Bring your mom to work day!
I spent some time golfing with my thirteen-year-old son, Chris, this past weekend. We were enjoying a quiet evening on a beautiful course in Essex Massachusetts. The weather was perfect and the sun was setting across the marshes on the 4th hole. We got to talking about life and how and why I ended up as an operation manager with JC Grounds Management. I explained to Chris how I first met the owner, Jon Crandall, on a commercial property in Peabody Massachusetts. He was a Landscaper looking for an Arborist and I was Arborist looking for a commercial landscaper. We hit it off, and five years later I joined the JC Grounds Management team. What struck me most in those first few months about Jon and his company was his interest in me personally and how he wanted to learn more about my wife, kids, and family. I soon realized that I was truly working for a family run company and the people that work for JC Grounds are members of an extended family.
Sunday, after reflecting on the time I spent with my son playing golf I started to mentally prepare for my upcoming week, like I usually do while unwinding. Our operation is currently in what we refer to as a “shoulder season”. This is an intense time for our two branches in Danvers and Southborough. We are working hard in landscaping but also preparing for the very busy winter season. We have equipment and materials to drop, evening training sessions, procurement of materials, route optimization, onboarding meetings with new clients (I especially love this one) and wrapping up a busy sales season. Everything is happening at once and I love it.
Craig Hanson Branch Manager for our Danvers operation tasked me with leading the safety discussion at our weekly tailgate safety meeting. This is where our team of office and field staff get together enjoy a quick breakfast and discuss safety, quality, efficiency, and any good news personal or professional. I have a list of safety meetings ideas on my board behind my desk and if you have read my previous post, I am always looking for new fresh ideas that will pique the interest of the team or create a meeting that a team member will remember.
This morning I invited my mother to join me for the company safety meeting. This is not a normal occurrence and you tell by the look on the crews faces when the 4'11" seventy year old retired nurse came strolling into our group of 42 landscapers.
My mother started her career at Children’s Hospital Nursing school in 1966. She enjoyed fifty plus years of nursing and is one of the hardest working people I know.
When it was my turn to speak, I introduced mom to the group and following a brief overview of her career I asked her how many days in those fifty years of nursing did she call out sick to work. Her answer was five days! Mom went onto explain that there were days when she didn’t want to get out of bed and did not feel like making her way through ice and snow to the hospital, but she did. She explained that it was her commitment to the people she worked with that drove her to do what wasn’t always easy or comfortable. She showed up to work every day because she knew she would be creating a burden for her friends and colleagues if she did not show up. Her work family would have to work harder if she decided to stay in bed. The quality of care her patients received would suffer if a tired nurse was forced to stay on because she couldn’t push through and get up.
As I looked around the group listening to my mom, I realized a few things:
- I am really proud of my mom!
- I am really proud of the team of people that I work with!
- My mother’s influence is why I work at JC Grounds Management. The people here trust and care for each other and look for opportunities to reduce workload for each other.
- My mother and her nursing career represent our customer base. If we skip a step in our proven process our customers cannot get to work. If one person can’t make it to their job because of a service failure the impacts are wide reaching and can be drastic.
I am looking forward to a follow up conversation with my two kids Chris and Madeline and telling them I know the real reason I do what I do. The secret sauce is family and finding a place to work where you can be proud to have your mother visit and meet the family you work with.