Growing a Team at Landcare: Excellence in the Field

1 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2019 Last revised: 10 Nov 2021

See all articles by Sean Martin

Sean Martin

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Jenny Craddock

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Abstract

In October 2018, Mike Bogan, CEO of LandCare, a nationwide commercial landscaping firm, was concerned about the significant headwinds facing not only LandCare but the entire landscaping industry at the time. As LandCare struggled to hire and retain employees who could prove their legal working status in the United States, it faced fierce competition from small firms, which frequently did not play by the same rules. Hoping to attract and motivate the right workers, Bogan enacted significant organizational change at LandCare after he became CEO in 2014; these changes included new practices and systems to improve performance, increase employee satisfaction, and drive cultural shifts within the organization. When Bogan saw positive results from his initial round of changes, he continued to expand. Readers are presented with Bogan's decision of whether to implement two additional organizational design elements: “jersey technology,” which would allow him to accurately track individual movement and performance of his frontline landscape teams, and a daily pay system, which could potentially provide his lower-income workers with money on a more regular basis. Students must use their emerging understanding of the organizational design model (ODM) to consider each of these new systems and debate whether either system should be implemented.

Excerpt

UVA-OB-1284

Rev. Aug. 25, 2020

Growing a Team at LandCare: Excellence in the Field

We're not pros at this. We recognize the gap between what we know and what we don't know, and what we know is that we need to think very differentially about the hourly workforce than we have thought in the past. We need to behave very differentially to attract and engage, and…we are looking for everything we can do to better understand what would make them want to be here.

—Mike Bogan, CEO, LandCare

In October 2018, Mike Bogan, CEO of LandCare USA, LLC (LandCare), a national landscape service company headquartered in Frederick, Maryland, reflected on the increasing challenges he faced in staffing his landscaping crews in an “industry that was largely labor.” Throughout his career in landscaping, which spanned over three decades, Bogan had witnessed several dramatic changes in both the landscaping industry and the workforce profile of the United States, making hourly labor more scarce and unreliable than he had ever seen it.

. . .

Keywords: leadership, motivation, hourly workers, landscaping, incentives, workplace culture, immigration, workforce, team management, E-Verify, H-2B, visa, guest workers, sales, branding, company values, social media, employee retention, organizational design model, ODM, congruence model, measures of performance, organizational systems, autonomy, mastery, purpose

Suggested Citation

Martin, Sean and Craddock, Jenny, Growing a Team at Landcare: Excellence in the Field. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3431283 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3431283

Sean Martin (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

Jenny Craddock

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

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