As someone who owns or runs a landscaping company, what is the one issue that keeps you up at night? If you said “trying to find qualified employees,” you’re not alone. According to the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), 82% of CEOs in the field say that the number one problem keeping them awake is struggling to fill positions. Desperate times call for desperate measures? No – they call for innovative solutions! How is the landscape industry combating labor shortages?

5 Ways the Landscaping Industry Is Tackling Labor Shortages

Some initiatives that can help your company overcome a talent shortage:

Selling Green Benefits to Prospective Employees. “Come to work, damage your hearing, and breathe in toxic fumes all day!” No wonder many laborers opt to find work in other industries. When you have electric commercial equipment, you can advertise the benefits to prospects. They are low noise, for one: rather than producing dBs that are equivalent to a jet taking off, Mean Green Mowers are only as loud as background conversation in a restaurant. And they do not use gas, so your people aren’t inhaling fumes for eight to ten hours a day.

Other green benefits include reduced waste, eliminated risk of fuel spills, zero emissions, and very little required in terms of maintenance. As you’re battling labor shortages, finding efficiencies in these areas is critical.

Starting Apprenticeship Programs. These programs can be a great way to reach into the student population (whether older high school students, trade school students, college students, or folks interested in the field). The idea of “learning while you’re earning” is increasingly attractive to those who don’t want to accrue tremendous debt with traditional forms of higher education. Partnerships with area schools and community centers can help you establish a pipeline of talent.

Emphasizing Career Growth. Grass isn’t the only thing that grows in the landscaping field. Careers can too. Many people outside the industry believe that there is little to no opportunities for advancement. This is simply not true. There are chances to learn, develop skills, tackle new challenges, manage, lead, and take on new roles within companies. Overcoming the “popular belief” that there is nowhere to go is essential. Apprenticeship programs can help, as can emphasizing the opportunities you offer to employees.

Touting Benefits of Working Outdoors. Ninety percent of people spend almost 22 hours each day inside. They do not get enough fresh air or daylight, both of which are essential for good health. They’re also likely not getting the physical activity they need as they replace outdoor time with screen time.

A typical sit-down desk job raises the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, unhealthy fat accumulation, increased risk of prostate and breast cancer, and significant damage to eye health.

Working outside, on the other hand, improves memory, lowers blood pressure, improves mood, fosters team spirit and collaboration, boosts energy, strengthens the immune system, and aids in better sleep.

Turning to Autonomous Mowers. Recently, Mean Green Mowers partnered with Kobi to begin development of an autonomous commercial, zero-turn mower. Fully electric, the Mean Green 74” EVO & 48” NXR Autonomous Mowers will leverage advanced technology to provide powerful, precision performance. You can easily reduce a crew of two to one person and still get the same amount of work (or more) done in the same amount of time.

If you do have enough staff, you can utilize them to tackle tasks that require human thought and decision-making. In this market, you don’t have to worry about laying off staff. There is plenty of work and plenty of demand; an autonomous mower will help you keep pace. Stay tuned to the Mean Green Blog for updates on testing and developments in 2020 and look for production models in 2021.

Labor shortages are affecting a variety of industries, and besides construction, no one is struggling more than landscaping professionals. Initiatives, including the use of autonomous and electric equipment, can help you fight the war for talent – and win! Locate a dealer today to learn more about Mean Green’s line up of electric mowers.