PDA

View Full Version : Ideas for Foreman accountability on equipment


cleancutccl
10-14-2008, 12:00 AM
This year I put a new foreman on a mowing crew. Great guy gets the job done and does a good job, however, I have never had so much broken equipment ever. Its always little things until today, bent the wheel arm on our stander!!!! Asked him how it happened, had no idea, hadn't noticed it, wtf!!! Anyways, what are some ideas that you do to hold your foreman and employees accountable for negligent damage or loss to equipment. I need to get something put in the employee handbook, because I've had it, people just don't seem to respect other people's stuff anymore.

Thanks in advance.

Kennedy Landscaping
10-14-2008, 12:05 AM
Make them sign something saying they will pay for it providing it happened because they mistreated the equipment or abused it. If it is something that probably happened from every day normal use I would probably say no big deal. But if they run into a tree and bend some thing because they weren't using common sense then they would probably pay for it. Make sure to get it in writing and make them sign a contract though.
Just My 02
Good Luck With Your Situation

P.Services
10-14-2008, 12:12 AM
yeah he didnt notice.... right.... what a lier get rid of him. how could you not notice, he or some one on your crew hit something hard or they are doing wheelies.

Richard Martin
10-14-2008, 06:29 AM
Legally there isn't anything you can do. You can not deduct losses from an employee's paycheck no matter where the losses come from. Contracts do not superceed law. I once turned a Cat D-30 22 ton dump truck over in a sand and gravel mine I worked at. No biggie. They stood it back up, took it to the shop and fixed it. Back to work.

What you can do is write up an employee handbook and make it a terminatable offense.

You can also deduct the cost of repairs from your taxes.

ALC-GregH
10-14-2008, 08:41 AM
I think you should go back to working by yourself. That way when YOU mess something up, you only have yourself to blame.

ALC-GregH
10-14-2008, 08:53 AM
It's amazing how many guys on here that hire crews to do the work complain about their employees breaking stuff and how "they" should have to pay. It just doesn't work that way.
After reading a TON of posts in the last year, I've found that Richard Martin seems to know what he is talking about. Whatever you do, I wouldn't back charge the employee or you could find yourself in a world of a mess with the labor board. It could very well cost you MORE money then whatever it is your trying to get from the employee.

STI LAWN
10-14-2008, 09:11 AM
Go back to working for yourself? ummm don't think your going to get ahead that way.

My current business (besides lawn care) is aborculture and accidents are part of everyday life. What I have done that seems to work well is 3 things. One is I sit down with guys after an accident or screw up and I explian how much money it will cost and what a headache they have caused me. Then as the bills come from the screw up I show each one to them. Reminds them that it just does not go away.
2nd I give each crew a bonus at the beginning of the year and I deduct from it to pay for foolish mistakes.
3rd Make examples of people. Sometimes you have to shoot a hostage to make piont.
FIRE LIERS and SLACKERS!

DLAWNS
10-14-2008, 10:53 AM
I give my guys small bonuses each week if warranted. If we get a ton of work done and they did the little extras like staying late, coming in early, or just working their a** off they will get some extra money. If they were late and a little lazier, or broke stuff they don't get the extra money. We all have off days or even off weeks and I understand that but the more money they make me the more I'm willing to dish out.

cpel2004
10-14-2008, 11:23 AM
What about an employee training program, use incentives.

Frontier-Lawn
10-14-2008, 11:57 AM
just demote hime to regular mow boy and promote another person to his old job

tyler_mott85
10-14-2008, 01:36 PM
I've always had a little idea about helping with this.
Let your crew leaders bid on routes, if you have multiple. Have them bid on an operating "budget". This is a price that YOU give them since you know how much money you can make and what your overhead is. Tell them the budget minus the profit you want to clear for your business. If they go over this budget, do to equipment failure or damages to customer properties or extensive labor time; then they are penalized. Base their and their entire crew's income off of this budgets. If they are over budget then the amount of money they make for that week is down. It's a self motivating set-up. If they stay under budget, you've already made your company profit so you give them more money for that week's work. Base their pay on percentages of money they clear at the end of the week. Of course you have to pay them minimum wage to stay legal. But this way they're responsible for EVERYTHING on that route. From customer satisfaction, to equipment maintenance to labor. If a machine gets used for 4 years and needs replaced well that should already be factored into the operating budget for that crew and the money should already be in place to buy a new one.
See where I'm going? All you'd have to be is...like a switchboard operator. Go bid the new properties. Give the customers a price, when you're awarded the contract allow your crew leads to bid on it between themselves. The better they do on their routes, that are already planned to make the company the money it needs to make a profite, they make a percentage of the additional profit based on their work experience. Like, a crew leader would get 15% of the additional profit, and the new guy would get like 6%.
I'm a smaaaart cookie...All I need is some yards....more than three would be great. HA!

bohiaa
10-14-2008, 01:43 PM
I always found it funny how someone will say GREAT GUY........BUT

my friend if this guy is NOT working out, FIRE HIM.

Safety comes 1st.
Cost comes 2nd.

this guy does NOT sound like a GREAT GUY to me. it sounds like he's a terrible employee.
it also sounds like you simply dont know what your doing....

For your and his sake I hope you get your act togather real Quickly, of your gonna wind up in the poor house....

Good Luck

txgrassguy
10-14-2008, 04:49 PM
First of all how you word the damage/negligence portion of your employee handbook is directly related to your states' employment guidelines.
Here in Texas, an Employment at Will State, employers have certain "rights" when recovering damages due to employee neglect/negligence.
Several points to consider:
1. The handbook has to be read and understood by the employee. This is usually accomplished by an accompanied signature.
2. There has to be a "grievance" policy, i.e. some method where the employee, without fear of reprisal, can "plead" their case.
3. Some states will allow a "forced" signature, meaning employment is directly contingent on the employee signing the handbook.
4. Implementation of the handbook AFTER an employee has begun with your company is a duck of a different color. In an instance like this your states' employment commission can guide you on what you can and cannot do.
5. Some posters erroneously claim you cannot garnish wages for intentional neglect/abuse. Your rights as an employer/business owner as seen by the federal government is related to several factors: employee head count/type of business/amount of gross sales/state in which the business is located.
6. Wage garnishment also places the business in a peculiar accounting position in terms of how the garnished wage is taxed and accounted for in the business books.
You can establish a policy like what you want but tread carefully as you can open up a can of worms much worse than you may have originally thought.

cleancutccl
10-15-2008, 12:00 AM
I always found it funny how someone will say GREAT GUY........BUT

my friend if this guy is NOT working out, FIRE HIM.

Safety comes 1st.
Cost comes 2nd.

this guy does NOT sound like a GREAT GUY to me. it sounds like he's a terrible employee.
it also sounds like you simply dont know what your doing....

For your and his sake I hope you get your act togather real Quickly, of your gonna wind up in the poor house....

Good Luck

Been doing this 5 years, just seeing how others handle situations like this.

cleancutccl
10-15-2008, 12:04 AM
First off, I never even had in mind to take money away from the employee, that is stupid and very unprofessional. What i was getting at is if some of you do a 3 strikes your out thing or weight it more towards each situation whether or not the employee is worth having around. By the way this employee is a very hard worker always does what he is told and gets the job done, the downside is that (I believe) he does not have any mechanical smarts (ability to know when there is a problem with something before it becomes a big problem). I will put something into our employee manual about it, and have our attorney go over it before it gets put into writing. Probably finish out the season with this guy, and then demote him to landscape laborer or landscape leadman, nothing to do with mowing anymore.