The direction of workers in a manner that brings out their best efforts and attitudes on behalf of the business is termed personnel manage­ment. While the owner of the business is the foremost personnel man­ager, other persons in supervisory or leadership positions must also develop good human management skills.

Much of what constitutes good personnel management seems to be somewhere between common sense and the Golden Rule. In addition to being an application of courtesy and friendliness in the work place, personnel management requires good leadership skills.

Setting Realistic Expectations

The supervisor of any group of employees needs to understand what those employees can be expected to accomplish. Expectations may change as employees gain experience on the job.

Certain job skills are more physical; others are more intellectual. Some require charm and personality; others require the ability to be decisive and inspire customer confidence. A supervisor usually has dif­ferent expectations of a college-trained permanent employee than of a part-time high school youngster. In any case, a supervisor’s ability to get along with all employees begins with the ability to set realistic expecta­tions.

Depending on its type and size, a horticulture operation may have up to three basic categories of employees. A supervisor will probably have different expectations of each.

Career-Directed These employees can be expected to have personal goals for advancement. They may want to stay with the company for many years or they may intend to start their own business after a few years of on-the-job training. They may have technical training or other

education that is useful to the business. They can be taught new skills or given increasing responsibilities and be expected to learn quickly. Career-directed employees need frequent and varied rewards, including periodic salary or wage increases. They usually have opinions and sug­gestions for improvements that should be listened to and respected.

Part-time These employees’ career goals usually do not involve advance­ment in the business. The job may be a way to supplement family income, a way to fill empty time, or a way to earn money for a short­term objective such as schooling, a new car, or a vacation. Part-time employees may have education or practical experience to bring to the business. They may possess the maturity and skills needed to staff the business over weekends or during vacation periods. They often feel as much loyalty to the company as career employees but do not seek or expect major leadership responsibilities.

Temporary seasonal These employees are hired full-time when there is more business than the permanent staff can handle. Examples are temporary sales help hired in a flower shop at Christmas time, field laborers hired at harvest time in a nursery, and planting crewmem­bers hired in the spring by a landscaper. These employees are hired for their ability to perform a few skills competently and quickly, such as balling-and-burlapping, operating heavy equipment, or duplicating wire-service arrangements. The employees may be students on vaca­tion, migrant field workers, laid-off factory workers, or others who have no long-term employment goals with the company. Money and work experience are their major motivations. Loyalty to the company and an interest in its growth and success are not common in seasonal employ­ees. They may require closer supervision than other employees.

Updated: October 11, 2015 — 8:05 am