I come from a little different perspective in that I am an employee of a large Lawn Care Operation plus I am a business owner for my own Lawn Application business. My employer has about fifteen personnel on payroll with anywhere from five full time employees to 10 to 15 part time employees at any given day or week. I run a crew, design, oversee and install all landscaping projects. I do some bidding but will do less this year than last. I have had a revelation of sort.
First no employee will work as fast as hard as long with a good spirit as long as the owner. My boss is a work aholic we puts in 16 hours a day generally Monday thru Sunday. He expects his workers to not have a life not schedule anything of sorts at all for the entire season we should be able to work from 6 am to 9 pm Monday through Friday no questions asked. Every time someone asks to get off at 5pm he rolls his eyes in a fashion. As an employer we have to understand people have lives they should not have to ask for everything off work insane hours all the time.
Second do not and I repeat set a schedule that is doomed for failure. My boss still sets a schedule to be done at a pace like he was still running the crew. We run break neck pace 12 hours a day if not longer. If we have one break down then in essence we are screwed. People are going to slow down after eight ten hours.
Third provide adequate help for the job. I run one of five crews. I do all of the super high end commercial stuff like banks, retail, commercial buildings etc. Most of these places are one to five acres a piece with crazy amounts of trimming, edging, and weed pulling. Most days we have 12 to 14 stops we have me and another worker. That is way too much work for two guys period.
Third try and create stability I hate the fact that I will receive a list of places to do things to do at them and then get a call to go do this go do that will your out please do this. I like knowing that this all I need to do and I will be done. Nothing is more aggravating or plain makes me angry than getting a call to go mow this place.
Four let the workers know they are appreciated. We have been going hard since the first of March in Kansas City and my boss has not once said or told me good job. Actually I rue the time I look at my phone and see that it is him calling. Once he followed me around to look at these news jobs we took on and they only thing that came out of his mouth was "Well there where a couple things here and there but overall not bad" What kind of crap comment is that. If there is something special out of your workers let them know. I know for a fact that my work receives the fewest complaints period of all five crews and I have the most difficult accounts.
Fifth pay them well these individuals only get paid nine months a year so that other three months they have to get a different job that is a pain in the you know where I have done it for four years it is hard.
Yes and clearly in writing define expectations.