Now that almost all the purchase orders for spring stock have been finished and the necessary tax reports all done, the next phase of our winter projects is to get ready for our annual employee meeting in a few weeks.

The meeting includes safety videos on such subjects as ladder safety, extinguishing a minor fire and necessary pesticide safety even though we use pesticides and fungicides on the outside and never in the greenhouse in which enclosed spaces require more precaution concerning application and workers alike.

Another requirement is the seminar concerning Dr. Kevin Forsyth who has for years presented a program on the use of illegal drugs and alcohol in the work place. The Drug Free Workplace Program with its system of testing has served the company well to guarantee a safe work place for all employees. We started the program years ago through the auspices of the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation and since its inception we have had no incidents of drug related accidents. In fact, in the last 20 years we know of at least five employees that have fled other businesses because of drugs in the workplace.

Then there also will be a briefing for all employees to easily perform a quick sketch for a customer for a small area of their landscape.

The one subject that I know employees will be excited about is the sales driven bonus plan in which a portion of the profit will be set aside for employees as a monetary bonus. The amount of the check is determined by the number of hours worked and meeting attendance standards in order to ensure an orderly work flow and good customer service. For a few years after 2002, sales, while not declining were quite slow to increase; however, starting in 2019 and especially in 2020 dramatic gains seemed to be the rule. The idea behind the bonuses is to get employees excited to perform good work and excellent customer services.

The meeting will be a long one starting at 8 a.m. and lasting until about 6 p.m. I just hope no one falls asleep and that maybe an airhorn would be helpful!