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hustlerburn
07-23-2009, 12:17 AM
Alright guys,

I am to that point.......I am sick of jobs going over on time, hearing excuse after excuse why things are taking too long. What is with the kids these days? Are they lazy? It seems if i am not on the jobs it doesnt get done in due time. It means then i cant sell jobs while i am there babysitting.

I graduated 5 years ago in La Design, worked for the 10 years at one company running crews and learning all about the installation part of things. I was fortunate enough to be a part of many jobs that have been featured in many of the brochures for brick and block that everyone uses. So i have had alot of experience in that part. A year ago i decided that i needed to get in more of the design and selling part of things.
I made a move one for myself and two for the wife, she was just getting done with her masters, and in an area where we thought we would find her a job. But right now i am regretting everything.
I can sell my a s off on just design, lately i have been the higher bid, but have gotten the job just on the design or quality of my porfolio. But that all really doesnt matter when jobs dont get done when needed be. I cant go back and ask the costumer for another 3 k because the guys took to long?

What do you do? i have tried to be the nice guy, i tried being the d ck. I am to the point where i could do it myself and forget it all.

Anyone in the MN twin cities looking for designers? I might relocate at this point.

Mid-Ohio Scaper
07-23-2009, 12:21 AM
How do you pay, by the hour or by the job?

hustlerburn
07-23-2009, 12:24 AM
by the hour, which yeah my labor cost of course are higher, but yet that means my commison drops if i go over on hours.

Its not a thing where i am bidding too low, because with all my estimates i allow for some wiggle room but it seems like they know how to push the limits of my alotted time, if not go over.

Mid-Ohio Scaper
07-23-2009, 09:07 AM
You should try paying by the job. Give your guys a time frame to get the job done, if they go over the allowed time they loose money, if they get the job done early they make more money.

Try paying by the job and I bet your productivity doubles.

Bru75
07-23-2009, 01:22 PM
I'm a one man band myself, but where I used to work I had the same kind of problems with the guys under me. It drove me nuts until I finally hired a guy who could do his work mostly unsupervised and help to make sure the other guys were doing thier work. I also learned that bad employees NEED TO GO! If you have one guy farting around or complaining a lot it can drag down the whole crew.
I think Mid Ohio's suggestion might help, I have heard about others who have gotten good results this way.
Do you supervise the crew yourself?

DVS Hardscaper
07-23-2009, 05:16 PM
Too bad this forum doesn't have interacive voice. I think we could talk about this issue for an hour.

Lets see, Where to start?

Hardscape construction is not rocket science - yet it's a craft. So many details: the work needs to be perfect. If it's not - the client will make you re-do it. The work is usually priced based on estimated production hrs. If you forget something back at the shop / yard - goodbye profit.

There are some here that are fortunate to have some terrific employees. When I first got into hardscapes I had all Americans. They were all hard workers, not afraid to get dirty, they were intelligent, and reliable. I also paid them very well.

Well, time changed. The Americans stopped calling asking if we were hiring. I hired immigrants. Great people. Hard workers. Very respecful towards me. Yet - they have no comprehension of production hrs. They have no comprehension of using materials wisely and creating as little waste as possible.

I'm a grown adult that babysits other grown adults for a living. Thats what I do.

I have a guy thats worked for me for 5 years. All our jobs are residential, and thats how it's always been. Almost all our jobs have asphalt driveways. So today I'm in the truck on the phone and I turned around to look at something as I was hanging up. We had a load of CR8 dumped at the bottom of the driveway. Out of the corner of my eye I see my guy take the skid steer bucket, put the edge against the asphalt and push the think layer of CR8! Which in turn......scratches the driveway! Guaranteed everytime! So I go over to tell him to please not do that. I then see not only did he use the bucket to clean the driveway, but he turned the skidsteer over a layer of gravel on the asphalt, which again - scratched the driveway! I was furious, but I kept it contained. I nicely looked him in the eyes and said "you know better than this, please do not ever do this again, use a shovel and a broom". As I walked away I thought to myself "I'm getting too old for this babysitting, is this really worth it?"

You have to motivate employees with positive enforcement. Negative enforcement will NEVER work. They need incentives and they need bonuses. And they need accountability. Even then - you still must babysit.

If you do work that requires brains (such as masonry and hardscape construction) - you need employees with brains. If you do work that requires little skill and little smarts - you need employees with little smarts.


Those whom are fortunate to employ hardworking Americans - it may not be for another 5 years, but your day is coming, they'll be a thing of the past :) :)


,

philboudreault
07-23-2009, 09:32 PM
man i hired a native american never hardscaped a day in his life ...welder by trade ...******* awesome...picked it up quick and very precise work....talks alot but good worker...and hes in the program so no problems there...look man tell your clients it will take a week if it only takes 3-4 days and tell your guys that they have three days... that way u will have no flac from the clients... and room to breath.

Mid-Ohio Scaper
07-23-2009, 09:37 PM
Too bad this forum doesn't have interacive voice. I think we could talk about this issue for an hour.

Lets see, Where to start?

Hardscape construction is not rocket science - yet it's a craft. So many details: the work needs to be perfect. If it's not - the client will make you re-do it. The work is usually priced based on estimated production hrs. If you forget something back at the shop / yard - goodbye profit.

There are some here that are fortunate to have some terrific employees. When I first got into hardscapes I had all Americans. They were all hard workers, not afraid to get dirty, they were intelligent, and reliable. I also paid them very well.

Well, time changed. The Americans stopped calling asking if we were hiring. I hired immigrants. Great people. Hard workers. Very respecful towards me. Yet - they have no comprehension of production hrs. They have no comprehension of using materials wisely and creating as little waste as possible.

I'm a grown adult that babysits other grown adults for a living. Thats what I do.

I have a guy thats worked for me for 5 years. All our jobs are residential, and thats how it's always been. Almost all our jobs have asphalt driveways. So today I'm in the truck on the phone and I turned around to look at something as I was hanging up. We had a load of CR8 dumped at the bottom of the driveway. Out of the corner of my eye I see my guy take the skid steer bucket, put the edge against the asphalt and push the think layer of CR8! Which in turn......scratches the driveway! Guaranteed everytime! So I go over to tell him to please not do that. I then see not only did he use the bucket to clean the driveway, but he turned the skidsteer over a layer of gravel on the asphalt, which again - scratched the driveway! I was furious, but I kept it contained. I nicely looked him in the eyes and said "you know better than this, please do not ever do this again, use a shovel and a broom". As I walked away I thought to myself "I'm getting too old for this babysitting, is this really worth it?"

You have to motivate employees with positive enforcement. Negative enforcement will NEVER work. They need incentives and they need bonuses. And they need accountability. Even then - you still must babysit.

If you do work that requires brains (such as masonry and hardscape construction) - you need employees with brains. If you do work that requires little skill and little smarts - you need employees with little smarts.


Those whom are fortunate to employ hardworking Americans - it may not be for another 5 years, but your day is coming, they'll be a thing of the past :) :)


,

That is why I said pay by the job.:hammerhead:
There is a universal language called M-O-N-E-Y. It doesn't matter if you're Mexican, American, European, Canadian, Black, White, Purple, Red, or Yella'
You give the allowed time and they'll figure out real quick if they do it right in a timely manor they get paid, if they do it chitty or take to long they get docked.
MONEY SPEAKS THE LANGUAGE OF PRODUCTIVITY, PERIOD.

Besides if you wanna keep workers on that can't tell the difference between their arse and a hole in the ground, that's all you.
For the guys on here who have good workers, we treat them right because we know how valuable they are, and send the idiots on their way.

This is common sense............

DVS Hardscaper
07-23-2009, 10:07 PM
Hmm......computer connection issue

DVS Hardscaper
07-23-2009, 10:11 PM
That is why I said pay by the job.:hammerhead:
There is a universal language called M-O-N-E-Y. It doesn't matter if you're Mexican, American, European, Canadian, Black, White, Purple, Red, or Yella'
You give the allowed time and they'll figure out real quick if they do it right in a timely manor they get paid, if they do it chitty or take to long they get docked.
MONEY SPEAKS THE LANGUAGE OF PRODUCTIVITY, PERIOD.

Besides if you wanna keep workers on that can't tell the difference between their arse and a hole in the ground, that's all you.
For the guys on here who have good workers, we treat them right because we know how valuable they are, and send the idiots on their way.

This is common sense............


If "paying by the job" in the construction industry was such a fantastic idea, then all of America would have long been doing so.

Piece work? Different story. Thats a very common practice.

Paying by the job in this industry could be controversal. One would need a fair scale to base pay on. Last month here it rained all month. We had about an additional 6 man hours in cleaning up mud from the street each day. Thats not a common happening. So if I priced the job to pay each worker $1000.00 and then I told them they also have to clean mud every day - that would not go over too well.

On the other hand, I know of a trucking company that pays their drivers per run. they deliver to retail stores. Each store has a set amount that the driver is paid. But - the scale is derived from some national map & timing system created for the trucking industry.

Most auto mechanics are paid flat rate. Which is essentially by the job. But they're not dealing with pushing a loaded wheel burrow on 105 degree days, or carrying 70 pound block through mud because it's too wet to even get a CTL in there. Worst case for a mechanic is they deal with broken, rusty bolts and rust falling in their face, but they can see that when they quote the customer a price. When I bid a job in April, I don't know what the weather will do in July when we actually do the work.

I believe most level headed contractors employ "good workers". But I seldom like to refer to my guys as "workers". That's kinda demeaning. I think of people that clean the NFL stadium bathrooms as "workers". Most decent, competent contractors employ folk with broader skills and knowledge.

Reality is the hardscape industry is competitive, and it getting more and more competitive all the time. There is only so much money we ("we", as in the industry as a whole) can pay our employees because job pricing is at pre-2005 rates. I think all employers want to pay their employees top dollar and all do they best they can to do so. But as long as sub par contractors are taking short cuts on materials and construction standards (which is becoming more and more previlant) - employers are limited as to what they can pay.

It's not often you see Harvard graduates stacking block and digging trenches. A blue collar company will always have employees make silly mistakes. If they were above the making mistake stage - then they would not be *EMPLOYEES*. They WOULD be *BUSINESS OWNERS*....aka - our COMPETITION.

CALandscapes
07-23-2009, 11:35 PM
If "paying by the job" in the construction industry was such a fantastic idea, then all of America would have long been doing so.

Piece work? Different story. Thats a very common practice.

Paying by the job in this industry could be controversal. One would need a fair scale to base pay on. Last month here it rained all month. We had about an additional 6 man hours in cleaning up mud from the street each day. Thats not a common happening. So if I priced the job to pay each worker $1000.00 and then I told them they also have to clean mud every day - that would not go over too well.

On the other hand, I know of a trucking company that pays their drivers per run. they deliver to retail stores. Each store has a set amount that the driver is paid. But - the scale is derived from some national map & timing system created for the trucking industry.

Most auto mechanics are paid flat rate. Which is essentially by the job. But they're not dealing with pushing a loaded wheel burrow on 105 degree days, or carrying 70 pound block through mud because it's too wet to even get a CTL in there. Worst case for a mechanic is they deal with broken, rusty bolts and rust falling in their face, but they can see that when they quote the customer a price. When I bid a job in April, I don't know what the weather will do in July when we actually do the work.

I believe most level headed contractors employ "good workers". But I seldom like to refer to my guys as "workers". That's kinda demeaning. I think of people that clean the NFL stadium bathrooms as "workers". Most decent, competent contractors employ folk with broader skills and knowledge.

Reality is the hardscape industry is competitive, and it getting more and more competitive all the time. There is only so much money we ("we", as in the industry as a whole) can pay our employees because job pricing is at pre-2005 rates. I think all employers want to pay their employees top dollar and all do they best they can to do so. But as long as sub par contractors are taking short cuts on materials and construction standards (which is becoming more and more previlant) - employers are limited as to what they can pay.

It's not often you see Harvard graduates stacking block and digging trenches. A blue collar company will always have employees make silly mistakes. If they were above the making mistake stage - then they would not be *EMPLOYEES*. They WOULD be *BUSINESS OWNERS*....aka - our COMPETITION.

Very well said DVS...

Chilehead
07-24-2009, 12:27 AM
I had to fire a guy (American) just 2 weeks ago for not showing up for work due to drug use. Five weeks before that, the fellow I had quit. He couldn't take the work load. most of my work (70%) is grounds maintenance. It really isn't hard work--it's busy work. Once you know a property, you do it several times, and it's like no sweat. I was paying hourly with commissions. Yeah, commissions. Five percent of gross. You bring me a $6500.00 hardscape job, you get $325.00 just for sending it my way PLUS all the extra hours you want to work on it. I also pay weekly. Someone just starting out in this biz could be grossing $725.00 a week salary FULL-TIME, YEAR ROUND working for me. On top of that I offer a 100% company funded pension plan (Google search SEPP) for those who stay for at least one year. This is in addition to any other bonuses (i.e. Christmas, positive customer comments, etc.). I guess making $45,000.00 a year salary with no experience necessary is too much to ask of people. Those who are unemployed around here deserve to be with guys like me offering college-level salaries to start.

Mid-Ohio Scaper
07-25-2009, 02:53 AM
If "paying by the job" in the construction industry was such a fantastic idea, then all of America would have long been doing so.

Piece work? Different story. Thats a very common practice.

Paying by the job in this industry could be controversal. One would need a fair scale to base pay on. Last month here it rained all month. We had about an additional 6 man hours in cleaning up mud from the street each day. Thats not a common happening. So if I priced the job to pay each worker $1000.00 and then I told them they also have to clean mud every day - that would not go over too well.

On the other hand, I know of a trucking company that pays their drivers per run. they deliver to retail stores. Each store has a set amount that the driver is paid. But - the scale is derived from some national map & timing system created for the trucking industry.

Most auto mechanics are paid flat rate. Which is essentially by the job. But they're not dealing with pushing a loaded wheel burrow on 105 degree days, or carrying 70 pound block through mud because it's too wet to even get a CTL in there. Worst case for a mechanic is they deal with broken, rusty bolts and rust falling in their face, but they can see that when they quote the customer a price. When I bid a job in April, I don't know what the weather will do in July when we actually do the work.

I believe most level headed contractors employ "good workers". But I seldom like to refer to my guys as "workers". That's kinda demeaning. I think of people that clean the NFL stadium bathrooms as "workers". Most decent, competent contractors employ folk with broader skills and knowledge.

Reality is the hardscape industry is competitive, and it getting more and more competitive all the time. There is only so much money we ("we", as in the industry as a whole) can pay our employees because job pricing is at pre-2005 rates. I think all employers want to pay their employees top dollar and all do they best they can to do so. But as long as sub par contractors are taking short cuts on materials and construction standards (which is becoming more and more previlant) - employers are limited as to what they can pay.

It's not often you see Harvard graduates stacking block and digging trenches. A blue collar company will always have employees make silly mistakes. If they were above the making mistake stage - then they would not be *EMPLOYEES*. They WOULD be *BUSINESS OWNERS*....aka - our COMPETITION.


What is so controversial about paying by the job? Don't you get payed by the job? Or do your clients pay you by the hour?

What's the difference between you getting payed by the job and your employees getting payed by the job? All of the variables (weather and what not) effect you just as much as it would effect them.

Please, if you wont refer to your own guys as workers because it's demeaning, why would you refer to anybody as workers? Are you saying that the guy who started out cleaning bathrooms and ended up starting his own cleaning company has no skills or knowledge?

You know what, I've never seen a Harvard gradate stack block:dizzy:
And I'm not saying anyone is above making mistakes, but to make excuses is ridiculous. Do you not want to streamline your company to run like a well oiled machine turning out quality product after quality product? You can blame it on other shotty contractors all day. But the fact remains, if your product is superior it will sell it's self, and you can charge accordingly and be able to pay your crew what they're worth. Take care of your crew and make them think like business owners, because if they're thinking like you they have your best interest in mind. I practice this within my company.

Again this is common sense..........

DVS Hardscaper
07-25-2009, 09:30 AM
Holy Cow, Mid-Ohio - are you always negative?

Seems you're always lookin for an argument. C'mon now, life ain't all that bad :)

Mid-Ohio Scaper
07-25-2009, 12:24 PM
Holy Cow, Mid-Ohio - are you always negative?

Seems you're always lookin for an argument. C'mon now, life ain't all that bad :)

Life isn't bad, life is great.
All I did was ask a few questions about the points you had made. I mean what's wrong with looking at things differently? Outside the box if you will.

Not looking for an argument, just trying to present a different view to a problem that some contractors have.
I practice this method of payment within my company and it works very well for production and quality. So I presented this to the person who started the thread, then you get the know-it-all's who come in and dismiss it with having never tried it.

pjonesco
07-26-2009, 12:40 AM
Too bad this forum doesn't have interacive voice. I think we could talk about this issue for an hour.

Lets see, Where to start?

Hardscape construction is not rocket science - yet it's a craft. So many details: the work needs to be perfect. If it's not - the client will make you re-do it. The work is usually priced based on estimated production hrs. If you forget something back at the shop / yard - goodbye profit.

There are some here that are fortunate to have some terrific employees. When I first got into hardscapes I had all Americans. They were all hard workers, not afraid to get dirty, they were intelligent, and reliable. I also paid them very well.

Well, time changed. The Americans stopped calling asking if we were hiring. I hired immigrants. Great people. Hard workers. Very respecful towards me. Yet - they have no comprehension of production hrs. They have no comprehension of using materials wisely and creating as little waste as possible.

I'm a grown adult that babysits other grown adults for a living. Thats what I do.

I have a guy thats worked for me for 5 years. All our jobs are residential, and thats how it's always been. Almost all our jobs have asphalt driveways. So today I'm in the truck on the phone and I turned around to look at something as I was hanging up. We had a load of CR8 dumped at the bottom of the driveway. Out of the corner of my eye I see my guy take the skid steer bucket, put the edge against the asphalt and push the think layer of CR8! Which in turn......scratches the driveway! Guaranteed everytime! So I go over to tell him to please not do that. I then see not only did he use the bucket to clean the driveway, but he turned the skidsteer over a layer of gravel on the asphalt, which again - scratched the driveway! I was furious, but I kept it contained. I nicely looked him in the eyes and said "you know better than this, please do not ever do this again, use a shovel and a broom". As I walked away I thought to myself "I'm getting too old for this babysitting, is this really worth it?"

You have to motivate employees with positive enforcement. Negative enforcement will NEVER work. They need incentives and they need bonuses. And they need accountability. Even then - you still must babysit.

If you do work that requires brains (such as masonry and hardscape construction) - you need employees with brains. If you do work that requires little skill and little smarts - you need employees with little smarts.


Those whom are fortunate to employ hardworking Americans - it may not be for another 5 years, but your day is coming, they'll be a thing of the past :) :)


,

I don't think ETW babysits. Hiring the right people is the key. Anything you can do, there is some one else out there that can do it as well. It also not true, that if they can do equally as well as you then they will be/are business owners. Some people can't manage there finances, don't have the balls to step out there make it on there own, or don't want to deal with the paperwork/stress/hours of running a business... that is why they make great employees. I struggled/struggle with delegating crews, but the only one you can point the finger at is the one in the mirror.

I agree with you on the hourly rate. I do not know of any company that pays by the job unless they are subcontracting... not saying that we should not be open for new ideas though. I pay my guys hourly, but if I need a project done in a certain time frame, I offer a bonus if it completed in my time frame.

zedosix
07-26-2009, 08:15 AM
I pay by the hour since they are my employees and its my equipment. When you pay by the job, your guys will want to get out asap. Typically means the quality is not as good, things become rushed and mistakes are made. If I were to pay my guys by the job I would also expect them to warranty the job on their own time as well.

ford550
07-26-2009, 08:31 AM
I think all business owners in this industry (and others) have the same problem. I have great employees, all of which have been with me for more than 3 years and more, but even they need to be managed (not babysit) sometimes. It's just part of the business. Managing people is the key to the puzzle. Just because you're a great business owner doesn't mean you can manage people. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, that's why you hire other people with better skills in certain areas than you.

What I can't figure out is why some of you suggest that giving bonuses etc. for competing work on time is the key. IT'S THEIR JOB to complete work on time! That's what they get paid to do, complete jobs with precise quality on time. I am not saying I don't give bonuses and incentives, but its for performance over time, not for completing a job on time. With that being said, I offer on every job a under budget, under projected hours bonuses based on that, but that's different than just giving them bonuses for finishing work on time. That's why you pay them to begin with.

zedosix
07-26-2009, 08:47 AM
With that being said, I offer on every job a under budget, under projected hours bonuses based on that, but that's different than just giving them bonuses for finishing work on time. That's why you pay them to begin with.

What do you do when they take longer than projected?

PatriotLandscape
07-26-2009, 09:11 AM
They need incentives and they need bonuses. And they need accountability. Even then - you still must babysit.

,

This is very true. I personally always fall short. I don't give them enough accountability and in turn don't give out praise/bonuses. I am against incentives on most levels because then they will just come to expect them every time they do anything good. Recently I have let the company know when a crew is running good and bad so that they know I am watching. Still trying to figure out how to make them fully accountable to the profit of a job.

Mid-Ohio Scaper
07-26-2009, 11:09 AM
I pay by the hour since they are my employees and its my equipment. When you pay by the job, your guys will want to get out asap. Typically means the quality is not as good, things become rushed and mistakes are made. If I were to pay my guys by the job I would also expect them to warranty the job on their own time as well.

I do expect them to warranty the job on their own time. I look at it like my employees are like a group of me out there doing jobs, little business owners if you will. Doing the job right, and doing it right the first time ensures a happy customer and overall a very low number of call backs for warranty work. Which they do have to go back and fix on their dime. Just the same as I would have to. Which is why things are not rushed, quality is not compromised and the customer is always very pleased.

DVS Hardscaper
07-26-2009, 11:41 AM
Ever sinve the beginning of time sometimes man makes life more difficult than need be.


Next, the problem with paying by the job is:

a) If an employee quits, gets injured, is in jail, gets fired. Next thing you know you're arguing back and forth about the compensation for the work the employee did perform. The employer will always feel he/she owes less, thus opening the possibility of a lawsuit. With paying them hourly or peice work - there is no way there can be any discrepencies. Worked 40 hrs - they get paid for 40 hrs. If they layed 55 block - they get paid for laying 55 block.

b) Too many other logistics. They're digging a trench and hit rock. Employer doesn't want to spend money and rent a machine to rip through the rock. Now, we have employees with LOW MORALE because they had to spend 3 hrs breaking out rock by hand. Endless possibilities of what could go wrong.

To agree with Zedo, another point is trash collectors are paid per stop. The quicker they get the work done - the sooner they go home. Have you ever seen how a trash truck driver drives the truck? Pulling the parking break before the truck is even stopped, getting back in and stomping down on the throttle and racing to the next house 21 yards away. To each his own, but I'd rather my guys not feel rushed.

The faces of the American workforce are changing. There are still regions where employers can find some of the best people out there.

Mid-Ohio Scaper
07-26-2009, 11:51 AM
Ever sinve the beginning of time sometimes man makes life more difficult than need be.


Next, the problem with paying by the job is:

a) If an employee quits, gets injured, is in jail, gets fired. Next thing you know you're arguing back and forth about the compensation for the work the employee did perform. The employer will always feel he/she owes less, thus opening the possibility of a lawsuit. With paying them hourly or peice work - there is no way there can be any discrepencies. Worked 40 hrs - they get paid for 40 hrs. If they layed 55 block - they get paid for laying 55 block.

b) Too many other logistics. They're digging a trench and hit rock. Employer doesn't want to spend money and rent a machine to rip through the rock. Now, we have employees with LOW MORALE because they had to spend 3 hrs breaking out rock by hand. Endless possibilities of what could go wrong.

To agree with Zedo, another point is trash collectors are paid per stop. The quicker they get the work done - the sooner they go home. Have you ever seen how a trash truck driver drives the truck? Pulling the parking break before the truck is even stopped, getting back in and stomping down on the throttle and racing to the next house 21 yards away. To each his own, but I'd rather my guys not feel rushed.

The faces of the American workforce are changing. There are still regions where employers can find some of the best people out there.

It looks like you've got life all figured out...................

DVS Hardscaper
07-26-2009, 11:51 AM
I do expect them to warranty the job on their own time. I look at it like my employees are like a group of me out there doing jobs, little business owners if you will. Doing the job right, and doing it right the first time ensures a happy customer and overall a very low number of call backs for warranty work. Which they do have to go back and fix on their dime. Just the same as I would have to. Which is why things are not rushed, quality is not compromised and the customer is always very pleased.


Again, to each his own. And there are problems with this as well. An aggregate patio base can be perfect. And it can still settle, As it's not the top of the ground that settles. Not the employee's fault. Maybe the employer should have never taken the job to begin with.

Plant 15 Pinus Strobus and you can be assured that at least 3 will die in the first year. Not an installation issue, just the nature of newly planted Pinus Strobus.

And then what does an employer do when the person(s) that did the work no longer work there and warranty work needs done?

This subject (payin per job) kinda reminds me of business owners that like to pay their employees as subs.

DVS Hardscaper
07-26-2009, 11:53 AM
It looks like you've got life all figured out...................


One doesn't become a BRONZE Member because of their handsome looks :cool2:



,

PatriotLandscape
07-26-2009, 04:10 PM
So Ohio, do you pay per job? adn if so how have you protected yourself from lawsuit for unfair labor practices?

Mid-Ohio Scaper
07-26-2009, 04:38 PM
So Ohio, do you pay per job? adn if so how have you protected yourself from lawsuit for unfair labor practices?

Yes, and you'll have to clarify "unfair labor practices"

Lite4
07-26-2009, 05:23 PM
When I was landscaping years ago I ran three 5 man construction crews. We experienced many of the same things any employer does in regards to job performance among employees. Our solution was to take a trick from the old military books. I let the teams give themselves names, which were then written on the office job board that they saw every morning. Essentially what I tried to do was set up an atmosphere of friendly competition between the crews. They competed in the following catagories, Catagory 1, Most dollars generated this week from completed or in progress projects (in progress funds based on percentage of total project completed,) (overtime was represented as negative dollars and took away from their final sales tally.) Catagory 2, Amount of re-work necessary after quality control checks on final walk through by supervisor, (any hours used here were subtracted from total weekly sales tally). Catagory 3, Warranty call backs, (as associated to each team from previous work in the past) If one team had to correct another teams work under warranty, the hourly dollar value was subtracted from the offending team and (credited to the team doing the repair), even though there were no real funds made, it still gave the incentive of doing the work right., Catagory 4, Broken/ lost tools- (cost of new tools subtracted from their sales balance. Catagory 5, Finish under time- (cost savings amount credited to their weekly sales figuires). The team with the highest sales figuires at the end of the week would get gift certificates to the place of their choosing. Gift certificate amounts would be based on the total sales volume level they reached for that week. 20k = 20 dollars, 50k = 50 dollars each, etc.. This worked pretty well and we got some good friendly competition going between the teams and best of all we saw the guys quality of work go way up and if someone was dogging it a bit, the other team members would ride him hard to get back to work so as not to drag the team down. This is just what we did, may not work for every model though.

Mid-Ohio Scaper
07-26-2009, 05:40 PM
When I was landscaping years ago I ran three 5 man construction crews. We experienced many of the same things any employer does in regards to job performance among employees. Our solution was to take a trick from the old military books. I let the teams give themselves names, which were then written on the office job board that they saw every morning. Essentially what I tried to do was set up an atmosphere of friendly competition between the crews. They competed in the following catagories, Catagory 1, Most dollars generated this week from completed or in progress projects (in progress funds based on percentage of total project completed,) (overtime was represented as negative dollars and took away from their final sales tally.) Catagory 2, Amount of re-work necessary after quality control checks on final walk through by supervisor, (any hours used here were subtracted from total weekly sales tally). Catagory 3, Warranty call backs, (as associated to each team from previous work in the past) If one team had to correct another teams work under warranty, the hourly dollar value was subtracted from the offending team and (credited to the team doing the repair), even though there were no real funds made, it still gave the incentive of doing the work right., Catagory 4, Broken/ lost tools- (cost of new tools subtracted from their sales balance. Catagory 5, Finish under time- (cost savings amount credited to their weekly sales figuires). The team with the highest sales figuires at the end of the week would get gift certificates to the place of their choosing. Gift certificate amounts would be based on the total sales volume level they reached for that week. 20k = 20 dollars, 50k = 50 dollars each, etc.. This worked pretty well and we got some good friendly competition going between the teams and best of all we saw the guys quality of work go way up and if someone was dogging it a bit, the other team members would ride him hard to get back to work so as not to drag the team down. This is just what we did, may not work for every model though.

This is something I could get behind!!! Great idea.

vtscaper
07-26-2009, 10:53 PM
When I was landscaping years ago I ran three 5 man construction crews. We experienced many of the same things any employer does in regards to job performance among employees. Our solution was to take a trick from the old military books. I let the teams give themselves names, which were then written on the office job board that they saw every morning. Essentially what I tried to do was set up an atmosphere of friendly competition between the crews. They competed in the following catagories, Catagory 1, Most dollars generated this week from completed or in progress projects (in progress funds based on percentage of total project completed,) (overtime was represented as negative dollars and took away from their final sales tally.) Catagory 2, Amount of re-work necessary after quality control checks on final walk through by supervisor, (any hours used here were subtracted from total weekly sales tally). Catagory 3, Warranty call backs, (as associated to each team from previous work in the past) If one team had to correct another teams work under warranty, the hourly dollar value was subtracted from the offending team and (credited to the team doing the repair), even though there were no real funds made, it still gave the incentive of doing the work right., Catagory 4, Broken/ lost tools- (cost of new tools subtracted from their sales balance. Catagory 5, Finish under time- (cost savings amount credited to their weekly sales figuires). The team with the highest sales figuires at the end of the week would get gift certificates to the place of their choosing. Gift certificate amounts would be based on the total sales volume level they reached for that week. 20k = 20 dollars, 50k = 50 dollars each, etc.. This worked pretty well and we got some good friendly competition going between the teams and best of all we saw the guys quality of work go way up and if someone was dogging it a bit, the other team members would ride him hard to get back to work so as not to drag the team down. This is just what we did, may not work for every model though.

Boy, sounds like an awful lot to keep track of along with everything else every week.

Back to the original post. Striking the perfect relationship between quality and efficiency is probably the most important thing you do as a manager. Simply put if jobs arent getting done right than there needs to be more training and or supervision and if jobs arent getting done fast enough well than there needs to be more training and or supervision. The question I ask myself is have I given my guys the tools and direction necessary to get the job done right and on time? If I can truly answer yes than its time for a huddle to get some answers. Whatever I hear from the guys as to why they havent been able get things done properly (equipment issues, shitty materials whatever), I correct. After that I will expect (as always) that things will be done tip top and within the alloted time frame. This process is how most of us contractors have learned, improved and grown our businesses. All the other stuff (too hungover, fighting with my girl, bad attitude) I just don't put up with.

Any one is replaceable and like someone else on this thread said "get rid of your bad employees". If you have to get rid of all of them over time and bring up a new team.

Rex Mann
07-26-2009, 11:01 PM
I travel the country teaching ICPI classes in my spare time. Last year I taught 14 of them. From Cherry Hill, N.J. to San Jose, CA. Each year more and more companies have changed to either piece rate or paying by the job. I see it as a going trend in the paver/hardscape industry. Each has it's own benefits and drawbacks, which each owner has to weigh and decide if it will work for their business model.

If you are paying piece rate or by-the-job you still need to keep tract of hours. You always have to make sure the installers are not falling under the minimum wage rate.

Here in Phoenix, the average rate paid to paver subs is right around $1.00 a square foot, which is labor only and does not include any base installation. Does not matter if it is a 5000 sf driveway, 500 sf patio or a 1000 sf pool deck with coping it all pays the same here in Phoenix and many other parts of the country. Thoughts on that is, "it all averages out in the end".

Remember, not all businesses in the same industry are run the same. look at the automobile companies.

Peace,

Rex

http://PaversInstalled.Com

Follow us on Twitter @ PaversInstalled

ford550
07-27-2009, 06:54 AM
When I was landscaping years ago I ran three 5 man construction crews. We experienced many of the same things any employer does in regards to job performance among employees. Our solution was to take a trick from the old military books. I let the teams give themselves names, which were then written on the office job board that they saw every morning. Essentially what I tried to do was set up an atmosphere of friendly competition between the crews. They competed in the following catagories, Catagory 1, Most dollars generated this week from completed or in progress projects (in progress funds based on percentage of total project completed,) (overtime was represented as negative dollars and took away from their final sales tally.) Catagory 2, Amount of re-work necessary after quality control checks on final walk through by supervisor, (any hours used here were subtracted from total weekly sales tally). Catagory 3, Warranty call backs, (as associated to each team from previous work in the past) If one team had to correct another teams work under warranty, the hourly dollar value was subtracted from the offending team and (credited to the team doing the repair), even though there were no real funds made, it still gave the incentive of doing the work right., Catagory 4, Broken/ lost tools- (cost of new tools subtracted from their sales balance. Catagory 5, Finish under time- (cost savings amount credited to their weekly sales figuires). The team with the highest sales figuires at the end of the week would get gift certificates to the place of their choosing. Gift certificate amounts would be based on the total sales volume level they reached for that week. 20k = 20 dollars, 50k = 50 dollars each, etc.. This worked pretty well and we got some good friendly competition going between the teams and best of all we saw the guys quality of work go way up and if someone was dogging it a bit, the other team members would ride him hard to get back to work so as not to drag the team down. This is just what we did, may not work for every model though.
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We do something close to same thing. It works very well for us too. Very nice Tim.