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View Full Version : How do you keep your good employees


Five Diamond Lawns
01-24-2004, 12:36 PM
I've been through the worst and made all the mistakes possible with lawn care employees. I've finally figured out how to interview, hire, train and keep them motivated.

BUT, how do I keep them for more than one season???:confused: :confused: :confused:

With 3.5 month a year with no work to speak of ( I might be able to keep one busy )(no snow work in this area) What do you do :confused: were talking 3 to 5 employees.

DFW Area Landscaper
01-24-2004, 12:40 PM
I haven't hired any real employees yet. But I plan to in March of this year. My plan was to pay them the employee way, which means paying unemployment taxes. I'm hoping they can collect unemployment every winter.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

Five Diamond Lawns
01-24-2004, 12:44 PM
That's only a percentage of what they made and their encouraged to be out looking for work:mad:

heritage
01-24-2004, 01:56 PM
Give them a big x-mas bonus and when they come back next spring offer them incentives like raises and a bigger x-mas bonus every year. If you want someone to leave the company then no incentives,bonuses,raises. You are only as good as your worst employee. Take care of them and they will make you lots of $$$$$$$$ if you know how to work the numbers:D


Pete D

Five Diamond Lawns
01-24-2004, 02:39 PM
OK, so you give them a x-mas bonus. That can't make up for 3.5 months of no work.

grassperson
01-24-2004, 03:04 PM
I have found letting them do work around my house goes a long ways. Washing you cars, painting your house, fence, cleaning you equipment, etc. Have them clean out your parents property, an old lady down the street, church. Be creative, but show them you have their best intrest on you mind. I have never lost a good employee with this practice. Just keeping in touch with them 1x a month keeps them thinking about you next summer.

LawnGod
01-24-2004, 03:38 PM
I have found that you should always treat them the way you would want to be treated.Christmas bonuses-100 dollars for every year they've worked for youand monthly bonuses during the regular season if their doing their jobs well and a little secret is to make sure they make at least a little money off the books while their on unemployment. Works for me!

Shadetree Ltd
01-24-2004, 04:06 PM
You do winter projects, installations, renovations or find a couple of year round commercial sites that will at least provide some winter hours.

Scott

BB36
01-24-2004, 05:00 PM
In my experience you just aren't able to keep employees in this business-Lawn Care/Landscaping. Just get use to going though numerous guys ever season.
You can't pay them enough money to keep them around longer then a season. $7.00-$10.00 just isn't enough money these days for many people to survive.I've offered bonuses,health insure.,dental insure.,eye glass coverage,free cell phone,holidays with pay ,option for winter unemployment and they still leave. Nobody in this country wants to work;they are all looking for the easy way out."cushy job". They think they can go to college and land a job making big money while sitting behind a desk.Or have mom and dad take care of them.
Find some hard working Mexicans. They travel hundreds , sometime thousands of miles to work in the USA.Thats got to tell you something about their work ethics. Just some of my thoughts.

PLI1
01-24-2004, 05:16 PM
The guys I have working for me are all Spanish. I line up painting jobs for them during the winter and they plow snow. As far as treatment, I try to do unto others as I would want others to do unto me. If you can't keep all your guys, try to at least keep your key man. Having someone around besides yourself that sets good examples is priceless in my opinion. I've been thinkin of buying a foreclosed home or 2 and having the guys rehab them in the off season as well.
Also, if by chance you hire a bad apple, get rid of him as fast as you can. One guy can ruin the morale of the whole crew.
One thing that I have found that generally when you find good people, when you have openings they will refer you good people.

Turfdude
01-24-2004, 06:11 PM
Originally posted by BB36
In my experience you just aren't able to keep employees in this business-Lawn Care/Landscaping. Just get use to going though numerous guys ever season.
You can't pay them enough money to keep them around longer then a season. $7.00-$10.00 just isn't enough money these days for many people to survive.I've offered bonuses,health insure.,dental insure.,eye glass coverage,free cell phone,holidays with pay ,option for winter unemployment and they still leave. Nobody in this country wants to work;they are all looking for the easy way out."cushy job". They think they can go to college and land a job making big money while sitting behind a desk.Or have mom and dad take care of them.
Find some hard working Mexicans. They travel hundreds , sometime thousands of miles to work in the USA.Thats got to tell you something about their work ethics. Just some of my thoughts.
Also, if by chance you hire a bad apple, get rid of him as fast as you can. One guy can ruin the morale of the whole crew.
One thing that I have found that generally when you find good people, when you have openings they will refer you good people.

I concur with both of these opinions. Unfortunately, its tough to pay laboreres more than $10/hr. For the aforementioned reasons, a lot of times, we don't get the bottom of the barrel laborer, we're stuck w/ whats underneath the barrel.

WeatherMan
01-24-2004, 07:33 PM
One word "Bonus"

tiedeman
01-24-2004, 09:38 PM
health insurance, guaranted pay, continued education, quality bonuses, end of the year bonuses, and paid cell phone

TREEGODFATHER
01-24-2004, 10:14 PM
To some extent, some guys aren't going to be happy no matter what you pay them or give them in benefits. To some, the job they're doing is merely a stepping-stone to some higher aspiration they have.

I go through 5 or 6 ground guys a year. The white kids consider dragging brush and doing clean-up beneath them. The spanish kids work hard and earn their pay, but they are hard to communicate clearly with (a big safety problem) and hard to find where I am. They usually end up moving back to the "city" for other reasons.

Once in awhile, you'll find the employee who understands he's not going to get to the top of the ladder overnight; he must work for it, and learn for it. And if he's willing to stick it out, this is the employee to lavish on.

The others, - well you do take the trash out when the barrel gets full, don't you?

Everybody wants a job. Not many want to WORK.

PLI1
01-25-2004, 07:12 PM
I agree that once in a while you get a brilliant employee that you just know will end up finding an $18 per hour construction or roofing job. I can't pay all my guys that kind of $. Thats just the way it is.