First-Line Supervisors of Landscaping, Lawn Service, and Groundskeeping Workers

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Also known as:
Gardening Supervisor, Greenskeeper Supervisor, Grounds Crew Supervisor, Grounds Foreman, Grounds Maintenance Supervisor, Head Greenskeeper, Horticultural Services Supervisor, Landscape Installation Foreman, Turf and Grounds Supervisor

ABOUT FIRST-LINE SUPERVISOR OF LANDSCAPING, LAWN SERVICE, OR GROUNDSKEEPING WORKER CAREERS
Video transcript

When it comes to beautiful landscaping, mother nature doesn't get all the credit. It often takes an entire team of workers to ensure that the grounds are properly cared for. They're overseen by first line supervisors. They may also be called managers of landscaping, lawn service, and groundskeeping work.

Whether on a private estate or public property, landscaping and groundskeeping is usually a year-round job. From repairing walkways to planting and mowing, there are many types of jobs that need to be done. Supervisors make sure that work goes smoothly and correctly. They need to be able to give clear instructions. With new workers, this may mean demonstrating certain techniques and procedures.

In addition to hiring and firing, supervisors are responsible for keeping track of expenses and making schedules. If a project is falling behind, the supervisor is expected to grab a tool and lend a hand.

Done outdoors in all kinds of weather, the work can be physically demanding. No formal education is required. Most learn on the job, working their way up to this important management position. Some formal education beyond high school may be needed for further advancement.

Whether called a first line supervisor or manager for landscaping, lawn service, and groundskeeping, these workers play an important role in protecting and maintaining attractive outdoor settings.

SNAPSHOT
Directly supervise and coordinate activities of workers engaged in landscaping or groundskeeping activities. Work may involve reviewing contracts to ascertain service, machine, and workforce requirements; answering inquiries from potential customers regarding methods, material, and price ranges; and preparing estimates according to labor, material, and machine costs.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
LOW
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
HIGH
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Perform personnel-related activities, such as hiring workers, evaluating staff performance, or taking disciplinary actions when performance problems occur.

Plant or maintain vegetation through activities such as mulching, fertilizing, watering, mowing, or pruning.

Confer with managers or landscape architects to develop plans or schedules for landscaping maintenance or improvement.

Answer inquiries from current or prospective customers regarding methods, materials, or price ranges.

Train workers in tasks such as transplanting or pruning trees or shrubs, finishing cement, using equipment, or caring for turf.

Prepare service estimates based on labor, material, and machine costs and maintain budgets for individual projects.

Inventory supplies of tools, equipment, or materials to ensure that sufficient supplies are available and items are in usable condition.

Order the performance of corrective work when problems occur and recommend procedural changes to avoid such problems.

Inspect completed work to ensure conformance to specifications, standards, and contract requirements.

Recommend changes in working conditions or equipment use to increase crew efficiency.

Review contracts or work assignments to determine service, machine, or workforce requirements for jobs.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
Scheduling Work and Activities Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Personnel and Human Resources Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Sales and Marketing Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Economics and Accounting Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
TOP SKILLS
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Management of Personnel Resources Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.