View Full Version : How to stop employees from milking the clock

01-22-2008, 09:33 PM
What are some methods you guys have used or know other companies use to avoid your employees milking the clock on you?

Anyone use GPS systems? If so, what kind and how much does it cost?

01-22-2008, 09:43 PM
I use GPS system but works good. Its more of its in heads of tech that you can know where they are at all the time. I'm not sure how much just the GPS system is I get a whole package with it for billing,routing and many other things all in one. But have got this one from someone else and use it. I pay comission over hourly and over so many hours start cutting back % of commission unless those hours are manditory overtime.

01-23-2008, 09:41 AM
Production quotas, $ per day, stops per day etc.
Do you have poor employee relations?

01-23-2008, 11:59 AM
Production quotas, $ per day, stops per day etc.
Do you have poor employee relations?

Do I have poor employee relations? No, I actually a small company that will be hiring my first two employees here soon. I'm doing research on the best ways to make them work efficiently, but still enjoy what they do. I've milked the clock before at my previous job badly...and I liked and respected my boss. This topic has nothing to do with poor employee relations if the proper system is not in place. If you give an employee no incentives to work efficiently then why the hell would they? For example, I used to be paid hourly, but if i got done with my route and was back after 6 hours cause i worked efficiently then i wasn't rewarded. Ironically i was hurt because i was only getting 6 hours/day rather than my co workers who milked it and brought in 8-9 hour days.

Production quotas are sketchy in my opinion because they push people to door poor quality jobs and run the risk of blanket spraying herbs rather than spot treating which is important to my company. Stops and money per day seem they same to me with the risk of them flying through their work oblivious to quality.

01-23-2008, 05:12 PM
try a quota system along with a customer retention/satisfaction piece in your compensation package. can be very effective.

01-23-2008, 06:30 PM
A daily quota can help from milking, but make it reasonable so the guys don't rush around and do a poor job. A lot depends on what kind of guys you hire. If they are motivated, fast workers, then hourly should be fine. But if you have slower, less motivated guys, then a quota would be good. I've had both ends of the spectrum.

01-23-2008, 07:57 PM
I make my guys write the time they arrived and the time they finished every lawn everyday. They also write in any stops for food, gas etc. I know almost exactly how long it takes to do everyone of my lawns in any condition (rain,sunshine) so I know when the numbers do not match. They know this and so far no problems. It also helps me to find anything new that I can do for them to cut any time off of their day. Keeps everything pretty efficient.

01-24-2008, 07:14 AM
I used to have problems with guys milking and about 5 years ago I went to a production system where they get paid per 1000 sq ft. First off it weeded out the lazy ones and it set my cost for labor. The tanks are calabrated to spray a certain amount (150,000) and we pay a minimum 5000 sq ft. I start em out at .68/1000 and we go up from there. If they have to go back for gate locked something missed, etc they eat it.

On another note may I suggest if you are doing your first hires is to look at your local fire department I have hired two firemen that work part time on their off days, it has worked for me they are mature,dependable, take care of equipment, and can find an address. when its raining they are ok with staying home and their benifits are payed by the city.


01-24-2008, 10:13 AM
I think it pays to know , from your own experience, how long it takes to run your routes. That is what we do. Sometimes we get to the shop and have one of the guys work around the shop and We (my partner) might just hop in the truck and run the route. I also believ it has a lot to do with what type of people you hire and whether or not they respect you. Because if you truly do have respect for your boss, then you don't steal from his company, and that is what milking is.

01-24-2008, 11:20 AM
i would use this give all your employee's phones and track them via the phones gps and they will never know the wiser.


01-24-2008, 11:37 AM
Just random bonuses are a great incentive too. They let the employee know that you have singled them out for being a good worker, and the 'randomness' of them keeps them on their toes. They used to work for me at my old job. They always caught me off-guard when I got them, the boss would call me in his office and I'd think he was wanting to ask me to work Sat. or something, then he'd say he had noticed the effort I'd been putting in lately and hand me a check, or cash. Nice gesture.

Employees will milk the clock for various reasons, but in all cases, they have the perception that the owner or management is not paying any attention to them.

01-24-2008, 04:17 PM
Hoolie says "Employees will milk the clock for various reasons, but in all cases, they have the perception that the owner or management is not paying any attention to them."

That is my point!

01-24-2008, 05:22 PM
good stuff guys. no doubt you have to treat your employees good or it will reflect in their work and your company. incentives are tough, but the employees need them no matter how much they respect you and the company...that goes for any business.

01-24-2008, 06:03 PM
Nice posts. We have a base pay + a percentage of revenue. My guys fight over getting to do the grub app's cuz they pay much more. Also, the guys running our Permagreen ride-on units always bring in more, so they get paid more. I don't know of a perfect system.

02-18-2008, 08:06 AM
Something that you are unlikely to ever get away from is the old saying "people will do a task relative to the time given to them to accomplish it". I tried hourly in the beginning but it was a dismal failure. Partly due to the quality of some of the employees and partly due to my being naive and too trusting. Once went out on sales-calls while the guys were out spraying at about 10:30 in the morning. Drove down a street and caught out of the corner of my eye one of my trucks at a apartment complex. That employees production was down over 25% of what I expected so I confronted him and later terminated him. He claimed he was there for a "early lunch" which I have no problem with now as all my techs. are now salaried and are paid on commission for production, sales, customer retention and # of service calls they generate/round. Works well for me as it inspires "ownership" of the route and they are now fiercely competitive of each other.

Frank Fescue
02-18-2008, 09:16 AM
See if you can get them signed up for "Agricultural Overtime" pay, its what TGCL does and its so good it almost seems illegal.

Failing that, give them a production quota. UPS doesn't let their employees deliver as many packages as they want and then let them go home. Let them know their job is to complete the work assigned in a proper amount of time. Give bonuses for amount over quota. Keeps the guys working. GPS just seems like you don't trust them. I know it's neccisary in some instances but if my employees can bust their butt and do 10 hours worth of work in 8 ½ I really dont have a problem with them taking an extra 45 for a break on a hot day or to swing by their house and play with their kids for a few minutes. .02

02-18-2008, 02:02 PM
no A.C., disconnect or remove radios,seperate buddies or rotate assigned crews,Then chew their ass when nothing gets gone .Schedule time to fill vehicles ,fuel cans ,Just make sure the equipment and materials are ready to go in the morning .Having a crew drive around to get fuel, stringline ,seed ,tools , ,material ect, ect can be a waste for time .Some people will run around all moring and still end up at the shop becase them got to job site and found out some equipment would not run .I have seen whole crews sent home because the did not red tag broken equipment or even let someone know they had equpment down . Some people just dont care, sweat dripping down the crack of their A**, they are gonna punch the clock and run for their vehicle

02-18-2008, 02:57 PM
See if you can get them signed up for "Agricultural Overtime" pay, its what TGCL does and its so good it almost seems illegal.

Some employers have discovered a little used Federal Regulation that allows hourly workers under certain conditions be paid a flat weekly salary then pay half time for over 40 hours.

US DOL (dept of labor) regulation 29CFR 778.114 entitled 'Fixed Salary for Fluctuating Hours'

Most all lawn care emplyers will meet the requirements to pay in such a way.

Look it up in the DOL website.

This pay regulation does not just apply to agricultural workers

Midstate Lawncare
02-18-2008, 03:46 PM
how else would you know where they are. Also, if you haven't hired anyone yet, they wont have time to get accustomed to not having it. Then you spring it on them, they'd quit.

Hissing Cobra
02-18-2008, 04:28 PM
At my old company (The Lawn Company of Cape Cod), we had a system that worked excellent. Basically, we had 3 goals that we had hit in order for everyone to finish their routes in the required 6 week intervals before starting the next round. You didn't have to achieve all 3 goals everyday but you did have to hit 2 of them on a daily basis. I loved this system! It inspired an honest day's work from everyone involved. These goals were based on the amount of sq. footage, amount of customers and the amount of revenue that each route contained.

My 6 week route would look like this:

Daily goals:

100,000 sq. ft. per day
15 stops per day
$900.00 per day

Of course, I only had to hit 2 of the 3 goals. If I exceeded these goals, my goals for the next week would be readjusted and based on a 5 week round. My goals for the next week would change to something like this:

89,000 sq. ft. per day
12 stops per day
$850.00 per day

Each week, I would go above my goals, thus lowering my goals for the following week. Sometimes, later in each round, I would have goals that looked like this:

10,000 sq. ft. per day
2 stops

Of course, I would still do an honest days work (at least 100,000 sq. ft per day) and finish my route 2 weeks early. If I continued to do this, I would not have to worry about taking a day off when I needed it, as I was ahead of my goals. Generally, I would finish all of my customers and their lawns by the 4th week and would have time to help out in other routes, thus earning bonus money.

This system encouraged a good work ethic and encouraged people who wanted to earn more money to finish their routes early and help out other routes. Those who lacked any type of work ethic would fall behind and get paid less money to do the job.

This bonus money was acrued during the season and paid out twice per season. Once in July and once in early December. This allowed us workers who did a good job, to collect nice money during the summer and squirrel it away for vacations or whatever and also to collect again, just in time for Christmas present buying. These bonuses were not given to us unless we earned them.

02-19-2008, 12:36 AM
Hissing Cobra:

That sounds like a quality plan. I have a question about it though. What did your boss do if everyone was doing their job efficiently and you were all done with your routes with two weeks to spare? What did would have you do then waiting for the next round to start?

Hissing Cobra
02-19-2008, 12:58 AM
Hissing Cobra:

That sounds like a quality plan. I have a question about it though. What did your boss do if everyone was doing their job efficiently and you were all done with your routes with two weeks to spare? What did would have you do then waiting for the next round to start?

Well, not everyone worked efficiently and like every company, there was some turnover of employees which would leave a route "open". Thus, the people who wanted to earn more money would jump into their routes and help to catch them up. There were 3 locations of my former company and there were lots of customers to service. Once everyone was caught up with their routes, we'd begin the new round. Of course, we'd be checking every account via a customer report to keep tabs on how long some customers had waited since their previous application. If it was above 6 weeks, we'd jump back into our own routes to make sure that they were done on time.