Like A Boss: Having Culture Accountability

Mike Monde, Ruppert Landscape

As Ruppert Landscape, headquartered in Laytonsville, Maryland, has grown, the company has faced new challenges as a direct result of that growth. One of the biggest has been how to scale their culture and values in order to fit their expanding footprint. Tom Barry, president of the company’s landscape management division says that in their growth, Ruppert has sought out ways that they could ensure consistency across all locations — even as the team grew.

He says that part of the solution has come in the form of a brand-new company position that is a bit “out-of-the-box” in its thinking. The newly created position of “director of culture and procedures” — a promotion given to existing employee Mike Monde — aims to help the company to maintain the culture that facilitated their growth in the first place.

While Ruppert is a large company with multiple branches, Barry says that the goal of all landscape companies is the same — regardless of size — and that’s to make sure the entire team understands your culture and values, believes in them, and works to make them their own.

“We have been fortunate enough to experience a period of extended growth and we face new challenges as a result,” Barry says. “But our focus on our team, our culture, and our values is what has gotten us to where we are and is what will carry us into the future. With this position, we are continuing our commitment in these areas and ensuring they remain a priority and never an afterthought.”

In this new role, Barry says that Monde will draw from 25-plus years of industry experience (mostly with Ruppert) and his knowledge of the company’s history and culture to incorporate core values into everyday operations.

“He will be working directly with division management and branch teams to ensure that we are investing in employee development with training and growth opportunities,” Barry says of the role’s responsibilities. “He will also instill a sense of accountability and ownership in the company and its future. He will highlight our focus on building strong customer relationships through open communication. And he will facilitate opportunities for our branch teams to give back to our community, getting them involved on a personal level with local, hands-on projects.”

With this new position, Barry says that Monde will be dedicated to keeping “the important things” at the top of mind. In other words, the company is building in some accountability so that if they veer off track, there is someone there to course correct.

“This is especially crucial as we continue to grow, to open new branches, and to bring new team members on board,” Barry adds. “The more we are able to work as a cohesive unit, with a shared vision, the better we can serve our customers.”

Our Like a Boss series highlights some common business challenges landscape professionals face and how they conquer them.