What Makes Wachtel Tree Science, Inc. Special?
Written by: Dave Scharfenberger, President
We have nice equipment. We have a great facility and shop that are nicely organized. We have workers compensation and liability insurance coverage. We do a lot of things that other quality companies do. Yet when I talk to other owners at national meetings I often hear “how do you get people to work in all areas of the company?” or “how do get so many Certified Arborists on your production crews?” As one of the owners I have no hesitation in what makes Wachtel Tree Science different: It is our people and the culture they create and foster.
The culture starts with our variety of people.
- 28% of our workforce female (I am sure you have seen them climbing trees, running equipment and pulling hose) which is very unusual in this male-dominated field.
- 93% of our employees having a degree (two or four year, also rare for our field) with two Arborists now taking advantage of our tuition reimbursement benefit to work four days a week while they finish their degree.
- We even have 3 Masters degrees (Urban Forestry, Horticulture and Soils).
On our team, 29 are Certified Arborists with 4 Board-Certified Master Arborists. The 8 Arborists that are not yet certified need more time to meet the experience requirement for the test. I have yet to find a company with such a high percentage of Certified Arborists. We also have: 3 Risk Assessment Qualified, 2 Municipal Specialists, and 6 Certified Tree care Safety Professionals.
We have challenged our employees to create and lead the company training program to teach skills and maintain safety. This is not a top-down system but rather training that was created and implemented by the team. As a testament to our safety, our workers compensation modifier (how a company is measured by the state, with 1.0 being normal and lower better) is at .72, our insurance agent is not sure if it can go any lower.
So how do you, the client, benefit? You don’t just have a “tree cutter” working on your trees. You get these smart, polite, problem solving, tree-loving people that work as a team on your trees and they really care. That goes all the way from the team at your home to the friendly and helpful person on the phone!
As an owner, one of my favorite stories was shared by the appreciative mother of a five-year-old. He was so excited we were coming to prune their trees. Yet Mom was not sure the language would be “appropriate” for him to be out all day. There were no worries with our team. They set up the safe zone to watch from and the team made a point of explaining what they were doing and why all day.
So, what makes Wachtel Tree Science special? It’s our people that work for you!!