Here at Level Green Landscaping, celebrating our hard work is as much a part of life as the work.
You’ll often find us together, talking and laughing around tables laden with a homemade Hispanic feast, marinated beef sizzling on the grill.
Or lined up to share office manager Lynn Garris’ savory pulled pork.
Or gathered around a beachside lunch of grilled burgers, kielbasa, and baked beans after rousing games of wiffle ball and tug-of-war.
Or enjoying a made-to-order omelette breakfast.
You get the idea.
These days, safe social distancing has nudged aside our big group celebratory feasts and team-building games.
But not our close-knit culture. That’s too important to us.
Cheers, From a Distance
“When this all started, we put on hold all those physical gatherings,” says Level Green co-founder and managing partner Bill Hardy. “In the back of my mind, I thought, ‘Well, this won’t last too long.’ As the weeks went on, we realized we need to try something different.”
Hardy recently hosted a virtual happy hour with managing partner Doug Delano, division manager Paul Wisniewski, and the company’s branch managers.
“It was a beautiful, sunny, 80-plus degree day,” Hardy says. “Doug was by his pool, I went to my boat, people were outside on their decks. We all went to our happy places.
“It was an hour with no talk about work,” he says. “Just about our families and our challenges.”
Individual Level Green branches have enjoyed similar virtual happy hours, a way to kick back and stay in touch.
There’s a Smile Beneath That Mask
Hardy was driving out to a big job site as he talked, with plans to wave in appreciation to hard-working crews. Technology is great, but it doesn’t replace a cheer from the boss.
“I’ll check in with them, tell them we’re still here for them,” he says. “I may not talk to everybody, but there’ll be a lot of waving.”
Know that beneath that protective mask, he’s smiling.
“Doug and I are extremely proud of our team,” Hardy says. “Our guys are showing up, attendance is great. They’re working through the challenges of all the safety protocols we put in place. As difficult as it is, our teams are doing a phenomenal job.”
He’s planning ways to say thanks, he says, like providing boxed lunches or surprise breakfast burritos, handed out in small groups.
“We can’t do the hot meals we would have done, and the big gatherings,” Hardy says. But it’s important that employees know they’re appreciated during this tough time.
“It’s extremely challenging,” Hardy says. “This is affecting people greatly.”
Some employees worry about family members who are sick. Some have been cooped up working from home for weeks.
“Once you get outside working, it makes you feel better,” Hardy says. “You forget a little bit of what’s going on.
“It’s more difficult for the management team,” he says. “They’re working at home, not getting out as much. They have their own challenges. But everybody works every day and they do what needs to be done.”
Maybe Hector Can Grill on Zoom...
Technology can’t sizzle up marinated chicken and peppers the way operations manager Hector Diaz can, but it helps the Level Green team stay connected, for now.
“Some people thrive on these Zoom and GoToMeeting get-togethers,” Hardy says. “Others are more challenged. Some people need the people and the interaction and being there in person.”
To those folks, he says hang in there.
“I still hope this will be over relatively soon,” Hardy says, “and we’ll be able to do the things we’re used to doing.”
Lynn Garris, keep that crockpot handy.
Workplace Culture Stands Strong at Level Green
No matter what, we hold tight to our strong family atmosphere and fun workplace culture. It’s part of who we are, and what makes this a great place to work. You’ll love doing business with us, too.
If you’re not already a Level Green Landscaping client, we’d love to add you to our growing list of happy customers.
Our focus is on commercial properties like offices, mixed-use sites, HOAs, municipalities and institutions in Maryland, Washington DC and parts of Virginia.
Want to join our team and be part of the fun? We’d love to hear from you, too.