As a means of thanking our front-line employees for their commitment and service during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ruppert Landscape has distributed bonus checks to 1100 field-level employees totaling $470,000.
The landscaping industry was deemed essential under federal guidelines, so the company has been able to continue operating throughout the pandemic. “We have been extremely fortunate so far,” acknowledged Craig Ruppert, CEO. “But even with our essential designation, the only way to keep things running is by having a dedicated team who believes in your company and trusts that you are doing your best to look out for their health and well-being. Our team is an amazing group who have put aside their fears, come to work, adapted to changing protocols, and enabled us to continue to honor our customer commitments.”
With that mindset, Ruppert Landscape’s executive team decided to thank nearly two-thirds of its workforce—those in field-level front-line positions—for their continued service during this critical time. Bonus amounts were determined for eligible employees based on company tenure.
“When we first began discussing this, our primary concern was our obligation to ensure the company’s solid financial standing both now and into the future so that our employees can feed their families and meet their needs,” said Phil Key, company president. “Like many businesses, we have experienced contract cancelations, scope reductions and various other pressures that have affected—and will continue to affect—our revenue. But because of the hard work of our team over many years, we had funds available that we felt would not put our financial stability at risk and knew that investing in our team would pay dividends in our long-term success. Using that resource at this time just made sense.”
Discussions around how to equitably distribute the bonus money turned quickly to front-line, field-level employees whose risk profiles were highest during this crisis. Executives recognized that all employees, from branch managers and mid-level managers, to administrative staff and field-level employees, were essential in keeping the business operating and our customers’ projects on track and properties in good working order. But in the end, the bonus money was distributed to field managers and crew members who typically earn less and have much less flexibility with their schedules than those in other positions, some of whom were able to work from more sparsely populated offices or from home. In addition, it’s largely due to their efforts in cleaning trucks, washing hands, wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and much more that has helped to prevent the spread of the virus and keep our company operational.
“We wanted to focus our efforts on our field managers and crew members who continued to report to work during a time of great crisis and uncertainty, while many of us were afforded the flexibility of working from the safety of our homes,” said Ruppert. “To me, their efforts really underscore our company values of hard work, honoring commitments and supporting our community and I truly couldn’t be more proud of how they stepped up to the plate. In my mind, that deserves an extra thank you, which is what we wanted to do with these bonuses.”
Ruppert Landscape, a family and employee-owned business, has been an industry-leading provider of commercial landscape construction and management services for almost 50 years. Headquartered in Laytonsville, Maryland, the company employs over 1700 people and serves customers from 26 branches in eight primary markets: Philadelphia, Baltimore, D.C., Richmond, Raleigh, Charlotte, Atlanta, and Houston. The company has a long-standing tradition of growing its team and giving back to the community. Visit us at www.ruppertlandscape.com.