View Full Version : Motivation!!!

06-29-2007, 08:42 PM
Does anyone have any ideas that work for keeping workers motivated

06-29-2007, 08:59 PM
drinks in the cooler, feed them for lunch, time a lawn job. (ex. 30 min. or less.) little things make the difference.

06-30-2007, 01:08 AM
thanks man i have had the same people working for me for about 4 months now but they are starting to slack off some but when they try they are great!!!

06-30-2007, 01:21 AM
Well, I would say give them a raise, but that won't last long.

Perhaps a "performance bonus"?

06-30-2007, 01:25 AM
yea i am raised out but the other sounds pretty good!!!

06-30-2007, 02:17 AM
how about a percentage of any new business they get signed up for a full 12 month contract. Say 5%....the more business they bring in, the more they make..it's like they are a partner. 5% of 1k is $50...if they do that a few times it's like a nice raise, and you will be rolling in the dough...and if they are slackers...any potential customers will know it and you won't see the new business.

Tim Wright
06-30-2007, 09:27 AM
I have personally found that if a person has a work ethic that is decent, a little respect and proper pay do the job. If they do not have a decent work ethic, but enough to keep on showing up, there is nothing you can do. You will keep giving and giving and giving, and they will keep taking and taking and taking.

It's tough anymore.


Focal Point Landscapes
07-01-2007, 01:21 AM
Good ideas , and I think bluflame hit the nail on the head - it is the little things that are often the most effective. However , I think that motivation will always be a challenge in our industry.

07-01-2007, 10:56 AM
What I have learned over the years is that good help is always hard to find. My uncle and I used to have a couple of guys work for us but they all had habits. one always needed a beer, one always had to smoke, it just got to the point we just work by ourselves. we gets things done with a 2 man crew but that 3rd man sure helps a lot.

Darrin A.
07-01-2007, 11:07 AM
Have you tried asking them why they slowed down? Maybe they didn't notice.

07-01-2007, 11:57 AM
Just remember that you get the behavior you incent. So... if you give them bonuses for doing a job quicker, they will do it quicker... but the quality will go down. If you incent them for doing a good job, it will take longer, etc. Balance out what you are trying to reward so that you don't find yourself in a worse spot.

07-01-2007, 12:16 PM
how many yards do you do a day and per week. they could just be tired lol. also if you work with them lead by example

07-01-2007, 12:35 PM
I am already paying them 35% of every job I do that is pretty damn good for not having to buy any equipment!!!

07-01-2007, 12:59 PM
start bringing in new blood. shake it up abit. give them a day or two off. people don't realize what they got till its gone

07-01-2007, 06:37 PM
1981: ChemLawn Corporation (the PIONEER of lawn/tree care) did a study regarding employee complaints. This was one of (several) ChemLawn Corporation studies that were looked at in the early 80's. Results: The most common complaint from employees = not enough time to spend socially. Further results indicated 2 things....1) Married employees did not have enough time to spend with their families, 2) Unmarried guys complained about not having time to "socialize". Bottom line: It wasn't the money, yet it was the opportunity to live their "personal" lives. That's my 2 cents worth. Sincerely, since 1978 and still listening.

07-01-2007, 07:11 PM
I could be wrong to suggest that if a person is motivated to work, they are going to be working at something other than helping mow lawns. The more highly motivated person will use their talents at something more challenging and interesting. In other words, a self-fulfilling prophecy: the lawn mowing helper is by nature a less-than highly motivated person, therefore to expect otherwise is out of the question.

I work solo, so can't comment directly on my experiences. I have managed many people in the past, so can speak from experiences in other fields. However, reading comments about the matter for a long time on LS tells me that my conclusion may be right. Obviously, there are exceptions, and perhaps my brush is too broad.

07-01-2007, 07:38 PM
Well, the average lawn mowing helper will only be motivated enough to keep his job in my opinion. Anything above and beyond the amount of effort he has to expend to keep his job is probably not going to ever happen. However if you are trying to motivate someone who has advancement potential in your company and wants to choose this field as a career, you might want to motivate him by giving him some non mowing related work to do. Give him some autonomy to make some decisions. I believe it is a widely accepted fact that the average mowing helper turnover is quite high and normally a new employee is right around the corner. If the employee isn't working to your satisfactory effort level, tell him to pick up the pace or clock out and move on. That will normally motivate the guy who wants to keep his job and it will take care of the slacker who just wants to collect a check for the least amount of work.

07-01-2007, 10:00 PM
Cattle prod....

07-02-2007, 11:31 AM
Cattle prod....

:laugh: :laugh:

Just tell them what a good job there doing and that you appreciate the effort
Somtimes that is all it takes

07-02-2007, 06:52 PM
OK, BQLC is a little more politically correct. Honestly, if someone isn't working hard enough or is complaining they are gone. Very easy to replace unless you're friends with them!

07-02-2007, 07:08 PM
This will work . First get two steel pales, fill with dirt, then make them stand out on the grinder all day in the sun. They will either pull their weight or drop like a wet sock.

Next the weak link , once he he gets to the next house have the crew leader mak him do push ups till the rest of the guys are done with the yard. Make him do them, with the crew leader putting his foot rite under his chest , so he can not rest. They will count 1 SIR, 2 SIR, 3 SIR, 4 SIR AND SO ON if they mis a count start over.

Then if that doesn't work well get out the hair clippers and tell them long does not work here every one is going HIGH AND TIGHT.

iF ALL ELSE FAILS TELL THEM THEY ARE DONE AND need to CALL 1800 MARINES,,,,,,,,,,,,they will strighten them out one way or another ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

J&R Landscaping
07-05-2007, 08:50 AM
You can pay them a base salary plus commission on what they get done during the day. That way, they control their own destiny in a way and if the aren't working and slacking off, it won't be quite as bad for you. I just do not know if state or local laws vary in allowing this type of pay scale or not.

07-05-2007, 07:53 PM
could the heat have anything to do with it ?
i know i have slowed down in this heat / island they call a state!

07-05-2007, 08:31 PM
If you see one of your employees tired and needing some motivation just walk by them and drop a bonus on the ground, turn look at them then keep walking. Respect is earned not given. My employees respect me greatly. I don't have to give them anything but I choose to.

07-05-2007, 08:55 PM
start bringing in new blood. shake it up abit. give them a day or two off. people don't realize what they got till its gone

this is the only thing that will work, you cant keep paying them more and doing this and that for them. i had the same problem and ran one very small help wanted ad in the paper got over fifty calls in one day, when the new blood comes in they will work twice as hard as the old guys and they will have to step it up in order to not look like total slackers.

07-06-2007, 06:53 PM
We have very short meetings (quite often) to explain where we are, and what the gameplan is in order to stay on schedule. I operate like the "Knights of the Round Table" (nobody is better than anybody else). Ideas are accepted from all. Right now, my guys are putting in less than 37 hours per week (summer application of turf). No weekends now either, but they all know that spring & fall require six days a week to get the job done. I operate my business as a team effort. Anybody that gets done early, calls the rest of the team (via two-way radio) to see if anybody needs help -- this builds comradory & personal responsibility. (Nobody wants to be known as the weakest link). My emplyees have free access to my swimming pool + free beer & wine coolers after work during this summer. We also pay a 2% (sometimes 3% if we're behind) commission bonus on top of their weekly paycheck. We weed out those with negative attitudes very quickly...i.e. we fire them. I stick up for all my guys (and gals) who "respect the team". I always provide a weekday off for all so they can attend the Iowa State Fair. We also pay a year-end bonus (up to $1200). We finance vehicles. We advance pay. We often provide inexpensive housing (we have rental properties). We provide cars if their's break down -- then we pay for the automotive repairs - allowing team members to make payments. With a Nationwide unemployment rate of only 4 1/2% (thanks President Bush - nomatter what the driveby's say), we have to strive very hard to make employees feel like they an important part of a successful business....because they truly are. Without them, I would not have a job either, so that's why I referred to "the round table"....what goes around comes around. I hear of competitors treating their guys like sh&t...We ain't them, and local lawn competitors know it. That's why we very seldom run help wanted ads.

Howard Roark
07-08-2007, 12:49 AM
Monster energy drink. XXL size... 1 in the morning, 1 in the afternoon.

07-10-2007, 11:24 AM
OK, BQLC is a little more politically correct. Honestly, if someone isn't working hard enough or is complaining they are gone. Very easy to replace unless you're friends with them!
I do agree with this.
But I like the cattle prod Idea better.

07-10-2007, 01:14 PM
I want to work for Americanlawn:drinkup:

Allens LawnCare
07-10-2007, 02:15 PM
Does anyone have any ideas that work for keeping workers motivated

Take a field trip.....Then unemployment line is always a great place .....Just kidding

07-11-2007, 10:05 PM
when i worked for my uncles company back in the day he would tell the crew that if we got said clean up done in x amount of hours we would get lunch and or an extra 50.00 that week. man did it motivate the guatamalians (spelling). like said before the little things that count, such as showing up with some ice cold gatorades and chips for the guys.

07-12-2007, 08:14 PM
I really do agree. Yoiu have to keep your workers happy. I work for a town here doing all the landscaping and such for 7 schools and when I'm having a good day I tend to want to work a lot harder than when my fellow crew members are ticking me off. Then I have to try to work hard. It's hard to be motivated when all you have is some lazy boss who sits in the shop on his cell all day barking orders at you. Sorry, it was one of "those" days.

07-12-2007, 11:53 PM
If you are on the crew and work hard your guys will work hard. If you ran a few crews and you work your ass off the other crews will try to keep pace. If a crew isnt producing, change people up, keep them guessing. If you show up on a job and guys are slacking make an example out of someone with a few days off, or cut them loose entirely. Dont let employees second guess you.
Cross train your employees in different tasks to keep them striving to learn. Encourage them to problem solve.Pay them well, buy them lunch.
Just a few things that have worked for me over the years.