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View Full Version : Employees Who Do Side Jobs, What to do?!


Rebel Orchid
12-12-2008, 01:53 AM
My company does landscape maintenance. I send my crew out each day with a list of properties that they need to service each day. Lately I've noticed that they have been going other places, 15 min here, 20 min there...etc. How would you guys bring it up, it's been hard to find good qualified employees, and my employees have been getting really good reviews from customers. What should I do? How do you other companies deal with employees who do side jobs, when you find out, what do you do?

JMiller08
12-12-2008, 03:17 AM
Well what do you consider "side jobs" ? Like taking your mowing equipment to other homes not on the route and servicing them on your buck? If so then I personally would confront them with a warning and then after that there gone. It doesnt matter how good an employee is thats your money and time from yuor company your losing, big no no.

JB1
12-12-2008, 07:50 AM
find another crew.

capnsac
12-12-2008, 07:55 AM
If they find out you know that you they are doing this and still tolerate it then they'll continue to walk all over you. I'd set them all down and tell them how things operate, and servicing other peoples property on your dime is not one of those things. Take a firm upper hand, you're their boss and if they can't respect that then they need to be disrespectful someplace else.

larryinalabama
12-12-2008, 08:04 AM
Your screwed, thats why I stay SOLO. If you fire them they will start their own business wit hyour customers, if you dont fire them they will start their own business with your customers.

Green Pastures
12-12-2008, 08:49 AM
I'd fire them on the spot.

Course it's in my EMPLOYEE MANUAL that all new hires have to read and sign (before they are actually hired) that doing side jobs, or talking about side jobs with potential customers while on my clock is a no no and is an offence you can and will be terminated for.

This policy has been working fine for me.

My guy's have copies of my business card to present to potential clients and they have my cell number. If a potential client approaches them they are to refer the client to me.

If the potential client needs the work done immediately, they are to call me.

If there are any questions at all concerning my policy, they are to call me.

If there are any infractions of the policy I will fire people starting with the crew leader.

With a good employee manual and a good training period for new hires and 5% unemployment I'm not at all scared to fire someone who is stealing from my company and ultimately me and my family.

This is a no brainer.

Some of you guy's sound like the employees run you instead of the other way around.

It's all about the tone you set from day one.

I do not take any crap from employees. Period.

Don't like it, there's the door.

steve5966
12-12-2008, 09:33 AM
If they are doing work for themselves on your time, with your equipment, then the only choice you have is wether you press charges for theft or not.

When an employee does this they are stealing from you. I had to fire two of my top three guys a couple of months ago for basicly the same reasons. It sucks and it's a pain in the azz but it had to be done. If you let them get away with it now it will only get worse.

HOOLIE
12-12-2008, 10:23 AM
A smart employee will always figure out a way to do side work and not get caught. It's just one of those things that's always going to happen. Only the dumb ones get caught...:laugh:

I'm sure not many will agree here, but I would look at it on a case by case basis. I'm not going to fire a great employee over doing this one time.

If you can offer your employees some sort of incentives or bonuses, it goes a long way towards curbing this sort of behavior. Most laborers are not paid well and they look at it as they can make their lunch money for the week by doing the neighbors lawn for $20.

kkls2006
12-12-2008, 10:41 AM
Seeing how they seem to have extra time, Maybe they need a few more scheduled stops on Your route to keep them busy during their shift?????

ford550
12-12-2008, 10:44 AM
This is why all my trucks have tracking GPS. I know where they went, when they went and how. It is also in our employee manual, that they sign, there is zero tolerance for this kind of behavior, no warnings, immediate termination. Also, we have no compete clauses in the manual, if they try to start their own business and/or steal my customers and cliets I will be getting that money in court. Each truck has plenty of my buisiness cards for them to hand out to potential work. Haven't had any employees do this yet (knock on wood), you gotta treat them the same as you want to be treated. But some are just bad apples anyway.

NeroGPS
01-02-2009, 03:44 PM
This is why all my trucks have tracking GPS. I know where they went, when they went and how. It is also in our employee manual, that they sign, there is zero tolerance for this kind of behavior, no warnings, immediate termination. Also, we have no compete clauses in the manual, if they try to start their own business and/or steal my customers and cliets I will be getting that money in court. Each truck has plenty of my buisiness cards for them to hand out to potential work. Haven't had any employees do this yet (knock on wood), you gotta treat them the same as you want to be treated. But some are just bad apples anyway.

I agree with ford550, and as the name suggests I work for a GPS Tracking company. We have several landscape and lawn maintenance companies and what they have come to realize is that not only are they taking business away from you, they are also increasing the number of hours they work and I would bet that they are even trying to charge you overtime.

As soon as you put a GPS Tracking system in your vehicles everything will stop right away and you will see their hours worked go way down.

If you have any questions about GPS Tracking feel free to PM me or email me at kory@neroglobal.com

Tuna3679
01-02-2009, 07:23 PM
FIRED...why is it even a question

JDUtah
01-02-2009, 07:49 PM
Non-compete agreements are wonderful things.

PROCUT1
01-02-2009, 08:45 PM
Ill tell you exactly what I have done.

When they come back to the shop, the police are there waiting for them.

2 times I did that when i was in the business. Once for lawnmowing and once for snowplowing.

If they are on your clock, and do work for someone else and do not turn over the money to you, it is no different than one of your customers paying them for the lawn cut and they pocket the money.

DLAWNS
01-02-2009, 09:30 PM
I would say it depends...if you will be screwed without them then sit them down and let them know you won't tolerate this, and make them sign a no compete clause and a copy of the rules that state all of your strict rules (use this for all future employees). Then watch them like a hawk and be looking for new employees. I would look into GPS also, something I am very seriously thinking about for the future!

If it is not absolutely necessary to keep them around, then FIRE EM!

Looking Good Lawn Service
01-02-2009, 10:11 PM
this is a sticky situation, I def. would not do this on company time, however, have I done the very same thing when I worked for my old boss, sure, but very rarely and only very small things like, oh, can you trim this branch or weed this small bed for me, very simple, if at all. But, if your crew is mowing so many lawns that they could open their own company and it wouldn't even affect them if they left that is a problem, and the sad truth is it happens all the time, and there is not really anything you can do while it is happening. The only thing you can do is preventative training and try to hire honest people, and if possible offer incentives for referrals, and if they do gather accounts, let them rent your equipment from you to do it on like a Saturday or something. I remember when I worked for my old boss, he would let me use his truck and trailer and walker for free to do some accounts in my neighborhood. Why, because we trusted each other and are still friends to this day and still work together on bigger projects and snow removal contracts.

PROCUT1
01-02-2009, 10:18 PM
I didnt know how much of this was happening until I had the crew leader arrested.

I found out it wasnt only that crew.

What happened was the shock value of 2 guys leaving in handcuffs cause everyone else in the company to stop any of their "sidework"

How I found out was that people started calling saying that we didnt cut their lawn that week. Well these people calling were not our customers.

They were neighbors of customers on our routes that paid the crew every week to mow and had no idea that it was not "our company" doing the work.

I had my suspicions, which is why I started having them watched.

I couldnt figure out why whenever i would go out on a crew, and for the years that I mowed myself, I would ALWAYS have walk-up customers. I would always add one or two lawns a week just from walk ups.

Yet when I had 3 mowing crews on the road, none of them ever came back with new customers.

DLAWNS
01-02-2009, 10:35 PM
I didnt know how much of this was happening until I had the crew leader arrested.

I found out it wasnt only that crew.

What happened was the shock value of 2 guys leaving in handcuffs cause everyone else in the company to stop any of their "sidework"

How I found out was that people started calling saying that we didnt cut their lawn that week. Well these people calling were not our customers.

They were neighbors of customers on our routes that paid the crew every week to mow and had no idea that it was not "our company" doing the work.

I had my suspicions, which is why I started having them watched.

I couldnt figure out why whenever i would go out on a crew, and for the years that I mowed myself, I would ALWAYS have walk-up customers. I would always add one or two lawns a week just from walk ups.

Yet when I had 3 mowing crews on the road, none of them ever came back with new customers.

Good for you man!