When Bill Petry coined what would become our Mission Statement in 2014, many of us in the planning session that day sat in stunned silence. You could tell by the look on our faces that he had “hit the nail on the head”.
We wanted to grow a business, grow our culture, grow customers, grow as individuals- but we wanted to do it the right way.
The sustainable way- The BEAUTIFUL way.
This caused us to dig deep, looking into ways to create a core value system that would become the litmus test that we would make every decision by. Then we began to look closely at the culture of the business that we were building. There are plenty of landscape companies in Nashville.
What separates the good from the great?
Culture can make or break a company. We know that a company that is lacking in culture is doomed to mediocrity. We had already set ourselves apart- We are “Milosi-An Elite Landscape Company”. But what the heck does that really mean?
At Milosi, we believe that it is our systems and processes that set us apart from the average landscape company. But it is OUR CULTURE, that is the secret sauce. We are growing our culture by using these six (6) benchmarks. And, at our core this is what sets us apart and makes us elite.
At our Q2 Planning Session in April, our business coach said something I will never forget. She said, “If you are not personally growing at the same rate as your company, then your company is going to outgrow you and it’s need for you.”
(Oprah appeared in the room, saying, ‘THIS IS YOUR AHA MOMENT!”)
Personal growth and a commitment to learning is at the heart of our business. Taylor Milliken sets the tone for this. We are dedicated to it, and because Milosi puts such a high value of personal growth, we are constantly in change mode- personally and professionally. There is no standing still or “same-o, same o” attitude.
Training events, seminars, conferences, and books are budgeted for, and individuals are encouraged to set personal quarterly goals for personal development. We are always looking into new ways to innovate and then we are encouraged to share with our peers what we are learning.
2. COMMITMENT TO CARING
One of our core values is “We Listen Because We Care”. It’s hard to create something beautiful for someone if our idea of beauty is different from yours. When I first started to work at Milosi, I asked a lot of our clients, “What makes us elite?” and almost everyone said the same thing- “they care”.
Yes, we do. A lot.
We care enough to want to get it right. Do we always get it right the first time? Honestly, no. But you can rest assured, that we are constantly asking a lot of questions! We do our best to manage expectations.
Consistency establishes your reputation.
The bulk of our business is referral business. Happy customers refer people, it’s just that simple. Every morning, in our Daily Huddles we repeat our Core Values. “We Do What We Say” is repeated often in our company. We repeat it to drill consistency into our delivery message. Believe me, if you say it enough, you will find yourself doing what you say your going to do in ALL aspects of your life. “I told my wife that I would take out the garbage..I have to do what I say…” It sounds mundane, but if you do what you say, you build trust and reliability and loyalty.
In order to grow something beautiful, feedback is not only important, it’s essential. We like to stay connected through good email and phone communication, but also through our website and newsletters. Of course we love to hear the good things, but it’s the honest feedback that helps to grow correctly.
We also stay connected peer to peer. We are encouraged to look for ways to praise and encourage each other and catch each other demonstrating our core values. Each year at the Christmas party, one employee that best represents our core values is given an award and recognized in front of the whole company.
Giving to our community is very much at the core of our culture. Every year, we choose a service project, in conjunction with the National Association of Landscape Professionals and Earth Day. In 2015, we did an extensive outdoor renovation for the Hendersonville Public Library, and this year, we joined the Hendersonville Parks and Recreation Department and renovated the entrance way to Veteran’s Park. We have also participated in the Taste of Hendersonville, and the Annual Christmas Parade.
And finally, we work hard and we like to play hard too! We celebrate meeting quarterly goals with a Nashville Sounds game, Bowling Night, and Culture Events like Field Day and Ice Cream Socials.
Creating a strong culture and growing beautiful together is a lot like growing a family. Nurturing relationships, working through fun times and not so fun times, seeking to grow professionally and personally- it all times hard work. But the payoff is priceless!