Developing Talent for the Long Term

Features - Cover Story

January 8, 2021

© miodrag ignjatovic | iStock

Nearly half of PMPs (46 percent) said their companies provided internal leadership training for staff, found the PCT-NPMA 2021 Workplace Survey.

Orlando-based Massey Services develops people internally and promotes from within as much as possible. “When you’re our size, we couldn’t grow if we couldn’t promote from within. We couldn’t hire enough people from the outside to be successful,” explained Adam Jones, who joined the company 30 years ago as a general manager and now leads quality assurance initiatives for the company.

Massey’s leadership academy develops the skills of rising service center employees; the company also has several management training programs, including one geared to people without prior pest management experience.

Twenty-one percent of PMPs said their companies provided managers with specific training to lead different generations of employees.

When deciding whether to promote employees to management positions, PMPs said they considered the employee’s skill set (88 percent), relationship with coworkers (82 percent) and manager feedback (79 percent). Most companies (68 percent) had no formal talent review process to fill leadership positions.

In follow-up interviews, PMPs said one-on-one discussions are held regularly with managers and employees to review career plans and emerging leadership opportunities. “We spend time with each leader to look at ways to streamline their work, simplify and delegate,” said Erin Richardson, All-American Pest Control. “Delegation opens up new leadership opportunities for others in the organization and frees up the leadership team’s time for more strategic thinking and bigger, more impactful contributions,” she explained.

PMPs encourage key employees to become active in industry groups and associations to gain leadership experience. Some require next-generation family members to get experience working outside the industry or to work their way up through the company.

Mike Rottler, president of Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions, St. Louis, put son Daniel (who eventually will succeed him) though a “deliberate process” for more than a decade that has involved working as a termite technician, bed bug technician, salesperson, branch manager and now business development director to learn what employees experience at every level of the organization.