February 5, 2020

Blessed with fun


Steve Snider operates Snider Turf and Landscaping Care in Waterloo, Ont. Snider launched the company in 2007, but his horticulture roots extend deeper to his father’s landscape equipment business, as well as time spent working with the late Paul Grobe (Snider’s father-in-law) at Grobe Nursery in Breslau, Ont. Snider TLC was the proud recipient of the top maintenance award — Don Salivan Grounds Management Award — at the 2020 Landscape Ontario Awards of Excellence.

How would you describe your leadership style?
I want our staff to understand what the expectations are, without micromanaging so they have some free reign on how to complete certain tasks. Most properties just go easier if you have a plan and complete them it an organized efficient manner, and I like for the guys to try to find what works for themselves. I love when they come back and say they’ve found new solutions. That makes me so proud and them feel a part of some ownership in what we do.

Did you have mentors along the way?
Absolutely. One of my mentors was Paul Grobe. The big things I learned from Paul were to have fun and that quality counts. We want to provide a good, quality customer service experience, but want to have fun doing it. I was so blessed to have such a great mentor, like Paul, I want to pay it forward. I try to just be who I am, and to inspire others to be their best and to have fun doing it. I’m very proud that we are carrying on Paul Grobe’s legacy as well as creating one of our own. I’m also grateful and very proud of my staff and providing them with a work and home life balance. Balance of life is important to me and our family.

What is the toughest part of running your business?
The hardest part is staffing; finding the right people to fit the company and blend well with our existing staff. New staff may not have the experience, but we can train them on that. But if they don’t have the right attitude, it doesn’t seem to work. Even if they have 10 years experience, if they don’t have the right attitude, it’s not going to work for us. 

What do you enjoy most about operating a landscape business?
I love what we do; I am very passionate about it and I get a lot of pleasure from it. I love the excitement we bring to our clients. We like to exceed expectations. I really enjoy our company culture of working together as a big family.  Our fantastic staff are always trying to improve and help each other get even better. 

After every job, I enjoy looking back and thinking, ‘wow, that looks great.  That’s what drives me. I also love the relationships and friendships that I have had the opportunity to develop over the years within Landscape Ontario. I am truly grateful.

Do you have a mentor to recommend, or a question to suggest? Please write to editor@landscapetrades.com.