June 2, 2023

Lindsay Drake NightingaleOur spring rush has started to wind down and the season is settling on us well. The sales funnel is getting full, or is already full for the 2023 season and our clients are all satisfied with the work they have received to date. This is the perfect time of year to welcome new workers. Students are graduating or moving out into their first career-specific position in horticulture and design. They are bringing forth their new knowledge and skills to this broad profession. How are you going to respect their education and encourage their future?

This is when business owners and managers can step up to train, mentor and support this new cohort of eager landscaping professionals. How can we make their experience the best it can be? Perhaps after their regular onboarding/ orientation session, they are buddied up with a more knowledgeable team player who will show them the ropes, one who will encourage them to ask questions, to not to be fearful if they make mistakes, and to encourage them to learn all they can.

Perhaps your business has a welcome breakfast or barbeque to bring the entire company together to meet, do some fun icebreakers, and chat with the new people. Maybe it’s “a drive around” day with the team leader and the newbie to check out some of the sites the company works on.

Whatever you choose to do, make it special for your new hires. Set the stage so they have a successful season with your company. Let them know they can depend on you to fulfil their needs as a new worker in this wonderful profession.

A great way to kick start this is by making them aware of the many scholarships available through the Ontario Horticultural Trades Foundation to help further their studies. Over $60,000 in assistance is available to Ontario students enrolled in landscape and horticulture programs. The deadline to apply is June 30, 2023. Scholarships range from $500 to $1,000 and are also open to apprentices and post-graduate studies. Scholarships are a great way to encourage the growth and effort of the future leaders of this marvellously diverse profession. For full details, visit ohtf.ca/scholarships.

As always, if you have any landscape related questions, feel free to contact me. Enjoy your summer.

Lindsay Drake Nightingale
LO President