the minor details. On this, I’d like to say that “letting go” of the details is a continual effort and something you probably need to be conscious about.

However, once I did, the team embraced the responsibility and the ownership of their role. It turns out, that the people doing the role day-to-day know far more than me and often can find more productive ways of doing things. Who knew…

On this, it’s important to note that firstly, before giving the team ownership, they need the resources, knowledge and understanding of their role to perform. Giving someone ownership with no training and the right tools isn’t good leadership, it’s just lazy. Give them everything they need to succeed, a clear view of what success looks like and let them soar.

Peer-to-peer mentorship:

Closely related to this is ensuring everyone in the business is continually sharpening the saw. At all levels within the business, we have initiated a peer-to-peer mentoring program to ensure this is happening.

I’ve always liked the following quote by Phil Collins…

In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.

I think this best sums up why having a peer-to-peer mentoring program within your business is so beneficial. People are learning from each other, and at the same time further developing their own knowledge.

It doesn’t matter what stage of your career you are at, there is always more to learn and in turn, more knowledge to pass on to your colleagues.

In summary:

In summary, I’d like to mention that what makes your culture special will be unique to your business. You might be embracing what I’ve said above already, but be describing it your own way.

At the end of the day, creating a good culture is about making your company a great place to work. For sure, the by-product of this is strong output across the business, but achieving this all begins with a focus on doing the things that will make your culture high-performing.

If you’re interested in what I’ve said below or want to add something, be sure to reach out or drop a comment on the thread this article was shared in.

Lastly, with a number of exciting projects on the horizon, we have positions vacant here at GHG. If you or anyone you know would like to join the team, you can learn more about the roles here.

Geoff Green

Geoff is the founder and Managing Director of GHG and his passion for the business is unrivalled. While Geoff’s focus is on new business, he remains dedicated to building and strengthening relationships, providing o4utstanding service, and continually improving the day-to-day operations at GHG.