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  #21  
Old 07-27-2009, 09:01 PM
Az Gardener Az Gardener is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Phoenix, Az
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I want to preface this by saying I respect you and your operation amlawn I just wonder why your employees don't make enough to buy cars on their own? Wouldn't it be better to pay them a higher wage and make less profit on your end. I may be naive but my guys are buying houses with the money I pay in wages. Maybe I pay too much.

Your company is bigger than mine so I guess maybe I do pay too much. I just think if you want good responsible employees that are proactive with the clients and the job they do you have to provide them a standard of living that will allow them to have a normal life. Which in my mind includes health insurance, a home, yearly vacation. Also an opportunity to be more than the paid help.

Just some food for thought, you seem like a good guy and I believe you are trying to do right by your employees. You might just be able to raise the bar in the industry by paying a little more.
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  #22  
Old 07-28-2009, 10:27 PM
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americanlawn americanlawn is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: midwest
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I hear ya

Thanks Az - I appreciate where you're coming from. We pay our guys well -- average wage = about $20 per hour plus vacation pay & co-pay health/dental. Much better than other LCO's around here. (pretty good for corn Country).

My wife & I make less income than the lowest-paid specialist. All of my guys are top notch. They have been thoroughly trained and attend regular land grant university training/events.

Experienced guys get 3 weeks vacation during the work season. All employees get weekly (uncontested) unemployment paychecks during the 3 months in winter. Unless it snows - then they get paid on top of their weekly unemployment checks.

While we never buy them a "home", we try to give them the financial tools that most folks need. If they have fines to pay -- It ain't our fault. If their wife can't get a job cuz she has no car -- it ain't our fault. Yet I will go way out of my way to find a cheap vehicle & pay for it (out of my pocket).

I believe in Karma - What goes around, comes around. Tonight I just fixed the soft water unit in our next door rental house where employees live.

In the past 2 years, 2 of my guys have been able to buy their own homes. Before that, they rented. Nuf said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Az Gardener View Post
I want to preface this by saying I respect you and your operation amlawn I just wonder why your employees don't make enough to buy cars on their own? Wouldn't it be better to pay them a higher wage and make less profit on your end. I may be naive but my guys are buying houses with the money I pay in wages. Maybe I pay too much.

Your company is bigger than mine so I guess maybe I do pay too much. I just think if you want good responsible employees that are proactive with the clients and the job they do you have to provide them a standard of living that will allow them to have a normal life. Which in my mind includes health insurance, a home, yearly vacation. Also an opportunity to be more than the paid help.

Just some food for thought, you seem like a good guy and I believe you are trying to do right by your employees. You might just be able to raise the bar in the industry by paying a little more.
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  #23  
Old 07-28-2009, 10:45 PM
cod8825 cod8825 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 498
I haven't contributed to this thread since the start several weeks back so here I go. When I commented at first I was accused of being a whinny employee and in some regards I can see exactly where he was coming from because at the time I was. After reading the dialogue between American and AZ I think that you both are great employers and are concerned about operating a profitable business and treating your foundation(employees) well. In the book Good to Great every great come had a strong commitment to finding, hiring, and retaining great employees and at seems you have a good start on it.

Matt
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  #24  
Old 11-07-2009, 02:14 AM
pararest pararest is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 43
I hired my first employee about 11 years ago and it went OK as long as I was there to keep an eye on him. As my business started to grow and we added a second crew I quickly realized what a disaster employees can be. Now with over 30 employees (and a lot of head aches later) I take the time not only to screen my potential employees, but I try hard during the interview process to see if I can detect anything in his attitude that would make it hard for him to fit into our system of doing things. Even if he comes with a lot of experience, if I feel he will not be a team player I don't make the hire.
When I do find the right guy, we provide him with an employee hand book. We then go over our expectations of him as our employee, then he gets thoroughly trained. I have had no problems at all for 5 years now keeping guys. When I do have a complaint it is taken care of fast and the employee is notified and the problem is fixed for the future.


owner: Paradise Restored
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  #25  
Old 11-13-2009, 09:35 PM
jeffslawnservice jeffslawnservice is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Posts: 828
This is a little off topic but if anyone has an employee hand book or any type of employee training book that they would be willing to share can you PM me. I am in the process of hiring my first employee for next season. Thanks.
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  #26  
Old 01-29-2010, 09:54 PM
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indy2tall indy2tall is offline
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Indianapolis Indiana
Posts: 419
Wow!!

Pararest, you have an AWESOME website and your pictures of your work are equally awesome. Either you or someone on your staff must have some formal education in landscape design because some of those installs looked very challenging and complicated. I would guess some of those jobs had to bring in close to $100,000. Do you mind saying who designed your website?

Last edited by indy2tall; 01-29-2010 at 10:02 PM.
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  #27  
Old 05-13-2012, 11:47 AM
aaron86 aaron86 is offline
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Bowmanville
Posts: 36
How would you deal with my situation my father started the company in 1979 he is ready to retire now I'm going to be taking over in the next few years but this is my problem I have to run the business with my brother who doesn't have a clue how to run a business or how to treat employes he has the my daddy is the boss attitude so I'm better than everyone he claims I'm the pruner so I don't have to clean up an will go sit in the truck once the pruning is done an wait for his crew to cleanup couldn't trim a straight edge if his life depended on it and to top it off will not take help from anyone because he knows everything please help me find a solution to my problem
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  #28  
Old 05-14-2012, 03:32 PM
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TJLANDS TJLANDS is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: JACKSON,NJ
Posts: 1,660
Quote:
Originally Posted by clcare2 View Post

So if you need to be reassured that you do good work, or if I seem a little peeved that you want the evening off, or maybe the schedule changes in the middle of day. Before you blame me please look in the mirror. I don't need the stress of wondering if my employees are feelling emotionally full-filled.

One more thing, this one ticks me off. You took a job in an industry that is seasonal. You knew this going in. If you are unhappy, leave, it would suck to lose a valuable employee, but we are in a recession. I have a stack of resume's and application's 3 inches thick and growing daily on my desk. And for the first time ever, they are all qualified, some of them way over qualified. All looking to take a job making less than I pay my people now, just so that they can have a job.
I get at least three cold calls a day from prospective employees,
go ahead call in sick, late etc.
unless you have been with me for years it will probably be your last day.
sorry but it is what it is.
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  #29  
Old 05-14-2012, 03:39 PM
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TJLANDS TJLANDS is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: JACKSON,NJ
Posts: 1,660
Quote:
Originally Posted by indy2tall View Post
Pararest, you have an AWESOME website and your pictures of your work are equally awesome. Either you or someone on your staff must have some formal education in landscape design because some of those installs looked very challenging and complicated. website?
I agree, love the pizza oven!
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