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Old 02-05-2013, 11:54 AM
Sean Adams Sean Adams is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Pennsylvania
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Lightbulb Don't Mistake My Kindness for Weakness - Dealing With Employees

As a business owner you have to be strong in so many different ways. You have to be willing to do things that most other people just don't have the stomach for.

In the lawn and landscape industry there are a lot of business owners who have constant and direct contact with their employees. Depending on the size of your organization, you may be side by side with your employees out in the field on a daily basis. It's almost impossible to avoid getting to know your employees when this is the case. You are in the trenches together - sweating, hustling, and working to achieve a goal.

You talk, you share stories, you laugh together. Like I said, it is almost unavoidable. But it is your job as the boss - as the owner of your company - to know when and where to draw the line.

Being a good person is not a bad thing. Being helpful and understanding as an employer can be dangerous though. In fact, if you are too nice, you will quickly be taken advantage of. I see it all the time.

Employees get comfortable. They think since you were together for 3 straight days digging holes or mulching a complex together, they now have some lee-way. They have the right to goof around a little bit, or be a few minutes late, or take their time when they need to pick up the pace. They start to ask for favors - an advance in pay, a day off, or they just expect you to buy them lunch.

Nip this in the bud. Make it clear that even though you may work together, that does not change the fact that he is an employee with a job to do and the expectations and responsibilities have not changed.

The first time you turn a blind eye to something, you are inviting more of the same. This can be deadly if you have multiple employees. If others see one guy get away with being late or making bad decisions, they feel it is their right to do the same.

Do not let this happen. Make it clear that you are a nice guy and you want to create a pleasant working environment, but work is work. Everyone has a job to do and no one has the right or option to take advantage of you or the business.
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:52 PM
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Groomer Groomer is online now
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Location: mow country
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Well, I'm guilty of some of that. I'm probably too nice and easy going- I've advanced pay, picked people up who had vehicle issues, etc. It seems to come with the territory, human nature is what it is. At the end of the day the work always gets done.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:06 PM
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jrs.landscaping jrs.landscaping is online now
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Location: Maine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Groomer View Post
Well, I'm guilty of some of that. I'm probably too nice and easy going- I've advanced pay, picked people up who had vehicle issues, etc. It seems to come with the territory, human nature is what it is. At the end of the day the work always gets done.
Same here, not on the pay advances but our guys can use our shop/tools, use our parts account for the discount (they pay the bill) or take hand tools home to do projects. They know all of these things are priviliges and treat them as such.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:26 PM
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McFarland_Lawn_Care McFarland_Lawn_Care is offline
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Location: Sedgwick, Maine
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Yup ditto for me too. It is definitely something I need to keep an eye on - always love to help folks out but have to smart and careful too.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:34 PM
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dwlah dwlah is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Argo Al
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Im guilty as charged
resolved the late problem by making him follow me in his car for the day when he did show up
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:44 PM
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grass-scapes grass-scapes is offline
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Location: Greensboro NC
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Originally Posted by dwlah View Post
Im guilty as charged
resolved the late problem by making him follow me in his car for the day when he did show up
You better watch that. If he has a wreck, and you required him to use his vehicle, your insurance may have to pay the bill. Unowned addendum will usually take care of it, but its still on YOUR insurance.

I make them meet me somewhere, but will not let them use their vehicle.
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