“First, I look for curb appeal,” says Carlos Castillo, Prestonwood Quality Control Manager and jack-of-all-trades. “I want to make sure we’re paying extra attention to high traffic areas.” Whether it’s our client’s client’s first impression of the company campus or the high-traffic pathways senior leadership use everyday, we want them to be impressed.
“It’s the small details that make the difference.” When Carlos visits a property he’s looking to make sure the shrubs are tight and the flowers don’t look like they’re lacking water or nutrients. He has an eye out for trash and leaves in the landscaping. “I take pictures and videos and share with the crew chiefs so they understand the why, the importance of making these areas look great.”
But, quality control is just a part of Carlos’s job now. “I’d say it’s really mutated over the past two years, it’s way more than just quality control. If I’m needed, I help out.” Carlos’s go-getter attitude is borne from his experience in the field. “Being stuck behind a desk didn’t interest me, I’m not confined.” He steps in to help Spanish-speaking crew members fill out paperwork, he helps managers organize their crews, fill in gaps, and helps out disposing of extra leaves and clippings or stepping up to drive a truck when needed.
During the 2020 ice storm, Carlos had the field experience driving the large company trucks to deliver ice melt in Fort Worth, volunteering to get the client what they needed, when they needed it. “It feels good to be needed, you know.” That’s the attitude that made Carlos one of the first Prestonwood field team members to make the transition into an office position, despite initial concerns he wouldn’t be respected by the field teams. “I had to prove myself to them, show them I could hang.” It wasn’t difficult for Carlos, he has a lifetime of experience in a family landscape company working sun up to sun down in the field. Then it was just about earning their trust. “You have to get to know your guys. You don’t have to be buddy-buddy best friends, but you need to know them and what they’re going through.”
Talking with employees at Prestonwood he can not just see the difference, he can hear it. “It’s a ripple effect. We take care of our people so they can take care of our properties. We don’t treat people like a number, we make it more human. I make sure people know I’m here for them, whatever they’re going through, inside and outside of work.” Prestonwood has quadrupled in size while Carlos has been with the company and he tells employees from experience how great the company is and that there are opportunities. “We watch what you’re doing, we recognize hard work, and prefer to promote from within the company. If you’re ready and love to work, the opportunities are endless.”
That was the Prestonwood difference maker for Carlos compared to his previous employers. “Prestonwood is organized, everything just seems super easy.” He’s able to focus on the people: the field teams and the clients. “At the end of the day, we’re here to serve. We’re a customer service company first and a landscape company second.”
For Carlos it all comes down to being pro-active and being on point with clients. “I knew a client was hosting an Easter egg hunt for kids, so I told the client we could cut the grass shorter and clean up the area for the kids to play. They said, ‘that sounds great, do it!’” So whether it’s quality control, client communication, HR, or driving a truck, Prestonwood can rely on Carlos to step up and do what needs to be done.