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tiedeman
03-08-2004, 04:30 AM
Well, many of you know that i have been going through a lot of expense cutting for the upcoming season. The last major issues that I have left is whether to cut cell phones and accepting credit cards. To cancel my credit card merchant account it will be $250 and to cancel my managers cell phone account it will cost $200.

My credit card charges are less than that a year, and with the cell phone I would save about $400 per year, but I lose contact with my manager when on a job site.

So I dug deeper. It was looking at me right in my face. I pay my manager a guarantee pay of 64 hours from the end of March until the end of Novemeber. Basically it means that even if he only works 62 hours, he gets paid 64 hours worth of pay. This comes in very handy for him early in the year, during rainy times, drought times, and at the end of the season.

I decided to pull my records to see how much I would have saved for not paying him guarantee pay. Well, he collected 119.50 hours of guarantee pay for not working. It totaled approx $1209.63 in gross pay, and $185.07 in social security and medicare taxes.

I overpaid him about $1,400 in guarantee pay between March and November compared of just paying him for the amount of hours actually worked.

Well, lets just say we are going to have a meeting today.

upsondown
03-08-2004, 05:50 AM
Originally posted by tiedeman
Well, many of you know that i have been going through a lot of expense cutting for the upcoming season. The last major issues that I have left is whether to cut cell phones and accepting credit cards. To cancel my credit card merchant account it will be $250 and to cancel my managers cell phone account it will cost $200.

My credit card charges are less than that a year, and with the cell phone I would save about $400 per year, but I lose contact with my manager when on a job site.

So I dug deeper. It was looking at me right in my face. I pay my manager a guarantee pay of 64 hours from the end of March until the end of Novemeber. Basically it means that even if he only works 62 hours, he gets paid 64 hours worth of pay. This comes in very handy for him early in the year, during rainy times, drought times, and at the end of the season.

I decided to pull my records to see how much I would have saved for not paying him guarantee pay. Well, he collected 119.50 hours of guarantee pay for not working. It totaled approx $1209.63 in gross pay, and $185.07 in social security and medicare taxes.

I overpaid him about $1,400 in guarantee pay between March and November compared of just paying him for the amount of hours actually worked.

Well, lets just say we are going to have a meeting today.




I'm having trouble understanding this..... Are you saying that your "manager" is only making a little over $10 per hour? Clue me in if my figures are wrong.
Dave

tiedeman
03-08-2004, 06:04 AM
how many times have I had to tell people this, where you live it varies on what you pay people. Hopefully this will FINALLY get it through peoples heads.

IndyPropertyCare
03-08-2004, 06:04 AM
That is exactly why we dont have " Supervisors"... then they expect a higher $$$ wage. We have team leaders and pay people what they are worth, based on experience and many other attributes. We feel that everyone is a team player and if they are not.... then they are not working for us.

upsondown
03-08-2004, 06:07 AM
Originally posted by tiedeman
how many times have I had to tell people this, where you live it varies on what you pay people. Hopefully this will FINALLY get it through peoples heads.



I don't mean to ruffle your feathers - I'm simply asking - am I correct - that you pay your "manager" a little over $10 and hour?

tiedeman
03-08-2004, 06:07 AM
actually, upsondown, last time I checked I am the highest paid employer for LCO's in the area. There are two other places in the city here that only pay managers $7.50 an hour.

tiedeman
03-08-2004, 06:09 AM
yes, he actually gets paid $11.25 right now. He started out as not a manager early in the season at $9.00, then jumped up to $10.75 in July, then finally $11.25 in September.

upsondown
03-08-2004, 06:09 AM
I never pay my manager's by the hour. They are strictly annual salaried employees. You may want to consider changing from hourly to salaried and see how that works. What kind of benefit package do you offer your employees and manager?

tiedeman
03-08-2004, 06:10 AM
sorry for sounding like I was jumping down ya

upsondown
03-08-2004, 06:14 AM
no problem - i was just trying to get a feel for your situation and perhaps be able to make some constructive suggestions is all. I know that wages vary greatly in different parts of the country. I wish I could get a $10 and hour employee here - but when a 1 bedroom apartment rents for $725-$1000 a month - there's a fat chance of that happening. I suspect for $1000 a month out your way a person could have a decent place to live. This is one of the benefits of being in a bedroom community for Washington, DC .

tiedeman
03-08-2004, 06:14 AM
benefits have taken a major cut in the last year:

The manager was getting health insurance, paid holidays (3 days), and paid vacation (1 week), and 2 paid sick days. Also paid cell phone and guarantee pay. And paid certifications if they want to.

But now he only gets paid holidays (3 days) paid vacation (1 week and 1 day), and no paid sick days. He still receives a cell phone. I am going to cut the guarantee pay down to 54 hours, and I still offer paid certifications for landscaping only.

tiedeman
03-08-2004, 06:15 AM
Originally posted by upsondown
no problem - i was just trying to get a feel for your situation and perhaps be able to make some constructive suggestions is all. I know that wages vary greatly in different parts of the country. I wish I could get a $10 and hour employee here - but when a 1 bedroom apartment rents for $725-$1000 a month - there's a fat chance of that happening. I suspect for $1000 a month out your way a person could have a decent place to live. This is one of the benefits of being in a bedroom community for Washington, DC .

many of times I wish that I was back to paying him $9.00 an hour, or even $10.00

upsondown
03-08-2004, 06:18 AM
Can you give a brief description of what his duties involve as a manager for you?

tiedeman
03-08-2004, 06:21 AM
his main duty is running the lawn maintenance crew. Nothing more. No fertilization, aeration, dethatching, etc. Just mow, blow, trim, and edge. Thats all.

He is more like a crew leader, but I call him a manager.

upsondown
03-08-2004, 06:23 AM
he handles none of the sales calls and estimates?

tiedeman
03-08-2004, 06:24 AM
nope, nothing. No paperwork, sales, estimates, just the mow and go aspects, thats all. Once in a great while he will help with equipment maintenance, like maybe once a month.

tiedeman
03-08-2004, 06:27 AM
Originally posted by upsondown
no problem - i was just trying to get a feel for your situation and perhaps be able to make some constructive suggestions is all. I know that wages vary greatly in different parts of the country. I wish I could get a $10 and hour employee here - but when a 1 bedroom apartment rents for $725-$1000 a month - there's a fat chance of that happening. I suspect for $1000 a month out your way a person could have a decent place to live. This is one of the benefits of being in a bedroom community for Washington, DC .

most apartments and houses rent out here for about an average of $500 a month

upsondown
03-08-2004, 06:35 AM
I think I'd have to seriously consider some of the following options:

1) Offer him a salary rather than an hourly rate - with the understanding that there is a "minimum" number of hours required per week for him to get that salary.

2) If he has the sales abilities - Perhaps offer him commission on the sales he makes - which would be in addition to his salary.

3) Offer him a monthly bonus - you decide a dollar amount that seems fair to you and a motivation to him - that he'd receive based upon zero complaints per month from your customers.

or other option:

1) Offer him strictly commission only on each job that is completed.

2) Offer him a monthly bonus - you decide the dollar amount that seems fair to you and a motivation to him - that he'd receive based upon zero complaints per month from your customers.

(If you choose to pay him commission per job - I would most definitely make the zero complaint understanding VERY clear to him - otherwise it can easily become a "game" of get in - get out - and don't worry about the quality of the work - but if he knows the quality of the work directly effects his bottom line - he won't be tempted to cut corners).

3) Offer him a commission - of his sales. One thing that this may entice him to do - is to be more vocal about what he does for a living when he is off work...........and bring in new clientele - increasing both yours and his bottom line.

Just suggestions that may help.

tiedeman
03-08-2004, 06:40 AM
actually, I failed to mention some little bonsues:

For every month they are employeed they earn $10. Can not be claimed though if working more than 20 hours a week. Can earn up to $120 a year.

Referral of customers is $20 for each referral

They are judged weekly on quality bonuses, with a possible of $7-$10 cash earned per week.

AL Inc
03-08-2004, 10:07 AM
Tiedeman- I'm going through the same thing now, trying to find ways to streamline and cut costs. Just a thought that came to me while reading your posts. The extra $1400 in guarantee pay, over the course of a 10 month season, is only $140 a month. Is this guy a good employee, and what would you do without him? Would you be back on the maintenance crew? Your time is much more valuable doing install/design work, sales, and speaking to clients.
Just playing devil's advocate here.
Good employees=happy clients=more $ in your pocket.
Cutting employee compensation would be the last place I would look to save money.