I just caught a news headline highlighting the fact that U.S. worker productivity is on the climb. This is one (small) reason why unemployment remains high and labor costs flat.
Just a week ago, gracing the mainstream news headlines was the big fast-food walkout. Workers from several chains across the country "went on strike" for a day demanding $15/hour wages.
These two occurrences aren't directly related to the Green Industry, but are indeed relatable. Amidst the tepid economic recovery, most workers who have jobs are still fearful of losing them. Thus, they work harder and harder. At the same time, companies have really put the focus on process and productivity in an effort to combat flat prices and rising costs. It has paid off to some degree, so it appears.
A big question company management teams need to ask themselves is: How are we rewarding our employees for the gains they help us make? I'm a big subscriber to the theory that "business owners can do whatever they want with their businesses, make as much profit as they can, and spend that profit as they wish, because it's their business." But those businesses also have a right to fail—and most do if they don't invest in their employees. The best landscape companies and equipment dealerships understand that employees are the backbone. Thus, adequate investments are made to recruit, train and retain a superb workforce.
What are you doing to invest in your company's backbone? If you're not doing anything, and are just using the extra profits generated by productivity gains to buy a new boat, it might catch up to you in the long run.