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View Full Version : I have many questons for those with several employees who show up at your shop daily.


Az Gardener
08-12-2010, 12:07 AM
I have 9 guys now and I will probably have double that before I outgrow this new building I'm moving into. My guys work 4-10's and in this AZ heat you know its no picnic. So I do what I can to provide the best working environment I can. Obviously that is mostly field related as that is where they are most of the day.

We use an office more than most

We have weekly meetings with the whole company
We have educational classes
We do much more paperwork than most companies to track stuff so the foremen usually spend at least 10-15 min after work talking, making lists for the next day or week.
Some guys carpool and end up waiting for rides/passengers
My hiring process is lengthy and involved so I want a environment that makes the candidate want this job more than any other
We review and update our operation manual each winter, more meeting time.


I had originally planned to add a bigger bathroom with a couple of stalls and urinals. The cost is really getting up there and while I know it will get plenty of use but is it really my responsibility? For the cost of this bathroom I could AC and put RV toilets in all my trailers. Now I have camp Dunne's in the trailers but the single stall at the office always seems to be in use in the morning and someone is always waiting.

I also want to create a vibe for prospective employees that make them excited about coming to work with us. So what can I do in the office to make it cool? Ok maybe somewhere they don't dread coming into.

What do you regret about your office or what would you do differently?

Please give me a little background if you respond how many employees etc.
Also if you are an employee of a bigger company give me the good bad and ugly of your office.

fivestarlandscapes
08-12-2010, 12:33 AM
I used to work for a big commerical landscape company and they has a beautiful office. They has two bathrooms, a refrigerator always stocked, and snacks. They had mailboxes for the employees and really nice desks and tables. The thing was, this office was for owners, managers and foreman only. No laborers allowed, not even to use the bathroom (they had a portapotty out near the trucks). This made the forman happy and it made laborers want to be foreman. I was really impressed when I applyed to that company because of the office. I wanted to work there. I was hired as a foreman, but if i wasnt i would want to stive to be one just for that reason (the office). But after two years, I discovered why they had such nice facilities (they didnt pay s***)

ajslands
08-12-2010, 12:36 AM
Maybe have like a small kitchen for you and your secertary and other workers that are at the office all the time. And I would say a unisex bathroom in your office, and then a few in the garage. Also you talk about having meetings once a week; maybe a confrence room. do you do any plowing at all?
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Az Gardener
08-12-2010, 12:56 AM
Yes I have a small kitchenette and a big meeting room planned. The only thing to plow in Phx is the BS everyone spreads.

ajslands
08-12-2010, 12:57 AM
What about mt. Lemon and all those other mountains, I'm sure people want their driveways cleared!
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Lawn Enforcer
08-12-2010, 10:26 AM
I have 9 guys now and I will probably have double that before I outgrow this new building I'm moving into. My guys work 4-10's and in this AZ heat you know its no picnic. So I do what I can to provide the best working environment I can. Obviously that is mostly field related as that is where they are most of the day.

We use an office more than most

We have weekly meetings with the whole company
We have educational classes
We do much more paperwork than most companies to track stuff so the foremen usually spend at least 10-15 min after work talking, making lists for the next day or week.
Some guys carpool and end up waiting for rides/passengers
My hiring process is lengthy and involved so I want a environment that makes the candidate want this job more than any other
We review and update our operation manual each winter, more meeting time.


I had originally planned to add a bigger bathroom with a couple of stalls and urinals. The cost is really getting up there and while I know it will get plenty of use but is it really my responsibility? For the cost of this bathroom I could AC and put RV toilets in all my trailers. Now I have camp Dunne's in the trailers but the single stall at the office always seems to be in use in the morning and someone is always waiting.

I also want to create a vibe for prospective employees that make them excited about coming to work with us. So what can I do in the office to make it cool? Ok maybe somewhere they don't dread coming into.

What do you regret about your office or what would you do differently?

Please give me a little background if you respond how many employees etc.
Also if you are an employee of a bigger company give me the good bad and ugly of your office.

I run a small company with my dad (sometimes I have an extra person in case I get behind) but I always have the fridge stocked with gatorade, pop, water, and of course beer. I bought some nice office chairs at a garage sale and at the end of the day you can relax a bit with something cool to drink. Plus if a customer or friend stops by you can always offer them something!

grassman177
08-12-2010, 06:49 PM
i love the guy who mentioned plowing for AZ, hahahaahha

we have one stall and one urinal, with 7 guys sho9wing up to work every day including us crew leaders. no one is ever waiting to use the restroom and it is not that big of a deal. we used to provide a small refridgerator but it was never kept clean and folks would leave gross stuff in it so it was removed . sure systems could be put in place to cover that issue but it was not really worth it.

i dont evny you at all, i was in pheonix in feb and it wa in the 70s, cant imagine working in the summer or how any grass is even green there in summer. here it has been in the upper 90s and 100 and despite irrigation the grass is still brown.

93Chevy
08-12-2010, 07:59 PM
Also if you are an employee of a bigger company give me the good bad and ugly of your office.

I currently work for a guy with currently 3 full time employees (two guys and myself) and 2 guys that come in when they feel like it (if they're not working for cash or high).

My responsibilities:
1. Full time grass cutter. If it's raining or the grass is burned, I'm generally on the landscape crew helping out in order to get my 40.
2. On call. I literally live directly across the street from his shop. If he needs me to check something, grab a truck, etc, he gives me a call.

Pros:
1. The pay is well.
2. I have been getting 40+ hours until the dry spell recently.
3. He has no problems with my running a part time business. We both market to different customers.
4. I feel needed and respected.

Cons:
1. No more responsibility is in the future.
2. He does not delegate. Cannot let go. No paperwork for foreman, and we don't know what's going on until after the day's over.
3. No benefits possible.
4. He does not provide a sense of camaraderie. As employees, we form our own friendships with no leading from him.
5. Plays favorites.
6. Poor management. Does not the the steps to prevent problems or to fix problems before they get out of hand.

What I would like to see:
1. Allow the grass foreman to plan the routes, fill out paperwork, etc.
2. Company lunch, cookout, or whatever else. Something on his end to bring us together.
3. Drinks provided (not an overabundance)
4. As wages increase, so does responsibility.


Sorry for the long post. I will not be returning to his company next year. I would love to work for you, you seem to have excellent business sense and value your employees.
Sorry for the long post.

Az Gardener
08-13-2010, 12:10 AM
I currently work for a guy with currently 3 full time employees (two guys and myself) and 2 guys that come in when they feel like it (if they're not working for cash or high).

My responsibilities:
1. Full time grass cutter. If it's raining or the grass is burned, I'm generally on the landscape crew helping out in order to get my 40.
2. On call. I literally live directly across the street from his shop. If he needs me to check something, grab a truck, etc, he gives me a call.

Pros:
1. The pay is well.
2. I have been getting 40+ hours until the dry spell recently.
3. He has no problems with my running a part time business. We both market to different customers.
4. I feel needed and respected.

Cons:
1. No more responsibility is in the future.
2. He does not delegate. Cannot let go. No paperwork for foreman, and we don't know what's going on until after the day's over.
3. No benefits possible.
4. He does not provide a sense of camaraderie. As employees, we form our own friendships with no leading from him.
5. Plays favorites.
6. Poor management. Does not the the steps to prevent problems or to fix problems before they get out of hand.

What I would like to see:
1. Allow the grass foreman to plan the routes, fill out paperwork, etc.
2. Company lunch, cookout, or whatever else. Something on his end to bring us together.
3. Drinks provided (not an overabundance)
4. As wages increase, so does responsibility.


Sorry for the long post. I will not be returning to his company next year. I would love to work for you, you seem to have excellent business sense and value your employees.
Sorry for the long post.

Are you a Steeler fan?

ajslands
08-13-2010, 01:00 AM
i love the guy who mentioned plowing for AZ, hahahaahha

we have one stall and one urinal, with 7 guys sho9wing up to work every day including us crew leaders. no one is ever waiting to use the restroom and it is not that big of a deal. we used to provide a small refridgerator but it was never kept clean and folks would leave gross stuff in it so it was removed . sure systems could be put in place to cover that issue but it was not really worth it.

i dont evny you at all, i was in pheonix in feb and it wa in the 70s, cant imagine working in the summer or how any grass is even green there in summer. here it has been in the upper 90s and 100 and despite irrigation the grass is still brown.



Dood! I'm telling you! It snows in Arizona! I've seen it! You can ski there too!
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shooterm
08-13-2010, 04:57 AM
I used to work for a big commerical landscape company and they has a beautiful office. They has two bathrooms, a refrigerator always stocked, and snacks. They had mailboxes for the employees and really nice desks and tables. The thing was, this office was for owners, managers and foreman only. No laborers allowed, not even to use the bathroom (they had a portapotty out near the trucks). This made the forman happy and it made laborers want to be foreman. I was really impressed when I applyed to that company because of the office. I wanted to work there. I was hired as a foreman, but if i wasnt i would want to stive to be one just for that reason (the office). But after two years, I discovered why they had such nice facilities (they didnt pay s***)

This must of been run by some ex military tard.

93Chevy
08-13-2010, 07:41 AM
Are you a Steeler fan?

Heck yeah! Never been to a game though.

MarcSmith
08-13-2010, 08:17 AM
Dood! I'm telling you! It snows in Arizona! I've seen it! You can ski there too!
Posted via Mobile Device flagstaff and maybe sedona...but not any further south.. I was in flagstaff 2 years ago for Christmas and we got like 18 inches overnight... but nothing in phoenix and a dusting in sedona.. the place i was staying at had snow blowers on the walker mowers

ShooterK2
08-13-2010, 09:01 AM
WHAT!!?? I was planning to ski at one of those high-class Phoenix ski resorts on my next vacation!! LOL. I agree, though, that Flagstaff does get snow. I was out there 3 years ago at Christmas, and they had a good snow on the ground. Sixties and sunny in Phoenix that day, however.

Texas Lawn
08-13-2010, 09:37 AM
I had a break room with a tv. It was nice after they got done to be able to relax and watch a game or show if they wanted. Although be smart like I did and let them know when the work is done, so is their pay check. This way they can relax but your not paying for it. Then it allows managers and foreman to leave at the same time as team members, which the team members liked.

Turfdude
08-14-2010, 02:55 PM
AZ Gardner,

We're down to 9 employees as we've had a hotter & drier than normal summer. My shop is 40'X60' fully ADA complete w/ 1 unisex bath (& handicap shower-ADA). The bathroom is accessible from my office & the shop. True some mornings there may be >1 employee in need to "go", but its usually not that long a wait.

'93 Chevy, - if you were in my area - I'd probably hire you on and if you work the way you talk, you'd be running a mtc crew for me. Sit down with your current boss, have a talk w/ him to see where he wants his company to be in the future. I used to believe I had to do everything & have a hold of the reigns at all times. I would love it if some guys would take more responsibility as they would get more hours (= more$) and if I found them really taking pride in their work & properly managing teir crrews, my job would be easier, their crew would run more smoothly, i'd generate more income and they'd be rewarded (eg pay raise = more$) LEt your boss know that you understand the big picture and want to help the company grow... hecan focus more on the landscape end, sales end, and work more "on" his business.

How it really is - each crew really only cares about "what do I (ME?MY CREW) have to do today".... the other crew is blah,blah, blah. Screw that crew, I'm not helping him, them. Unfortunately they do not get the big picture that the workload is that of the company and that on any given day a problem or situation may arise calling for more time and that they should help one another (hence all getting close to the same hours) - sorry never happens. Many days I am in the field, get back to an empty parking lot because everyone else has NOT even bothered to check w/ me to see if we needed help (or what other tasks may need to be done). The sad point is there is not a lot of good communication bwtween the crews, they all worry too much about what each other is doing and forget how much more I do for them (briefly - pd sick, vacation, holiday, health care contribution, get ICE for their coolers Daily, make sure we always have work available, equipment and trucks always maintained). Again sad part - if I fire them, I get someone else's throw-aways. I am very close w/ a lot ofmy competitors & have been for over 20 years w/ a few. The guys I'm speaking of are generally in their 30's, some in their 20's... I truely believe its all in how child rearing has changed and its not getting any better. My children are growing up in the "entitlments" era - they believe that at certain ages/stages in life that they're entitled to a cell phone, computer, i-pod, etc - w/out working for it. I know I sound like I'm an old fart, but will be a young 44 later this month. I challenge someone to prove me wrong - if so you have a job.

Sweet Tater
08-14-2010, 03:59 PM
I currently work for a guy with currently 3 full time employees (two guys and myself) and 2 guys that come in when they feel like it (if they're not working for cash or high).

My responsibilities:
1. Full time grass cutter. If it's raining or the grass is burned, I'm generally on the landscape crew helping out in order to get my 40.
2. On call. I literally live directly across the street from his shop. If he needs me to check something, grab a truck, etc, he gives me a call.

Pros:
1. The pay is well.
2. I have been getting 40+ hours until the dry spell recently.
3. He has no problems with my running a part time business. We both market to different customers.
4. I feel needed and respected.

Cons:
1. No more responsibility is in the future.
2. He does not delegate. Cannot let go. No paperwork for foreman, and we don't know what's going on until after the day's over.
3. No benefits possible.
4. He does not provide a sense of camaraderie. As employees, we form our own friendships with no leading from him.
5. Plays favorites.
6. Poor management. Does not the the steps to prevent problems or to fix problems before they get out of hand.

What I would like to see:
1. Allow the grass foreman to plan the routes, fill out paperwork, etc.
2. Company lunch, cookout, or whatever else. Something on his end to bring us together.
3. Drinks provided (not an overabundance)
4. As wages increase, so does responsibility.


Sorry for the long post. I will not be returning to his company next year. I would love to work for you, you seem to have excellent business sense and value your employees.
Sorry for the long post.

Timmy, I thought you and Lassie worked for yourself?? ;)

93Chevy
08-14-2010, 08:10 PM
Timmy, I thought you and Lassie worked for yourself?? ;)

"We" do, but I supplement my failing business with a "real" job. I think I may be selling off my business next year, which should land me enough cash for either a down payment, or enough "extra" cash for a rainy day, depending on how I play it.

93Chevy
08-14-2010, 08:12 PM
'93 Chevy, - if you were in my area - I'd probably hire you on and if you work the way you talk, you'd be running a mtc crew for me. Sit down with your current boss, have a talk w/ him to see where he wants his company to be in the future. I used to believe I had to do everything & have a hold of the reigns at all times. I would love it if some guys would take more responsibility as they would get more hours (= more$) and if I found them really taking pride in their work & properly managing teir crrews, my job would be easier, their crew would run more smoothly, i'd generate more income and they'd be rewarded (eg pay raise = more$) LEt your boss know that you understand the big picture and want to help the company grow... hecan focus more on the landscape end, sales end, and work more "on" his business.


Thanks man. I'll have a college degree in human resource management in January, so I think I'm going to apply around to larger companies for either a supervisory or management position. I don't know how far I'll get as I only have 3 years experience. But I'd like to save up some money and work on building a family before I maybe try my business again.