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In the Bloom with Maria: Helping new hires become successful, long-term employees

In the bloom with MariaIt’s a growing challenge for the floral industry: In a tight labor market, it’s hard to find and keep employees. In a survey of Society of American Florists members earlier this year, 55 percent of respondents said the availability of labor is having an effect on their business.

Hortica Retail Sales Specialist Maria Shepherd discovered there are ways to help make sure the workers you hire are successful, with a greater chance of becoming valuable long-term employees.

In the article “In Tight Labor Market, Industry Members Look for Novel Solutions,” published July 10, 2019, in the Society of American Florists newsletter, author Mary Westbrook takes a look at how retention is directly related to training.

Many employers would agree that losing new employees can cost time, energy, and team morale. It can also affect sales and profits.

Westbrook says one tactic that can help business owners struggling to build and keep a good team is to focus on onboarding. She points to Heather Waits of Bloomtastic in Columbus, Ohio. Waits says hiring the wrong people drained her of her love for flowers. But that changed when she implemented an onboarding program. “It took two years,” she says. “But I created a solid onboarding program that now sets new staff up to succeed in their position and lessens the stress on me.”

Waits and her team now rely on standard operating procedures and key performance indicators to ensure the team is working well together toward common goals.

Training programs during the critical first weeks after a new employee is hired can also make a difference. They also give managers time to identify hiring mistakes. A more structured approach to employees’ first weeks can lead to team members who stick around longer.

Additionally, as you build your team for the busy holiday floral season, you’ll face the challenge of finding, training, and retaining holiday drivers and designers from winter through the spring holidays. Focusing on training can help ensure a smoother holiday, make for safer work practices, and maintain your seasonal worker pool beyond winter.

Given clear training and an understanding of their job, your new employees will likely feel more confident and become part of the team early on. This positive attitude can foster a sense of pride and ownership in their job.

Talk with your Hortica agent about any questions you might have about your policies and coverages. They can offer advice, like how to help keep frivolous or fraudulent employee claims at bay. It’s just one of the ways we work to get you the protection you need.

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For more information on protecting your business, check out the Hortica Resources section.

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