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Sean Adams
01-02-2013, 07:19 PM
If you have owned your business for a few years or even longer, you may have a situation where you have an employee who has been with you for quite some time. That employee is loyal, honest, reliable, hard-working and accountable. Obviously these are the kinds of employees everyone wants on staff, but many times business owners cannot afford to keep guys like this around.

Or can they?

Yes, money is important and I'm guessing you haven't encountered too many employees who have turned down a pay raise.

But what if paying this valuable, appreciated employee more money is just not an option right now?

There are several different, effective ways you can "compensate" this employee, show him you appreciate his work and effort, without increasing his salary.

1.) Tell him you appreciate him. Make it somewhat of a big deal. Pull him aside privately and tell him, and don't be afraid to tell him in front of others as well. Take him to lunch or give him a gift card - in this case, yes, the thought is what counts.

2.) If you feel comfortable doing so, let this employee take a company truck home with him. Yes, it will cost you a little bit of money in gas, but look on the bright side, assuming your truck is labeled properly, it is a rolling billboard for your business. And he will appreciate being able to save his own gas money getting back and forth from work.

3.) If he doesn't have a company cell phone, give him one. Allow him to use it for personal use as well so he doesn't have to incur the expense. Just make sure he understands that business time is business time and if he is called upon, he is expected to answer. Doesn't have to be the brand new version of the iPhone, just something that saves him money and fits into your cell phone plan.

4.) Give him paid days off. In some instances, depending on location and numbers of weeks worked per year, this may already be the norm. If not, a paid day off here and there is a very nice perk that can be greatly appreciated.

5.) Give him more responsibility and/or a new title. Some may think that giving someone more responsibility without increasing their pay is actually a step in the wrong direction, but you would be suprised how much more important and appreciated it can make an employee feel.

6.) Ask for his input - set aside time on a semi-regular basis to let him tell you what he likes and doesn't like - what he wants to change and how he thinks things could be done better. This again will make him feel like his opinion matters and it will be valuable insight for you.

For this blog post and more like it go HERE (http://www.lawnbusinessreport.com)

Landrus2
01-02-2013, 07:36 PM
If you have 4/5 employees and you give days off to one be ready to give days off to all or they will not get along
That goes for cell phones to.:hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead:

NC Greenscaper
01-02-2013, 07:48 PM
If you have 4/5 employees and you give days off to one be ready to give days off to all or they will not get along
That goes for cell phones to.:hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead:

I like most of these suggestions. We give all full time employees paid holidays off. I like the cell phone idea, but it would have to be given to the other employees as well. I don't like the ideal of employees driving the car home. I know others do this, but I not comfortable with this. I think all the others would ask for the same privelege. I have a friend that has a other unrelated business and his maintenance guys drive the company trucks home and I've seen his work trucks parked at a bar.

Sean Adams
01-02-2013, 07:50 PM
I would have to disagree. Employees are usually well aware of the difference between someone who is a summer employee versus a full time employee with a couple years under their belt versus an employee who has more responsibility and has been with the company for 8-10 years. If a summer-help employee has issue with a guy with a decade of loyal service under his belt getting a paid day off and a cell phone, he's delusional.

NIXRAY
01-02-2013, 08:37 PM
I'd agree with Sean, a newb saying the veteran gets to have one why can't I, would be a great time to explain to said newb that with dedaction and hard work comes benifits and let him use it has a goal
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Str8Liner
01-05-2013, 10:35 AM
Unfortunately these would seem like good ideas but in this economy, the good worker just wants the money. Any perks like a truck, phone or vacation days just make the other workers feel disrespected and that causes problems in the field. Borrowing company items leads to guys using your stuff for themselves. Believe me, I work at a big money company that uses these ideas and these are the problems they have.

Employees don't respect the equipment or the product of the work because they feel they do the ***** work and someone else gets all the credit and the money.

Guys take a van or a truck home and all you hear is how they used it for themselves or they got jobs you could have got because someone approached them and not the salesmen.

Tools get taken home and used or stolen and things just get bad and they get worse for us supervisors because of the mistrust and the bad moral.

Then rules get broken and the rule breakers don't get fired because the company can't just fire guys for every time they steal or drink or sleep, cuz then they'd have no guys to do the work.

Yea you get a paid day off let's say on 4th of July and its a Monday. But then the upper management cuts Friday off the next week to make that money back. Or maybe you get 10 paid days off for the year, but the upper management will say that the company needs 25 furrow days for the year, so what do you gain with the 10 days?

Essentially, the company gets so big that it can't afford itself and the upper crust cuts the legs from the men to keep afloat b/c they're not gonna downsize the company and lose their share just to be fair to anyone.

In the end your company gets big and its every man for himself. The company can't afford overtime or raises, they can't afford to enforce rules and can't even offer incentives that don't seem like lies.

Things aren't like they used to be... So just make your money and stay small. Invest in loaders and large equipment and sub yourself out. That seems like the only way to make honest money.

BTW I gotta get out of my job!

ELS Landscape
01-05-2013, 10:42 AM
There is a difference between reward and favorism. One works and the other creates issues. Thanks Sean

KeystoneLawn&Landscaping
01-05-2013, 12:06 PM
No matter the way each individual decides, finding ways to boost the morale of all employees goes a long way. I think a weekly "production" meeting is a good way. Maybe Friday late afternoons before quitting time. All can give any input, respectfully, about the company. . Could be complaints, ideas, etc. The owner or foreman can go over issues before they become big problems. Then once a month you order dinner into the meeting. Yes it will cost money, but the higher the morale and feeling of being part of the company goes a long way. I'm not to the point of having employees yet, but this scenario was done when I worked for a printing company that had 150 employees and it worked well. Only difference at the printing company, too large to order in lunch or dinner, so we had food days for lunch where everyone brought something for an extended lunch. Even the most negative workers will lighten up a bit. Most important of all, IMO, the owner and/or foreman need to maintain a positive attitude 99% of the time. If you are negative, the employees will be!

Turfdude
01-05-2013, 02:32 PM
I think str8liner summed up a lot of things best. That being said, I do like Sean's idea about pulling them aside and giving a gift card or something of the like. Taking company truck home is also a liability. What if there is an accident, even if your vehicle is parked (hit and run, shopping center, etc) you are out the money and you get aggravated with the employee. There is also a difference for the long-term employee who had been around 5+ years. They hopefully have more respect for thei job/career and your equipment, company, and image. That should be rewarded occasionally if a pay raise is not afforded.

grassman177
01-05-2013, 04:25 PM
there are some good points, but many of those we have tried, and it caused more issues than it helped. we have found more and more, they truly only care about the money, esp the longer they work for you. the short timers appreciate it seems more the little things, the longer term guys dont at all, and even forget what you have done for them in the past. they just want more money, cuz it advances their lives

these suggestions definitely dont always work

Will P.C.
01-06-2013, 07:43 AM
there are some good points, but many of those we have tried, and it caused more issues than it helped. we have found more and more, they truly only care about the money, esp the longer they work for you. the short timers appreciate it seems more the little things, the longer term guys dont at all, and even forget what you have done for them in the past. they just want more money, cuz it advances their lives

these suggestions definitely dont always work

Most of these things in the OP do equate to more money for the worker although indirectly which will help with retention rates. Most guys would rather stay with someone who values them, truck, cell phone, and other perks than find a new job making 4 dollars more an hour.

Seth Godin has some great books and truly out of the box thinking ideas that apply to running a business. I suggest some of you guys check him out

McFarland_Lawn_Care
01-06-2013, 01:14 PM
Lots of these suggestions are great and will work. They also can cause problems as mentioned. It ALL has to do with your employees you've chosen and how you run your business. If all your employees care about is money, then you have the wrong employees. Pure and simple. YOU have to care and have passion for your work and your employees! Then, with the right employees who ALSO have a passion for their work and care about others, these small things mentioned will really help and go a long way to showing appreciation.

Jason

ELS Landscape
01-06-2013, 01:17 PM
Most of these things in the OP do equate to more money for the worker although indirectly which will help with retention rates. Most guys would rather stay with someone who values them, truck, cell phone, and other perks than find a new job making 4 dollars more an hour.

Seth Godin has some great books and truly out of the box thinking ideas that apply to running a business. I suggest some of you guys check him out

Yes and you have to be careful with some of these as they could be considered taxable income.

Still not to bad. Back in the day when I worked for Perot Systems. He kept 10 cent soda in the machine, free coffee a nice smoking lounge on the back dock area and pretty flexible hours. At another location, the offices there was a company cafeteria. You swiped your ID card and entered the last 4 digits of your Social. You paid taxes on then 3 or 4 dollars he valued the meal.

I was in the Data center so they brought in sandwiches every Friday for free. Nothing showed up on that for taxes. The Cafeteria was pretty nice and it would have been nice to have one of those at the data center. Rarely did anything go wrong but if it did, there was no such thing as leaving during the crisis.

For that reason I do keep a shop fridge with a few sodas, bottled water and to make ice. I keep Gatorade and a some trail mix packages and some assorted breakfast cakes. I only buy so much each month so when they are gone they are gone. It is mostly just snacks for if they forget breakfast or did not pack a lunch they have something to grab for the day.

McFarland_Lawn_Care
01-06-2013, 02:03 PM
ELS - I love the small snacks rack! I get coffee most mornings for them but that little idea of just so many snack items each month is a great one. Gonna try it....there's a beer fridge but that's for our R&R day each month. =D

Jason

ELS Landscape
01-06-2013, 02:48 PM
ELS - I love the small snacks rack! I get coffee most mornings for them but that little idea of just so many snack items each month is a great one. Gonna try it....there's a beer fridge but that's for our R&R day each month. =D

Jason

I have a Sam's card and will stock up there. They have a variety pack of trail mix with something like 18 3 or 4 oz packs. They also have various snack cakes too. SAM's even carries the BIMBO brand. I will grab some orange soda as that is what they seem to like and two cases of bottled water.

I added a water filters with one of those little taps and mounted it to the shop sink. It is deep enough to hold the cooler while it fills up. They guys will grab a little ice but they do not like super cold water either, they add just enough to keep the water from getting hot.

I picked up a case of Gatorade mix at granger. They do not use it to make up a cooler full like the pack is designed to do. They cut the corner off the pack and just add a little to a bottle of water and fill it from the cooler. They said they like water in the AM and only hit the gatorade in the hot afternoons. I have not done inventory but I think I have 1/2 a case left from last summer.

I am not even sure any of my guys drink beer. I know two that do not drink at all.

grassman177
01-06-2013, 04:17 PM
Most of these things in the OP do equate to more money for the worker although indirectly which will help with retention rates. Most guys would rather stay with someone who values them, truck, cell phone, and other perks than find a new job making 4 dollars more an hour.

Seth Godin has some great books and truly out of the box thinking ideas that apply to running a business. I suggest some of you guys check him out

i have not found one yet, so please send me one, be glad to hire them. every one of them has always told us they would prefer money hands down every time. period.

not saying that is standard, but in our experiences, money rules everything. and it is not money saved, only money in hand that they want.

grassman177
01-06-2013, 04:20 PM
Lots of these suggestions are great and will work. They also can cause problems as mentioned. It ALL has to do with your employees you've chosen and how you run your business. If all your employees care about is money, then you have the wrong employees. Pure and simple. YOU have to care and have passion for your work and your employees! Then, with the right employees who ALSO have a passion for their work and care about others, these small things mentioned will really help and go a long way to showing appreciation.

Jason
this is also very true, but mostly due to the extreme lack of any actual quality individuls that are out there going into lawn care. lets face it, anyone as only a worker aint gonna be raking in the bucks in this field. the tighter the economy gets, the more money is the ONLY thing anyone cares about. it is what gets them by.

weeze
01-06-2013, 05:35 PM
i'm gonna tell you from personal experience. i was the "noob" guy before. i worked for a company. i always hated the job and didn't think much of the boss because he put me trimming all day while the other 2 guys got to sit down and mow mostly and just do a little trimming. at the end of every day all i could think about was man this isn't fair. it didn't make me wanna hang around more to get to a point where i could sit on a mower by any means. all it made me wanna do is quit which i did end up doing after the season was over. it was very disheartening and discouraging to me. all it did was push me away. it didn't encourage me to work harder or stay around longer. to be honest it made me not even care about the job.

i don't think bosses realize this. i dunno what it is. maybe they've never had to work for someone else before so they don't know what it's like? i really dunno. i guess since i've worked for other people most of my life i understand how it is. i would probably be the best boss in the world because i know what it's like on the other side. the thing is i don't even want to be a boss. i hate telling other people what to do or making them do the hard work and such because i've been there and i know what it's like. i guess that's why i prefer to just work alone and stay solo. there's no way i would hire some mexican to trim all day while i sat my butt on a mower all day even if i was the boss. that's just wrong man. that's treating the worker like a slave if you ask me.

buying all of your workers lunch is a good idea. do it for all of them at the same time though. don't just buy it for one of them like a crew leader. that will make the workers hate the guy who is in charge over them. a crew leader would be making more money anyways so there's no need for "special" treatment unless you do it for all of your workers.

i know the way i think is contrary to the american way of doing business. perhaps that's why i hate working for other people and why i quit my jobs in the past though? you should see the bosses in japan for example. the top guy does the same work as the noob guy that just walked in on his first day. i think american bosses could learn alot from that example.

McFarland_Lawn_Care
01-06-2013, 07:13 PM
@Jason's Lawn - Great points! Thanks. Yes, I totally agree - I enjoy being a leader, but don't enjoy being a "boss" and telling people what to do all the time. Although a new guy will be doing more trimming to begin with, after he's fully trained the tasks are evenly split. In fact when I'm on a job I will purposely seek out a difficult task or one that no one wants and dive right into it and make it a crazy game. Everyone notices the hardest working person on the team.

Will P.C.
01-06-2013, 09:39 PM
Never worked for a Japanese boss, but that was an interesting point Jason.

I have worked for a Chinese boss and it sucked.

johnnybravo8802
01-07-2013, 07:01 AM
Yea, I tried the cell phone idea twice and that didn't work. The first guy would go to a job and spend most of his time talking to his girl friend and not getting the work done. The second guy would end up talking to his girlfriend for hours..................at night , going over his minutes, and then I'd get stuck with roaming charges. Then, when I'd try to get in touch with him, he wouldn't answer the phone!!!!!!!!!!:hammerhead::hammerhead:Yea, that idea didn't work at all. I can see letting him drive a company truck being a total disaster also...I agree with everyone else. For some reason(It may be me), the better I treat an employee, the more he takes advantage of me. I've taken them out to lunch/dinner to show appreciation, bought them drinks/snacks/cigs, picked them up/dropped them off, taken them to probation. They just end up crapping on you and taking you for granted.

PremierT&L
01-07-2013, 11:28 AM
I tend to agree with the Grassman that money really is the bottom line with employees. I also think that if you do some of these little things and don't pay your employees well it tends to come off insulting and doesn't work.

Having said that, if you do pay your employees well(I'm told by other I overpay my guys but I believe they are well worth it), then it is good to do other things to remind them that you consider them a very important part of your operation. I like to pull the guys aside individually and just tell them they're doing a good job and ask them how they are doing. On cold days I might surprise them with new gloves or something like that. These things do go a long way, but Grassman is right that they only go along way if you are paying your guys well.

Sean Adams
01-07-2013, 12:18 PM
I am not disagreeing with anyone - everyone has their own opinion and you guys know your businesses and employees better than I do.

That being said, the reason I know these things work is because I have done them and still do them today. The difference here is simple...

If you are held hostage by your employees, yes, none of these things will matter. Only money will matter, and even then, they will probably find ways to take advantage of you.

But....

If you know you can hire new people any itme you want - and people you know you want who will be good employees, appreciate their job, and give them opportunity for advancement, then it is a different story.

The key here is being able to find, hire, train, and motivate the very best employees. If you know how to do that, you will not have to deal with anyone taking advantage of you because you will always know the minute they cross the line, its time to hand them their final pay check.

PushnSnow
01-07-2013, 01:36 PM
You pay with peanuts and all you get is monkeys. That's what my dad said when I was a kid. He had a very small construction business. Put in 18 hour days. Paid his employees better than union wages. He had one of the best crews around. The bottom line is minimum wage, $10/hr and even $15 an hour are not livable wages. You want a professional crew, you must pay them a livable wage. If this industry can't support livable wages for employees, then it's time for the industry to die off and the grass to grow wild. If you don't pay a livable wage to your employees, where they can survive and live in a house and buy food for their family, you will never have the kind of employees you can trust to drive your truck home. You will never have the employees that put your interests first and want to take care of you, their boss and friend. As a business owner, I'll never pay an employee inadequately. I'm a new business with over 20 years of management experience. Last place I worked, they paid the kid that washed their paving trucks over $20 an hour. He put in 12+ hour days all summer long, sometimes 6 or 7 days a week. Every employee that works for that company would do just about anything for the company and the owners. I'd still be there if medical issues with my wifes family hadn't forced me to move to Minnesota. And when they call, I'll always do whatever I can to help them out. Over 100 employees feel that way towards that company, and I'd say with no doubt that not one of them would take advantage of the brothers that own it. That's how you get quality employees. Take care of them. They are the greatest asset your company will ever have.

Sean Adams
01-07-2013, 01:39 PM
That's how you get quality employees. Take care of them. They are the greatest asset your company will ever have.

I agree with this statement.

weeze
01-07-2013, 04:46 PM
You pay with peanuts and all you get is monkeys. That's what my dad said when I was a kid. He had a very small construction business. Put in 18 hour days. Paid his employees better than union wages. He had one of the best crews around. The bottom line is minimum wage, $10/hr and even $15 an hour are not livable wages. You want a professional crew, you must pay them a livable wage. If this industry can't support livable wages for employees, then it's time for the industry to die off and the grass to grow wild. If you don't pay a livable wage to your employees, where they can survive and live in a house and buy food for their family, you will never have the kind of employees you can trust to drive your truck home. You will never have the employees that put your interests first and want to take care of you, their boss and friend. As a business owner, I'll never pay an employee inadequately. I'm a new business with over 20 years of management experience. Last place I worked, they paid the kid that washed their paving trucks over $20 an hour. He put in 12+ hour days all summer long, sometimes 6 or 7 days a week. Every employee that works for that company would do just about anything for the company and the owners. I'd still be there if medical issues with my wifes family hadn't forced me to move to Minnesota. And when they call, I'll always do whatever I can to help them out. Over 100 employees feel that way towards that company, and I'd say with no doubt that not one of them would take advantage of the brothers that own it. That's how you get quality employees. Take care of them. They are the greatest asset your company will ever have.

monkeys don't eat peanuts. they eat bananas lol. i don't believe you can afford to pay livable wages in this industry. most crew guys around here make $8-$10/hr. that's nowhere near a liveable wage if you are talking about owning their own house and everything. a living wage would be more like $15-$20/hr which is double what they get paid now.

jrs.landscaping
01-07-2013, 05:33 PM
Four out of the six suggestions involve more money to the employee though indirectly. The last company I worked for tried the giving me more responsibilities without a pay increase, that's why I no longer work there. I do like the idea of employees having more input, it makes them feel more connected to the day to day operations. I try to put myself in their shoes, if I wouldn't do it, neither will they. Give them a good wage, treat them with respect and you'll get it in return.

PushnSnow
01-07-2013, 06:31 PM
From my experience, when you pay someone $8 an hour, you get an $8 an hour employee. Pay $16 an hour and you get an $16 an hour employee. They may not produce exactly twice the work, but they will be twice as valuable to the company. They will be more professional. They will take better care of your equipment. The quality of work will improve, therefore enabling you to get contracts that pay better. If the industry can not support livable wages, then the public will continue to see lawn maintenance contractors as something other than professionals. This in turn keeps the industry as a whole down. Like I said, if I can not provide an adequate wage to an employee, then I will not have an employee. When you are known as the contractor that pays well, better quality employees will be available to you. I hear the constant gripes about employees that don't care about the job they do or the way they take care of the equipment. Would you care for $8 an hour? Would you care when you work full time and can not provide meals for your kids or a house for them to live in? Would you care when you work full time and still require the government assistance just to live? The people on this site that like the employees working for them and have positive things to say about them and their work ethic and how they take care of the equipment all compensate those employees well and appreciate them for the value they provide to the company.

ELS Landscape
01-07-2013, 08:13 PM
From my experience, when you pay someone $8 an hour, you get an $8 an hour employee. Pay $16 an hour and you get an $16 an hour employee. They may not produce exactly twice the work, but they will be twice as valuable to the company. They will be more professional. They will take better care of your equipment. The quality of work will improve, therefore enabling you to get contracts that pay better. If the industry can not support livable wages, then the public will continue to see lawn maintenance contractors as something other than professionals. This in turn keeps the industry as a whole down. Like I said, if I can not provide an adequate wage to an employee, then I will not have an employee. When you are known as the contractor that pays well, better quality employees will be available to you. I hear the constant gripes about employees that don't care about the job they do or the way they take care of the equipment. Would you care for $8 an hour? Would you care when you work full time and can not provide meals for your kids or a house for them to live in? Would you care when you work full time and still require the government assistance just to live? The people on this site that like the employees working for them and have positive things to say about them and their work ethic and how they take care of the equipment all compensate those employees well and appreciate them for the value they provide to the company.

I agree with the premise but the numbers are not hard as income is very regional. I think mowers are always going to be on the low income level.

Will P.C.
01-07-2013, 08:33 PM
I believe you should create a company where the employees are proud to say they work for "ABC Landscapes" I study the top 20 companies to work for and there practices. (Publix, Car max, Zappos, Whole Foods, etc) and see how they treat their bottom feeders.

You can also read reviews from employees at glassdoor.com as they review the job and how they like working for the specific company.

I believe the OP was referring to the type of employee that is a linchpin to the company. If you lost him, it would make life hell as he is not easily replaceable.

There tends to be a large amount of micromanaging in this business. How do your guys behave when your back is turned?

PushnSnow
01-07-2013, 08:52 PM
Cost of living is very regional also. I'm from Alaska. My cost of living there is signifigantly more than my cost of living here in northern MN. It was in Alaska where the wash kid, lowest guy on the totem pole was making $20+ per hour. Starting pay for that position was $17 per hour. At the same time, there was other companies paying experienced operators $17 per hour. You can always find cheap employees. I just choose not to want cheap employees. I have two part time employees. Very part time the way this winter is going. They both have other jobs. One is my daughter that lives here, and the other is her college boyfriend that lives with his parents. They shovel walks if we get much snow. I wouldn't even consider paying them less than $15 per hour. My labor rate on my jobs is figured at $40 per hour. After taxes and workmans comp and all else, my cost for them is around $22.50 per hour. Figure in the fuel in my pickup they drive to the jobs, and everything else, I'm still making a little on their labor. If things work out, they will be full time employees during the summer. They will still get at least $15 an hour. I could find some kid for $8 an hour easy enough. I have standards with all employees. You could be the best person for the job and have your face all pierced up and tattoos scattered all over yourself and you won't have a job for me. I want professionals. I want employees that give a professional image. I want those employees for years to come. I don't want to have to teach people the work every year. Lawn maintenance is seasonal here. I'll try to keep my employees busy in winter with snow plowing, but years like this, that doesn't even work. Being seasonal employees, in order to retain them, I have to pay them well. By doing this, I reduce the hours I spend next year teaching a new crew. Those hours can be better spent finding revenue for my company. I don't have to babysit my employees. They learn their job and when they say it's complete, it is. That's time I can spend working on my company and growing my company. My employees don't resent me because they work with me. I have never asked any employee to do anything I'm not willing to do myself.

Everyone needs to run their company as they see fit. This is just my opinion. I've worked for two bit companies that payed as little as they could get away with, and I've worked for companies that payed well because employees were important to them. When I left my last job, the owner gave me a $10k bonus as I was leaving. While I have family issues keeping me away from that job, they are still a couple of my best friends. If they call and need me I'll be on the next plane north to help them out. My loyalty will always be with them. As I run my business, it's one of the business practices that will go with me because I've seen how well it works.

weeze
01-08-2013, 11:35 PM
i stay solo. solves any of these issues lol. keep it simple.

RSK Property Maintenance
01-09-2013, 12:29 AM
Good points, I buy my labor lunch if they don't have any money, or if we are working on a big job, even if we are just mowing and we are flying through accounts, I'll still pay for lunch. I buy them water, snacks, candy, whatever helps them through the day. and I don't make them trim all day either, I mow the more difficult ones, and they mow the easier ones. works out good, that way everyone stays healthy and no one hates what they do.

I used to be in a position for another company where one of the 3 days i worked, i trimmed two big properties and that was my day. then the next day i would start out mowing for half the day and trim the other half, then i would mow most of the last day and trim a little. i liked it, and gave great quality work, i was an mvp on that team, but the pay wasn't there, and i was already doing my stuff part time so i just took the dive to do my stuff full time. I may consider letting someone take home a company truck once there are a few extra ones to take home, I think that may encourage the right employee to be more responsible.

Duekster
01-09-2013, 12:40 AM
I do not do anything on the job except figure out the hard stuff on irrigation. The guys learn and I let them learn. I also put the least skilled guy on the job and work with him. I have had to rip out installs when they were proud of their work. They learn and it cost money.


If I try to pick up an implement of destruction they often come save me quickly.

Again, I am sure they joke, talk or whatever but they do well on there own, I check up on the rarely. They know I know what to do what they do not know...Ya know or are they still laughing? :D

Duekster
01-09-2013, 12:41 AM
i stay solo. solves any of these issues lol. keep it simple.

all but a few

CL&T
01-09-2013, 01:42 AM
If you have owned your business for a few years or even longer, you may have a situation where you have an employee who has been with you for quite some time. That employee is loyal, honest, reliable, hard-working and accountable. Obviously these are the kinds of employees everyone wants on staff, but many times business owners cannot afford to keep guys like this around.

Or can they?

Yes, money is important and I'm guessing you haven't encountered too many employees who have turned down a pay raise.

But what if paying this valuable, appreciated employee more money is just not an option right now?

There are several different, effective ways you can "compensate" this employee, show him you appreciate his work and effort, without increasing his salary.

1.) Tell him you appreciate him. Make it somewhat of a big deal. Pull him aside privately and tell him, and don't be afraid to tell him in front of others as well. Take him to lunch or give him a gift card - in this case, yes, the thought is what counts.

2.) If you feel comfortable doing so, let this employee take a company truck home with him. Yes, it will cost you a little bit of money in gas, but look on the bright side, assuming your truck is labeled properly, it is a rolling billboard for your business. And he will appreciate being able to save his own gas money getting back and forth from work.

3.) If he doesn't have a company cell phone, give him one. Allow him to use it for personal use as well so he doesn't have to incur the expense. Just make sure he understands that business time is business time and if he is called upon, he is expected to answer. Doesn't have to be the brand new version of the iPhone, just something that saves him money and fits into your cell phone plan.

4.) Give him paid days off. In some instances, depending on location and numbers of weeks worked per year, this may already be the norm. If not, a paid day off here and there is a very nice perk that can be greatly appreciated.

5.) Give him more responsibility and/or a new title. Some may think that giving someone more responsibility without increasing their pay is actually a step in the wrong direction, but you would be suprised how much more important and appreciated it can make an employee feel.

6.) Ask for his input - set aside time on a semi-regular basis to let him tell you what he likes and doesn't like - what he wants to change and how he thinks things could be done better. This again will make him feel like his opinion matters and it will be valuable insight for you.


IMO these are all things that a good company should be doing for their employees anyway. But like the old saying goes- "money talks and BS walks" none of this puts food on the family table or pays the mortgage and other bills. Certainly how you treat your employees goes a long way in their decision to go elsewhere for better pay, but in the end it's always going to be the money. If you can't afford to pay them a living wage you're only delaying the inevitable.

cpllawncare
01-09-2013, 12:48 PM
The problem with paying so called liveable wage is who determines what that is? Everybody would agree that 8, 9, 10/hr probably not but once you get to say 15,16/hr + your topped out and there's no where to go. I mean if a guy does stay with you long enough how high can you go? I certainly don't want him making more than me which I've heard some guys say that there guys make more than them. That can't be right.

CL&T
01-09-2013, 02:07 PM
I agree that's a tough question. A "living wage" for one employee is going to be completely different for another. You can't, for instance, pay a worker that has a wife and four kids more than a single guy for the same work. About all you can do is consider the rents in your area as well as other living expenses (cost of living) and use that as a starting point in deciding how much to pay someone. The rest is up to you based on how valuable the employee is and how much money the employee makes for your company. I have seen many cases where a key employee makes as much as the owner.

ELS Landscape
01-09-2013, 03:07 PM
DOL of labor has good wage statistic for your area and for the type of work. I try to stay at or above the average wage on seasoned workers.