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View Full Version : paying by the job VS by the hour


griffy77
05-03-2006, 05:32 AM
I have one guy working with me right now and I pay $8hr with an incentive of a dollar raise after 60 days and another raise toward the end of the year. He is the best I have had so far and is never late and works his ass off.

My buddy on the other hand pays his weedeater guy $10 for every yard they do. At the end of the day he may end up paying over a $100 where I only pay $72.

I dont want to seem like a cheap boss but what do you guys think. Is it better to pay by the job or hour?

Pay by the hour you have to worry about clock watchers. Pay by the job then quality is an issue because they may be in a hurry to get to the next job so they can make more money for more jobs and not worry about the quality.

What do you guys think?

garth1967
05-03-2006, 08:43 AM
look after this guy.there are many ways to look after a worker besides pay .only put up his hourly rate if he produces.if you have an accountant ask him.it is only 60 days too. so see how he is going after your season finishes.see how is mentally and physically .what are his plans for the future also

scott's turf
05-03-2006, 10:55 AM
I have had employees for over 5 years now and have never had to worry about guys working slow to make more money. Maybe I have been lucky there but it seems most just want to get done and go home. In fact more frequently I have had to tell them to slow down and make sure they were not making any mistakes.

griffy77
05-04-2006, 05:34 AM
well the guy quit today!!

We were working and I turned around and he wasnt there anymore. He just walked off the jobsite. WTF? I called him asked what his problem was and he told me that he was being worked too much. Take in mind we only work 40 hrs. THis guy lasted a month. Get this, he calls back tonight and wants to come back to work. I tell him to take the rest of the week off and think about what he really wants to do and come back monday.

Iam so desperate that i actualy offered to take him back. Its harder than hell to find a descent employee. People around here just dont want to work. Even he admited that it wasnt the pay its just he was getting burnt out.

Iam tempted to call marcus drake and get a mexican. I believe that those guys really want to work. I live in redneck country and there is no mexicans around here other than at mexican restaurants. I hope that doesnt sound racist but I believe a mexican is more willing to work than alot of americans so why not hire one that would love to have a job. Iam sick of baby sitting people that dont want to work.

Mickhippy
05-04-2006, 05:50 AM
You get what you pay for!

$8/hr! WTF? Thats under Au$10/hr for workin hard outdoors under the sun etc etc! Fark that! Been there myself back in the day!

Better money makes hard work easier! Weather they say it or not!

lawnartisan
05-04-2006, 05:57 AM
I live in so cal and 99.9 percent of LCO's are mexican workers and owned. There like my bretherend. Atleast the residential end of it. Being new makes bidding hard because theres a ton of us little guys competing, especially all the new guys with pick up trucks and sears mowers. I live in a boom town. Farm fields selling up land to the housing tracks.

griffy77
05-04-2006, 06:00 AM
for this area $8hr is good pay, and that is just starting out. I am going to pay some dude $10 starting out that has no experience. All the LCOs around here start out at minium wage. There is no weed eater guy around here at least making $10hr. As far as i know I pay better than any other LCO. Take in mind we live in a very poor state, this aint NJ.

Mickhippy
05-04-2006, 06:28 AM
Griff, The 60 day then more pay isnt a good incentive I think! Think about it, That 2 mths of hard labourer!

Ive had a few drinks this arvo so I may of come across a bit harsh, didnt mean to!

You may want to think about shortening the "learning period!" to say a month and put the rate up some. Tell them it will keep going up the more they learn etc etc. Give an incentive to hang in there and a goal to aspire too!

Heres a little story... Back in the day, I was a foreman of a real landscape co'. I was 23/24yr old and incharge of multi million dollar work sites. Had 10 guys and a mulitude of machinery going all the time. Preasure was on ME to make it all happen! I was getting payed .50c/hr more than the newest labourer!
I Had it out with the boss and he offered another .50c/hr. I took it and 3 weeks later (xmas) I quit!
I had no incentive to keep going! I was making this guy BIG dollars and all worksite preasure was on me!
Why the hell should I put up with all the cr@p if Im not payed for it?

Point is, sure, theres a learning pay. First mth keep it low but give them something to work for. Up the pay as warrented to the max you can afford!
Why do people work? To make money! If there not making what there worth they will figure it out and you may loose a potential good employee/ crew leader!

Hope all that made sence! Sorry its such a long post! Been drinkin! lol

Mickhippy
05-04-2006, 06:33 AM
Screwed up!

PGA
05-04-2006, 06:39 AM
Im sure there are pros and cons to pay by the job or hour. My biggest concern about paying by the job would be guys running through the yards to try and get more done and mistakes/complaints start piling up. In the long run it will hurt you.


Stick with hourly.


BTW, $8.00 an hour for a job that an untrained highschool kid can do isnt as bad as most people are saying.

griffy77
05-04-2006, 06:55 AM
Iam convinced that people just dont want to work. The work ethic of the youth today sucks. They are accustomed to sitting indoors and playing video games and not needing to work. Iam running a business not a charity. I expect you to work. I never ask anyone to work any harder than I do. The guy that quit admitted it wasnt pay its just he doesnt want to do this kind of work anymore. Its a nightmare every time that I run an ad in the paper. People around here just rather sit on their butts and collect welfare.
I should have went with a H2B but with whats going on in the news I was a little hesitant. Next year however Iam going to get a mexican that wants to work. People around here are tooo lazy. I pay well and even throw in perks if you just show up every day of the week. Its sad that i have to do crap like that just to have them show up.
You can have the nicest equipment, biggest truck and get all the customers you want but the hardest thing I have found in this business is finding reliable help. Its very disappointing.

garth1967
05-04-2006, 07:33 AM
Iam convinced that people just dont want to work. The work ethic of the youth today sucks. They are accustomed to sitting indoors and playing video games and not needing to work. Iam running a business not a charity. I expect you to work. I never ask anyone to work any harder than I do. The guy that quit admitted it wasnt pay its just he doesnt want to do this kind of work anymore. Its a nightmare every time that I run an ad in the paper. People around here just rather sit on their butts and collect welfare.
I should have went with a H2B but with whats going on in the news I was a little hesitant. Next year however Iam going to get a mexican that wants to work. People around here are tooo lazy. I pay well and even throw in perks if you just show up every day of the week. Its sad that i have to do crap like that just to have them show up.
You can have the nicest equipment, biggest truck and get all the customers you want but the hardest thing I have found in this business is finding reliable help. Its very disappointing.

there is alot of truth in what you say griffy

Mickhippy
05-04-2006, 07:45 AM
Yep, there are those who dont want to work, thats for sure! But dont compare them to your own "work fitness/ethics". Its your business, not theres! They have nothing to loose/gain by working at there own pace but, paying them per job probably isnt a good idea either like stated in another post. Bad workmanship etc to make more $$$!

Why should they bust there butt? You have to give incentive! I know you have already but 2 mths is too long to me/them! 4wks training max and then go from there! Give them an extra dollar/hr each week for a period of time or something? It has to work for you of course $$$$ but you know what I mean dont ya?

There are costs involved in going to work. Petrol, lunch, clothing etc.
Clock on from time they get to work till the time they step out of the work truck at end of day! You have to make it worth there while! Dont be tight azz (not you personally, just sayin!) in other words!

Pay what people are worth! And make them feel good about themselves! Tell them good job, buy them lunch for a good mornings work for eg! Make them feel worth while!
And pay them a fair wage for a fair days work!

Enough of my flash back ranting! lol

GrasshopperLC
05-04-2006, 09:01 AM
Why not pay a percentage of what the yard pays?

Duck Dodger
05-04-2006, 09:18 AM
There is a company here called Hearthstone they only do commercials but they have the best system I have ever seen. They pay per job with incentives for quality and keeping equipment running good. I don't do alot of grass cutting or I would go with this system. They also feed all their employees breakfast every morning. Having worked my way up from the bottom I understand what these guys feel. Pay honest but make them feel like they are a part of what goes on. We all want to make money but it is more vital being a human to have a feeling of belonging to something. It can all be done with words say we not I when talking to them about your company listen to ideas they might have. The most expensive thing to say is well we have always done it this way so thats how it gets done. A word of praise can go along way.

Evergreenpros
05-04-2006, 10:59 AM
You get what you pay for!

$8/hr! WTF? Thats under Au$10/hr for workin hard outdoors under the sun etc etc! Fark that! Been there myself back in the day!

Better money makes hard work easier! Weather they say it or not!


$8 USD = $10.38 AUD

Mickhippy
05-04-2006, 11:26 AM
I know Evergreen! A pitence! Not worth getting out of bed for. Cost an hours worth of work just to get to work!

Its a wonder its legal to pay such cr@p wages! No wonder mexicans rule the labour market over there!

An I see people complaining about bad employee's!

grassrootsinab
05-04-2006, 11:33 AM
I've been paying by the job for the last two summers. I pay $8/lawn for small residentials. My larger propertities count as "2 jobs" 'cause I'm getting paid more. My employees like that they know what has to get done each day and that they can take an hour lunch break if they want or eat in the truck between jobs. As long as the work gets done. They also make way above minimum wage in this scheme ($7.95/hr) as none of my properties take more than an hour to do.

The problem we are having around Calgary, AB is that with the oil prices what they are and the Alberta economy hopping, we can't get quality workers. We're in trouble when McD's and Wendys is paying $11.50 to start plus bonuses just to get people to work!!

SOMM
05-04-2006, 12:13 PM
Nothing wrong with perks or incentives griffy, but guess what?

United States Lawn Care Operator ....YOU get saddled with the gleeful responsibility of paying-hourly on all your laborers with all necessary fed(one call from them will make a believer outta you!), state(at least get state-registered if not locally also), local( takes them about 2-3 years to catch up with you, when the penalty and interest are worth their prosecutors' circuit court case or settlement) witholding amounts (otherwise the state can come in and shut you down, and one trip to the emergency room where worker tells hospital that injury was sustained on-the-job, and state shuts you down for no workers comp insurance !!) ....regardless of whether it's idle windshield time or onsite time. You can't call them subcontractors and pay them upon your mutual agreement when they are travelling with you, under your supervision, and using your tools and implements:
http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/

If the route is mixed small with the medium and large properties, we solve the idle downtime issues by listening to personal improvement, safety and customer service training cd/tapes listened to during windshield time, or else starting on the next proximate property, to hand filing and rough blade edges, adjusting deck disassembly and blowering the wb's belts, cleaning under decks, checking tire pressures, fluid levels. If we wait out rain we'll pull out the window cleaner, detail brush set and Armor All and detail the truck if short showers or just take the crew shopping at the local bargain joint as a perk on long rain-outs. Otherwise while in-progress it's unusual this happens because we always start the trim / wb mower/blower guy first by removing tree debris from storms or squirrels( it's squirrel season soon!) off the lawns, because 80% our accounts are under trees and the tree debris dulls blades.

Damian
05-04-2006, 03:05 PM
As a wage-monkey myself, unless all variables are taken care of, I think I'd prefer to be paid by the hour. And here in Texas, $8 is too little, especially when the damn weeds some times fight back...

ed2hess
05-04-2006, 07:41 PM
Iam convinced that people just dont want to work. The work ethic of the youth today sucks. They are accustomed to sitting indoors and playing video games and not needing to work. Iam running a business not a charity. I expect you to work. I never ask anyone to work any harder than I do. The guy that quit admitted it wasnt pay its just he doesnt want to do this kind of work anymore. Its a nightmare every time that I run an ad in the paper. People around here just rather sit on their butts and collect welfare.
I should have went with a H2B but with whats going on in the news I was a little hesitant. Next year however Iam going to get a mexican that wants to work. People around here are tooo lazy. I pay well and even throw in perks if you just show up every day of the week. Its sad that i have to do crap like that just to have them show up.
You can have the nicest equipment, biggest truck and get all the customers you want but the hardest thing I have found in this business is finding reliable help. Its very disappointing.
It will be difficult to get an H2B guy to come into a situation where there is a no hispanic community. The H2B guys are legal they have all documentation they can travel freely. You won't have much chance to get people this year you normally apply in November of previous year. You definitely need to speak spanish to be able to keep guys and get them back next year.

Olylawnboy
05-04-2006, 08:23 PM
Damian, "the damn weeds some times fight back". Now that's funny!
griffy, SOMM said it like it is, you have to pay hourly (if your legit anyway). Have you done a search here and read the results? There have been many discussions on this topic over the years. However it is theoretically possible to be able to pay any job by piece rate but it would take more time and work to document than it would be worth to you. I'd explain that in detail but it would take quite a bit of time in itself :)

Duck Dodger
05-04-2006, 08:33 PM
I don't beleive it is illegal to pay by the job its called production factories have been doing it for years. The company I mentioned is more legit than 95% of the folks on here and make more money than you can think of.

MJM
05-04-2006, 09:06 PM
"The H2B guys are legal they have all documentation they can travel freely"

Not true. H2b workers can only work for YOUR company. You dont like them, they dont work well.. you send them home. You get a new emplolyee. They can not work for anyone else with their visa.


"I don't beleive it is illegal to pay by the job"

Very illegal. Yes, there are a very few instances when you can pay the way that it has been described here but...... not really in the landscape biz. Your equipment...you tell them where and when to be somewhere.. no dice... can not pay the way described or shall we say (piecework)


Mark

fulano
05-22-2006, 01:22 PM
I don't beleive it is illegal to pay by the job its called production factories have been doing it for years. The company I mentioned is more legit than 95% of the folks on here and make more money than you can think of.

From what I understand you can pay by the job but you must at least pay the minimum wage. Also as was stated if someone uses your equipment and you are the boss they are employees not subcontractors.

Lumberjack
05-22-2006, 01:55 PM
Have you considered a split pay?

4.00 an hour base pay and a percentage of each job completed?

so for a 1 hour 60.00 job at 10% bonus rate..

4.00 base pay + 6.00 bonus = 10.00

to keep up quality establish a no-complaint policy, ie. if the customer calls to complain for any reason the bonus is lost.

also consider that windshield-time, breaks and other non-productive activities are paid at the cheap base rate.

Id love to hear your comments on this.

ed2hess
05-22-2006, 02:54 PM
"The H2B guys are legal they have all documentation they can travel freely"

Not true. H2b workers can only work for YOUR company. You dont like them, they dont work well.. you send them home. You get a new emplolyee. They can not work for anyone else with their visa.

Mark
I meant they can get on a bus in Mexico and travel to the location where they are hired to work and what are you going to do if they skip out??

Mac_Cool
05-23-2006, 12:44 AM
Pay by the hour you have to worry about clock watchers. Pay by the job then quality is an issue because they may be in a hurry to get to the next job so they can make more money for more jobs and not worry about the quality.

It doesn't matter how you pay... 10% of your guys will be lousy no matter what... 10% will always do great... the rest need to be well trained, motivated and managed.

I've know so many bosses that were hard-asses (I don't mean strict) and couldn't understand why it's so hard to hire good people. Treat people with respect, train them to do their job; give them honest, sincere feedback, pat them on the back when they do good, be a little stern when they don't. If they only want 20 hrs/wk, don't make them work 30. If they want 30 hrs./wk, don't give them 20. Pretty soon your people will all do a good job because they want to do a good job for you. If they don't, fire them.

K.Carothers
05-23-2006, 12:54 AM
You get what you pay for!

$8/hr! WTF? Thats under Au$10/hr for workin hard outdoors under the sun etc etc! Fark that! Been there myself back in the day!

Better money makes hard work easier! Weather they say it or not!


Great point!


kc

cessnasovereign
05-23-2006, 11:18 AM
$10 a guy for weedeating? Dang.. I hope those are some big yards. My average is $35, I couldn't imagine giving someone $10 for 20 minutes of work...