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Redefining Employee Investment

A Happy and Capable Workforce Means Better Quality and a Better Community

Article by Chris Watson

Photography by Supplied

Originally published in Canton Lifestyle

When denizens of Stark County and surrounding areas are in need of some top-notch landscaping or maintenance, they turn to Rice’s Landscapes Redefined. But what exactly has Rice’s redefined about landscaping? Most obvious is the way they have consolidated all landscaping components and management into a single point-of-contact, while still maintaining their standards of quality and professionalism. The true stars of the show, however, are the incredible employees that make their business possible, and Rice’s is committed to investing in and advocating for their most valuable assets.

Vice President Kevin Rice asserts that Rice’s is staffed by people of the highest caliber. The company appeals to new hires with an up-to-date work environment, task automation and top-notch equipment. The cream of the crop are screened and selected to join the team, but all the more impressive is the number of veteran staff on board. Currently 20% of their workforce have passed 10 years of employment, and almost 10% have achieved 20 years. Many of them have received an education, started families, and met grandchildren during their tenure.

Even the finest ingredients must be prepared before a meal is served, and the recipe that Rice’s uses to prepare its employees is a set of five essential principles that govern all they do. The first three, Professionalism, Client Focus and Problem Solving are instilled in rookies and old hats alike through their robust and innovative training program. In a room large enough to seat 80-100, affectionately called the “Phoenix Room,” staff receive required instruction for advancement into various specialties. They also employ a training lab used to simulate real-world conditions, where a hands-on approach teaches workers about irrigation, night lighting repair, planting, layouts and more.

“It’s unique. I don’t think anybody has anything like this, what we’re doing,” says President Bryan Rice.

This novel approach to education ensures that employees abide by “The Rice Way,” the consistent methodology that assures every task from pruning to putting in hardscape is performed with the same quality and care. It also informs workers of opportunities that might be available within the company.

Business Manager Shannon Romigh affirms, “We take a vested interest in our employees’ career trajectories... the amount of training that we do, especially over the winter, is reflective of that.”

In the case of the remaining two principles, Integrity and Passion, Rice’s leads by example. The way they always do right by those who have placed trust in them, safeguarding the well-being of both staff and clientele, is indicative of their strong sense of integrity. With effective pandemic protections in place for all workers, they have been able to keep business moving along without skipping a beat.

Rice’s exhibits passion in their abundant community involvement. Giving back to those in need and the populace that supports them has always been at the core of the very DNA of the company. When the company donates landscaping services to projects like Honor Home transitional housing or Meals On Wheels, employees are fundamentally involved with their passion for giving. These community projects are a regular occurrence for Rice’s and much anticipated, but the giving doesn’t end with landscaping. They support a variety of beneficent organizations, such as Pegasus Farm’s Military Family Center, Sancta Clara Monastery and Boy Scouts of America. They also encourage their staff to participate in other charitable events, such as their monthly United Way “Stone Soup” event, in which participants assemble a variety of dishes to be distributed to those who might benefit.

The five core principles of Rice’s Landscapes Redefined are ingrained into their workers but spread from there through their families and loved ones and into the rest of the public at large. The company is living proof that investing in and promoting the people who support you benefits not only them, but everyone they touch. It’s a great way to handle a business, and an even better way to serve a community.

Rice’s Landscapes Redefined
1651 55th St. NE
North Canton, OH