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This article has been published 8/15/2020 (410 days ago), the information it contains may therefore no longer be up to date.
When we think of successful businesses and individuals with remarkable professional success, we often wonder what they have done to be successful. The answer is that they practice professionalism. Regardless of the specific industry or company, or the type of work an individual engages in, professionalism is key.
Professionalism doesn’t just mean a college degree and / or a sharp business suit; it’s more a question of personal behavior and approach to one’s work. It is about taking responsibility, showing integrity, being responsible, showing a positive attitude and demonstrating excellence in one’s skills. It’s about becoming an expert in a field of work, managing your time effectively, and engaging in positive customer service. Most importantly, professionalism refers to incorporating these traits into everything you do, day in and day out, at work, at home, and at play.
However, one of the biggest challenges for most businesses and organizations is how to get all of your staff “flying in the same direction” and build a work culture that exhibits these professional traits. Frankly, it’s just not that easy. After all, the business leader must define their culture, recruit, train and supervise a team of employees to realize the vision in their daily work. And it’s even more difficult when your team is scattered across the field rather than housed all day in an office building.
Chris Olson, B.Sc., ISA Certified Arborist and Owner of TNT Tree Service, is a great example of how to build an exemplary team of professionals. I had enlisted in Olson and TNT Trees to help me with some damaged trees and provide advice on how to create a tree replacement plan. Frankly, I was so happy with this service that I just had to interview him and learn how he goes about building such a remarkably professional business.
Olson has worked in the tree pruning field for over 16 years, after completing a degree in biology and working in a manufacturing company while continuing his university education. It was through this student work experience that he recognized the importance of customer service, quality and processes.
Additionally, Olson applies a learning philosophy to himself and his team. As the tree care industry is unregulated in Manitoba, he continually contacted the International Society of Arboriculture and the Tree Care Industry Association in the United States for professional development and applied their best practice standards to his company. By attending the annual conferences, Olson and his team leaders can see and experience the latest techniques, test and try new equipment, and learn from others. In addition, he is an ardent reader of the association’s various research and teaching documents and has regularly organized technical training programs for his team.
Quality is of the utmost importance and Olson works hard to instill a firm belief that looking after a client’s trees is a great responsibility and that every property should be treated as if it were their own. Quality and skill building are also part of every new hire orientation process, with an additional requirement for individuals to acquire their credentials through courses at the University of Manitoba and additional technical training on best practice standards through trade associations.
Teamwork and cross-training are two additional keys to the keen sense of professionalism shown by the TNT Tree Service team. Over time, each member of the team is trained in all trades in order to be able to disconnect, help each other and learn from each other. Teams are also blended with different levels of skill and experience, so mentoring and relationship building is a natural outcome. Olson also makes himself available to give instructions, demonstrate techniques and / or simply answer questions.
Safety is another critical issue for the TNT team and is always on Olson’s mind. As the owner and estimator, he usually takes a tour with clients and identifies the type of equipment needed for the job as well as potential hazards. This information is then passed to the team to which the work is assigned. However, before starting a job, the team leader will review the mission again to make sure he is fully familiar with the tasks as well as the dangers. They then consult with the customer to discuss their understanding of the requirements and to note any changes to the service.
At the same time, in Olson’s mind, the concept of safety doesn’t just apply to workers. He also enshrined in his staff the importance of keeping a close eye on the safety and security of client assets. A good example of how this is accomplished is using a large rubber mat to slowly move heavy equipment to the various locations. This results in surprisingly little to no damage to the grass or customer property. And it doesn’t stop there … all team members are equipped with the latest recommended safety equipment.
As TNT Tree Service has grown and doubled in size, Olson has recognized that having the best technical skills is one thing, but that lifelong learning, especially on how to run and manage a growing small business, is one thing. is equally important. With this in mind, he now works with an executive coach who is an expert who offers both technical and operational business skills.
All of our readers know that professionalism goes beyond education and formal professional designations. In fact, professionalism is more about how their day-to-day work is done, their attitude to customer service, quality and accountability. In other words, it’s about being the best you can be.
By applying the best practices of the United States-based International Society of Auboriculture and ensuring the highest level of training for himself and his team, Chris Olson of TNT Tree Service is a prime example of what the professionalism. It is a pleasure to meet a small business owner who has been so successful in defining their corporate culture, vision and philosophy and recruiting, training and supervising a team that so successfully realizes this vision in their work. day-to-day.
Barbara J. Bowes, FCPHR, CCP, M.Ed., of the consulting firm Legacy Bowes, is the president of Manitoba Status of Women. She can be contacted at [email protected]