Kate Spirgen
kspirgen@gie.net
PORTRAIT BY AMBER SMITH

No matter what a business sells, reputation is everything. Whether it’s reputation with customers, suppliers, investors or the general public, it shapes perceptions before visitors even walk through the door.

As much as reputation matters to potential customers, it matters to employees as well. Running a business with a reputation as a great place to work brings in the right candidates to fit your company. That’s what Watters Garden Center in Prescott, Arizona, has found over decades in business. The IGC focuses on the positive in its marketing, branding, community outreach and company culture.

Watters has an impressive retention rate thanks in large part to the environment they’ve cultivated. In fact, they only had to hire three employees this spring. Many of their employees are former customers who love the IGC so much they decided to work there and continue to come back season after season.

Husband-and-wife team Lisa Watters Lain and Ken Lain lead a team that’s carefully chosen, trained and appreciated. Focused on having fun, staying positive and taking care of each other, Watters strives to make every team member feel valued.

They celebrate employee accomplishments from weekly sales goals to completed degrees to anniversaries, support employees going through hard times and build camaraderie through constant communication.

That’s a big part of why Watters Garden Center is one of the 2021 Best Horticulture Companies to Work For. Created in partnership with Best Companies Group, the 2021 Best Horticulture Companies to Work For were carefully chosen for their dedication to their employees, hiring and training practices, and the benefits they offer from healthcare to continuing education.

Through an extensive survey of employees and consideration of benefits, Watters came out on top of our submissions from IGCs all over the country.

On behalf of everyone at Garden Center magazine, I’d like to congratulate Watters on this outstanding achievement, and for the work they put into the garden center every day to create a healthy, happy workplace for their team.

To learn more about Watters Garden Center, flip to page 18. And stay tuned for coverage of more wonderful places to work in future issues.