A Lesson From Some Trees and Hurricane Sandy

A Lesson From Some Trees and Hurricane Sandy

Someone we know from Long Island, New York had some landscaping done last year where he had about a dozen young trees strategically planted throughout his property. They looked beautiful, providing welcome shade in the summer and gorgeous color in the early fall. That was until October, when Hurricane Sandy hit with unprecedented ferocity. Our friend watched with horror as one tree after another on his property was toppled over by the Category 2 winds.

The next day, as he surveyed the devastation of uprooted trees lying on their side with roots thrust in the air, one of his first phone calls was to the landscaper. His neighbors on either side of him had their trees still standing even though they had planted their trees around the same time. Our friend told the landscaper that he had obviously done an inferior job and wanted them replanted or replaced.
The landscaper reluctantly agreed on one condition. Our friend had to find out whether or not the neighbors had also installed an automatic watering system like he had. They had not.

‘Aha!’ said the landscaper. “There’s the answer. Because the trees on either side of you had not been watered automatically, the roots had to go deeper and farther in search of water. This meant that they were more firmly attached to the ground when Sandy hit and were better able to withstand the winds.”

There’s an important lesson to be learned from this, especially for franchisees. It may, on the surface, seem to be more effective and easy to train an employee by giving them the procedures manual and having them follow it unthinkingly. And if they have any questions, they must come to you to get the answer.

The problem with this approach is that, like our friend’s trees, an employee’s roots will only need to go so far. The answers are readily available without a lot of effort. But this means that when they are forced to confront a new and challenging situation, and that help isn’t there, they can topple over because their knowledge base is not deep enough to draw on.

Across all our Qualicare franchise offices, our training – for franchise owners, for nurses and for caregivers – involves assignments and incorporates research. We don’t spoon feed everything to them. They need to set forth deep roots in the required skills and basic knowledge of homecare so that they will be with us for the long-term, dealing effectively with any challenge that comes their way.