What makes a company happy? We had the opportunity to speak with TruGreen about their company culture, benefits, and values, and it's no wonder that they are one of our top ten 2018 Happiest Companies in America!
From their charitable giving program and their 5 core values, to their President's Club trips to beautiful destinations for top performers, TruGreen has cultivated an environment where employees are truly happy and engaged. Read on to get the dish on their bliss!
1. What makes your employees so happy?
When we became an independent company, we asked our employees to help define what our values should be. We had a tremendous response, and were quickly able to zero in on our most important value - to treat our customers and each other the way that we would want to be treated. From this core value we then agreed to live that out in five areas – service, teamwork, community, safety and integrity. By focusing on our core value of treating our customers and each other the way we would want to be treated, we’ve been able to build a positive culture which rewards dedication to excellence while creating an atmosphere of trust, teamwork, and respect.
2. What are the 3 best things about your company’s culture?
- A focus on treating others as you want to be treated. Our overarching commitment to values and behaviors is a key priority at all levels in our business.
- Operating with integrity at all times. Honesty and ethical behavior is celebrated and rewarded in how we interact with each other and our customers. What we do when no one is watching is a true testament to our employees’ character.
- Having a people-first mindset and supporting our employees, customers, and community partners in all we do. We treat each other with dignity and respect and appreciate the diversity and experiences of those around us. We recognize that success comes from sharing ideas and working together collaboratively.
3. What’s one thing people don’t know about your company?
At TruGreen, we believe when we do well, we should also do good. Perhaps the most visible way we demonstrate this is through our Lawn Stars program, which recognizes one branch each quarter in each of our 21 regions that achieves the highest customer count growth for their region. Not only does every individual in the winning branch have the opportunity to select a prize from our gift catalog, but each branch also receives $2,000 to donate to a local or national charity. Since 2014, through the Lawn Stars program alone TruGreen has donated over $500,000 to non-profit organizations selected by our front line associates.
4. What’s your favorite employee perk?
Every year, TruGreen recognizes the accomplishments of its top performers by rewarding them with a trip to President’s Club. This trip provides an opportunity for employees at all levels to bring their families on an unforgettable trip with their colleagues and leaders. Past locations have included Jamaica, St. Thomas, Riviera Maya, Hawaii, and Dominican Republic. The trip consists of a community give-back event where we help local organizations, an awards session where we individually recognize each award winner, and a final night extravaganza that has featured private concerts from Daughtry, The Doobie Brothers, and Earth, Wind and Fire.One employee said of the trip, “The fact that TruGreen invests in its employees and the communities it serves is monumental to me. I give [CEO] David Alexander credit for bringing that important work aspect back to this company. I'm prouder to work for Trugreen now than I have been in any of my 26 year tenure."
5. If your company had a spirit animal, what would it be and why?
We have an internal mascot named Trudy who’s a lovable (and fictional) golden retriever. Trudy was affectionately named after our call center routing system that alerts our customers on when to expect their lawn specialist (known as a Trudy call). We coordinated a fun, internal campaign that included passing out t-shirts and other chotzkies last year to our employees and designated a Tuesday in each month, known as “Trudy Tuesday.” As a company, the Golden Retriever spoke to us because retrievers are loyal, passionate, and care about people. And, of course, they love to be outside – which connects directly with our tag line of “Live life outside,” -- it’s what we both do best.
6. Can you tell us a bit about your CEO and his journey to happiness at work?
When David Alexander joined TruGreen, the company was in trouble. Our associates and leaders had lost faith in senior management and their frustration had begun to show with customers, whom TruGreen was losing at a rapid rate. Our associate engagement scores were at 45% meaning that more than half of the organization was actively disengaged.
Five years later, TruGreen is a success story for business turnaround and we’ve seen improvements in nearly every measurable metric. Throughout his tenure, our JD Powers score has hit an all-time high, and moving into world class territory. Our average NPS score, which is another measure of how loyal our customers are, has also achieved an all-time high score. Our customer retention rate was at record levels.
Most importantly, our Associate Engagement score was at 64%, meaning 64% of associates indicated that they were highly engaged – that they really enjoyed their jobs and were proud of where they worked. This is a tribute to the leadership of David who created a culture that fosters engagement and support among our colleagues.
David attributes the turnaround to introducing the company’s values. When David first joined TruGreen, he asked our associates to help define what our values should be. Together with our associates, he was quickly able to create a singular commitment to treat our customers and each other the way that we would want to be treated. This core value is David’s mantra in life and in business, and has become a way of life for all TruGreen associates.