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View Full Version : Employee incentives, etc.


CK82
04-03-2009, 11:34 AM
I am searching/curious any incentives you business owners have set up for your employees (Ex. bonus programs, health insurance....etc.) Along with this what type of policies, structure do your employees follow on a day to day basis? I know these are vague questions, but Im looking for some incite on how you guys have things set up, whatever it may be for your business to run smoothly from day to day.

Any comments, information, or examples would be great!

shovelracer
04-03-2009, 04:13 PM
I like to give year end bonus for anyone that stays till the last day. Works out great, because your non motivated workers will bail as soon as temps drop below freezing, usually a week or two early. I also give performance bonuses for exceptional service that leads to better margins on a week or job. I also keep these pretty tight lipped cause otherwise you have some that will drag their feet for a few weeks to get the year end or complain cause the other guy got a bonus and they didnt. I also will buy dinner or breakfast after a snow event. Occasional coffee in the morning. I also give a boot bonus. I had a guy do this for me years ago and it was nice. When you are making 10-12 an hour its hard to cough up an extra 80 bucks to get some boots sometimes. Instead they go to wally world and buy the $19.99 special. Then I have to hear for months how their feet hurt. Besides then there is no excuse to come to work in anything other than the required footware. I take everyone that has proved they will be around a while to the store and they all get boots.

Ive looked into healthcare and other options, but unless you are a large company it doesnt pay out at least in NJ. The yearly numbers were running just a little under their entire yearly earnings. No one has ever been excited about paying in 80% of their weekly earning to get family health care.

bohiaa
04-04-2009, 11:09 AM
dont make your program work, so that employees compete agaist each other.
this will cause fighting.

things like the above statement. and showing up every day, not being late. are always good ones

CK82
04-04-2009, 07:00 PM
I was thinking of setting up a point system worth say 50 points/$50 dollars a month that goes down if you are late, damage equipment, dont fill our your time card acurately, or the daily job sheets. And along with this assess monthly for extra bonuses for exceptional service allowing us to complete any job faster.

I was hoping someone would have an example of a daily or weekly job sheet that the workers follow and record work completed on from a day to day basis. I have come up with multiple spreadsheets and such and they never have the proper area to write in and are hard to follow. Just looking for some ideas if anyone could help?!

shovelracer
04-05-2009, 04:06 PM
You should check with your state laws. Here it is illegal and you can not dock pay for damage or being late. They must be paid at a minimum their agreed wage for the time they are at work regardless of how well they do their job.

LouisianaLawnboy
04-05-2009, 04:30 PM
I was thinking of setting up a point system worth say 50 points/$50 dollars a month that goes down if you are late, damage equipment, dont fill our your time card acurately, or the daily job sheets. And along with this assess monthly for extra bonuses for exceptional service allowing us to complete any job faster.

I was hoping someone would have an example of a daily or weekly job sheet that the workers follow and record work completed on from a day to day basis. I have come up with multiple spreadsheets and such and they never have the proper area to write in and are hard to follow. Just looking for some ideas if anyone could help?!

Nah, that point system will just get confusing. Make bonuses and incentives spontaneous in most cases with a few exceptions(Work here 6 mnths to get boots, 1 yr for vacation time)

I usually give them out, if my helper is really pushing or we have to stay late. I'll just say, "If we finish this job today, I'll give you a bonus."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but that is how most pros do it.

bohiaa
04-06-2009, 12:03 AM
Nah, that point system will just get confusing. Make bonuses and incentives spontaneous in most cases with a few exceptions(Work here 6 mnths to get boots, 1 yr for vacation time)

I usually give them out, if my helper is really pushing or we have to stay late. I'll just say, "If we finish this job today, I'll give you a bonus."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but that is how most pros do it.

Coming from the MIS field, I once read an articule about employee thieft,

waking up to realize that all employees WILL STEAL FROM YOU, this tells me they need more. I have always given CASH to employees in certain situwations like you stated, when we have a Larger job that we have done well on. BAM they get a bonus.

when a person needs more money, like a situwation comes up in life, he needs money.

also we take a vacation EVERY YEAR. we useually go where it's warm.
"us being in TEXAS we like it HOT. so we useually have a VOTE.
last year I took them to PERU, and we hiked Machu Picchu.
taking the on vacations like this make's Everyone want to work for you.

and yes I still do the oldest trick in the book. I buy the lunch once or twice almost ever week.

come on guys, dont be CHEAP, share the welth.

LB1234
04-06-2009, 12:39 AM
come on guys, dont be CHEAP, share the welth.

Problem is (for us at least) the employees then think we are "friends" and abuse it.

Tried giving cash bonuses for jobs well done...they would just screw up the next week or decide to take a day off cause they have extra cash. Would purchase sandwichs/pizza for the afternoon or coffe/bagels in the morning a few times a week...they would then show up the next day and claim they thought we were buying again.

I've found the best approach to be I'm the employer and you are the employee.

LouisianaLawnboy
04-06-2009, 12:47 AM
Problem is (for us at least) the employees then think we are "friends" and abuse it.

Tried giving cash bonuses for jobs well done...they would just screw up the next week or decide to take a day off cause they have extra cash. Would purchase sandwichs/pizza for the afternoon or coffe/bagels in the morning a few times a week...they would then show up the next day and claim they thought we were buying again.

I've found the best approach to be I'm the employer and you are the employee.

If you have those kind of employees, you need to fire them. I think Boheia has it right. Yes, if you give someone an unexpected bonus they will probably spend it having fun, they would have otherwise not had. By doing that though, you increase your morale. Increased morale=Increased efficiency

LB1234
04-06-2009, 01:00 AM
If you have those kind of employees, you need to fire them. I think Boheia has it right. Yes, if you give someone an unexpected bonus they will probably spend it having fun, they would have otherwise not had. By doing that though, you increase your morale. Increased morale=Increased efficiency

No problem firing employees. Lord knows I've done plenty of it.

LouisianaLawnboy
04-06-2009, 01:04 AM
No problem firing employees. Lord knows I've done plenty of it.

Its all worth it, once you find that GOLDEN employee.:D

CK82
04-06-2009, 10:59 AM
I understand a point system could get confusing, Im not going to make it that, way. Instead having points which relate to bonuses at the months end give the employees incentive to do good. I dont see how that would be illegal. They would get there normal hourly, a bonus is "extra or above and beyond" and its not required. Correct me if Im wrong. For minor things I most likely wouldnt deduct any points, I just feel this would help control unconsious mistakes with damaging equipment and the more major problems and inefficiency employees cause. I do buy lunch periodically, and have given them money for boots and what not. I guess something is better than nothing, anything you give them they will just expect more even when there doing less.

I understand the concept of bonuses and what not, I am just trying to find a good set in stone program that they can see and I can see. That way its not just me as the employer giving them a bonus randomly. Like one of you guys stated above, what about when they arent efficient, dont show up, or damage things, you cant really take away there bonus you had already given them.

Flow Control
04-06-2009, 11:06 AM
We have a productivity incentive program. But I think times are different now. The workers should just be glad they are employed and are getting hours. Since a lot of company's are letting people go there are a lot qualified people out there that will need a job.

LB1234
04-06-2009, 05:00 PM
We have a productivity incentive program. But I think times are different now. The workers should just be glad they are employed and are getting hours. Since a lot of company's are letting people go there are a lot qualified people out there that will need a job.


Qualified for what...being a foremen or operatng a shovel? The problem I see is not really qualification its work ethic. I guess the old saying applied "pay peanuts, get monkey's."

Flow Control
04-06-2009, 06:03 PM
Qualified for what...being a foremen or operatng a shovel? The problem I see is not really qualification its work ethic. I guess the old saying applied "pay peanuts, get monkey's."

Qualified for whatever position you are seeking to fill. Operators, hardscapes, irrigation, foreman, managers, sales, fert, mowing.

If they don't have the work ethic then they are not qualified as far as I am concerned. That should should not even be a question for a small business owner in the Green Industry. I guess I have been around long enough to have a good reputation w/ employees, so good workers seek me. They know my workers don't f-around and they know that I pay for good work.

If you pay your monkeys w/ peanuts that's as far as your should go with your expectations.

LB1234
04-06-2009, 08:27 PM
If you pay your monkeys w/ peanuts that's as far as your should go with your expectations.

I like the way you put that...

snomaha
04-07-2009, 12:32 PM
$10,000 dollar company Christmas bonus. Show up late $50 deduction, no uniform $50 deduction, ignore a safety rule $50 deduction, moving violation $100 deduction. Division managers decide on who gets what 12/1.
Would love to pay the whole amount out.

POPO4995
04-07-2009, 12:50 PM
Full time employees get a take home truck

EDEN77
04-08-2009, 07:03 PM
When I'm about to hire a new employee, I show him a list of everything I expect from him and ask him how much he needs to make per hour to comply. Invariably, the guy throws out a lower number than I'm willing to pay. Then, I tell him I will start him at $1.00/hour more than he asked. That gets the morale and motivation going right from the start. I also pay for the total time from leaving the garage in the morning until we finish the last job at the end of the day. That means I pay for lunch breaks, other breaks, and I buy the food and drink they want during the working day. For me, finding and keeping a dependable employee is more than worth giving that employee some perks.

LouisianaLawnboy
04-08-2009, 07:38 PM
When I'm about to hire a new employee, I show him a list of everything I expect from him and ask him how much he needs to make per hour to comply. Invariably, the guy throws out a lower number than I'm willing to pay. Then, I tell him I will start him at $1.00/hour more than he asked. That gets the morale and motivation going right from the start. I also pay for the total time from leaving the garage in the morning until we finish the last job at the end of the day. That means I pay for lunch breaks, other breaks, and I buy the food and drink they want during the working day. For me, finding and keeping a dependable employee is more than worth giving that employee some perks.

Are you hiring? I can work for 25.00 an hour:laugh: PS I like Ruth Chris

S.I.
04-08-2009, 10:04 PM
I don't have employees now (I like it that way) but have dealt with them in the past, hell I've even been one from time to time. The thing about employees is they will come to expect handouts if they don't have to go the extra mile to get it.

I personally believe that unless that person is doing something that is making your business more profitable (outside of what is expected) then why are you paying them more? A bonus for showing up on time in the proper clothing? NO! That is what they are paid their regular wage to do. How about if you show up on time wearing your uniform I'll let you work today?

What I have found to be effective is to give 'team' or 'crew' bonuses for above par efficiency and productivity. This is something that save you money therefore should be rewarded. By giving these incentives on a team basis, employees will work to motivate each other. Don't make it a competition as someone else pointed out, that causes hard feelings and bad moral.

Another thing to keep in mind is that incentives do not have to be monetary. Updated equipment and days off come to mind.

JDavisLandscapes
04-09-2009, 11:01 PM
Sometimes I will tell my guys that the project needs to get done in 5 days, and if we could get it done in 4 days I will still pay them for 5 and they could get the day off. Since I have scheduled in 5 days worth of labor for my guys, I am not losing anything what so ever. I am just getting the job done quicker and having the option to also take a day off or get ahead on the other estimates, designs, paperwork, equipment maintenance.

dwlah
04-10-2009, 01:20 AM
No problem firing employees. Lord knows I've done plenty of it.

Last year another LCO told me when I lettered my truck I needed to put my name on the drivers side and a ? on the passenger side He couldnt keep up with who was helping me:laugh: