On Effective Supervision

By February 5, 2016 No Comments

Vas on effective supervision


One day in the field this past summer, I was forced to attend to another task ( backpack blow) which meant that my under-performing, trained worker had to be on his own. Fortunately, his bedwork was in a defined circular bed, he had clear time parameters, his progress was measurable in green waste generation and quality (weed-free bed), and, big bonus, cell reception was extremely poor (his lonely out of town girlfriend had to wait). Then it hit me and a blog was born. This was a perfect effective supervision case study.


For best results in landscape maintenance, the crew foreman should always attempt to keep his workers together. Tasks and tools can change hands but the crew sticks together. Splitting up can result in loss of control for the foreman in charge. We need results.

But what if you can’t be there? The boss shows up or strata president comes in with a pressing landscape emergency. Now what? Keep the following five points in mind.

  1. The workers must be trained to perform the assigned tasks. This is critical. We can’t leave them if they can’t do the work
  2. The work should be in a defined location, for example units 1-10, front entrance, or a circular bed. This keeps it simple for the workers and for the foreman. Spell out your expectations.
  3. The workers should be given clear time parameters. In this case we had roughly 90 minutes which was generous for one circular bed planted with native species.
  4.  Work progress should be measurable, in the volume of green waste generated or in the number of strata units completed
  5. Check all work when you return and give constructive feedback. Stick together as you continue with your maintenance work. Feedback is also critical.


Now go deliver Proper results for your clients!

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