August 2022

Daniel Grange, Brightview Landscape Services

How much do you trust your coworkers? Your suppliers? Clients? There are few things that matter more than being able to trust the people around me. But low trust environments are more than just uncomfortable or stressful. There are real costs when we lack trust in our organizations. 

To start, a lack of trust costs time. When someone on the team fails to complete an assigned task, it could lead to a missed deadline. We might have to explain a task for the second or third time before it gets done. Processes that require work from several people can quickly be jammed when one person drops the ball. Sometimes we must stop what we are doing and confirm that someone else did their job so we can continue with ours. We may feel obligated to take on more responsibilities when others fail to follow through. If we leave a task to an unreliable coworker, we might just have it stuck in our mental to do list. For these reasons, I am grateful for my colleagues that can be trusted to finish a job without much follow up.

Of course, it is easy to look around at all the people in my life who seem to drop the ball. The scary part is doing an honest self-assessment of my own reliability.  Are we the customer that is late getting vendors paid? Or the contractor that needs three calls before we address an issue? Maybe there is a reason that people call, text and email you about the same thing? And then stop by your office, just to make sure? The missed call log on my phone this summer showed me that I am not nearly as trustworthy as I’d like to think. As one of a few people in our operation that is (mostly) bilingual, I end up fielding calls that are not directly related to my job duties. Many of them relate to a missing check, an unpaid vacation day, personality conflicts on site or resolving miscommunications with supervisors.  When resolved quickly, small issues stay small issues. I have also seen too many employees quit when minor concerns like these go unaddressed. At some point, the missed calls in my log are likely to turn into missing employees. For me, the cost of low trust is poor employee retention. 

As we battle through another landscape season in Colorado, I encourage you to ask yourself, “Can my coworkers, suppliers and clients trust me?” I hope that as we take the time to evaluate, we can work towards more trusting partnerships in our professional lives.

Sincerely,

Daniel Grange
BrightView Landscape Development
ALCC Board President