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Old 06-05-2009, 01:53 AM
clcare2 clcare2 is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: indiana
Posts: 223
I agree that employee training and feedback is very important in how I run my business. I don't however believe that an employee can be "fixed". The word "fixed implies that there is a major issue that needs to be dealt with. As a small business owner I don't have the time or the resources to take care of every problem employee.

Now I do believe that I can build a great employee. I prefer to bring in fresh meat with no experience in the industry. When you hire people who have been around they have a tendency to have their own ideas of how things should be done. I have proven systems and expectations that all employees are taught and expected to not only reach for their themselves but to hold each other accountable for. We do things a certain way for a specific reason and it has worked in building a successful and growing company. It can be a real pain, but my clients have gotten used to the level of quality we provide and they expect it every single time and are willing to pay for it. While employee feedback and suggestions are welcomed, they are not exactly encouraged. Many people have a hard time with rejection of an idea.

These are things that can be taught, but they are not always learned. I spend a lot of time and money on training. And all employees are told that there is upward mobility in all positions. But, you have to earn it and you have to want it.

After all of this, it is still easier to start over then it is to take a problem employee and try to find a way to teach or reach this person. Some people just don't get it. Putting this much effort into a single person is kind of like playing a sport saying that everyone should get to play. We want to win so we play the players that can get us the best results. Not to say that I give up right away, but is really fair to the other employees who get it faster and are able to perform at a higher level, if I keep on working with one person in the hopes that they will someday get it.

In response to cod8825

I get so tired of employees or LCO's who have no employees who say that they would do things differently. And think thast they have any idea what it is like to be in my shoes. I have been an employee and I have been a solo, and now I have employees. So while I know were you are coming from, you have gotten into a discussion that you know nothing about. I realize that you were trying to give a different perspective on the subject, but you came across as just another whining employee. You complained about things that you know nothing about.

If I call and say that the schedule changed and I need you to run across town and do something in the middle of the day, maybe it because the customer called and I know that you can handle the work. If we are working 15 or 16 hour days. You should be happy that we have enough work to stay this busy. I could have more crews and therefore more overhead and you would get to work less and make less money.

The one point that you made that I agree with was positive feedback. I am very bad about this myself. Not that I am only giving negative ,but it does tend to come out that way. As a team leader I would expect you to know that you are doing a good job. In my company it isn't easy to get that position and keepiong can be even harder. Not hearing from me is the best compiment that I can give. However, as a leader it is very important to let the crews know that you appreciate the things that they do on a daily basis. I consciously work on this daily.

This being said, it is your job to do the things that you do everyday. When did excellence become the exception, and people began to think that they should be rewarded for it. You get rewarded for going beyond excellence and bottom line, you will be rewarded when you make me more money. I don't even give out the new seasons raises until 3 months into the season. Just because you came back and you did well last year, you haven't proven that you still deserve anything.

One last piece of advice. QUIT your current job. It is the only way that you will ever really be able to focus on your own business. There is nothing like the absolute survival of yourself and your company to push you into building a company that will survive. It sounds like you have a good enough base to go, you just have to jump. There is no better feeling than building a company out of pure adrenaline fueled necessity. I complained in my earlier post, but secretly I love every second of it. I look around and it's all mine. You will will probably fail, but only because most do. At least, the first time. But, even in failure you'll know that you gave it everything, because you had no choice.
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