We Are a Team

Only Landscaper on LA Times First List of Top Rated SoCal Workplaces

December 4, 2023. By Cassy Aoyagi: One of our greatest points of pride is in  consciously crafting a culture of continual improvement. We hire team members with rare skills then engage in ongoing upskilling. In applying to The Los Angeles Times workplace assessment, I sought the data needed to hold myself to the same standard set for our team members and leaders.

We were tickled, of course, to be listed among Southern California’s Top Rated Workplaces in the first annual survey – even more so to be the first and only landscaper listed. What excited most, however, was insight into what our team thinks of our culture and what they need to be happy.

The stakes are high. The Times explained them this way: “…employees valued by leadership end up caring for each other – and their clients. Those who feel inspired by the companies where they work feel empowered and motivated. Additionally, they share and support the corporate vision. When factors such as diversity, equity, inclusion, communication and transparency from leadership and true growth opportunities are present at a workplace, great things are bound to happen.” With a mission that involves saving LA, this sounds like exactly what we need!
Here is what we learned from the anonymous survey of our team. Our team members:

  • Think we are headed in the right direction.
  • Like their team mates and would recommend working with us to others.
  • Feel we operate with strong ethics and standards.
  • Feel as if they have balance between their personal life and work contributions.
  • Have confidence in the impact of sharing their own viewpoints.
  • Believe they are fairly paid and have satisfaction with their benefits.
  • Feel acknowledged, respected and cared for by their direct manager.
  • Enjoy a diverse team and have comfort discussing their cultural experiences.

We were particularly happy to see a few comments – submitted anonymously:

That my opinion and ideas are taking into consideration. Also just letting me know that they always appreciate that I’m with the company and recognizing the thing that I do proactively and showing their appreciation.

Listens and provides resources and ideas for experimenting with solutions, sometimes turns a problem into a benefit when I least expected it.

Great personalities, high levels of respect shared with everyone, vacation time offered as soon as you start, flexible schedule, independence (as opposed to micro-management), health insurance and 401K, comfortable & fun office culture

We intend to take the survey next year. While we work to stay in continual conversation about the team’s happiness and needs, it’s never easy to say just how power imbalances will play out. Anonymously-given feedback, particularly with this level of detail, is as golden as Deer Grass seed heads! We are really grateful to everyone who participated.