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Old 12-30-2013, 11:27 PM
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ed2hess ed2hess is offline
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Originally Posted by TPendagast View Post
Here's my experience.
MOST LCO owners have NEVER run a crew or managed for another LCO before.

MOST owners do everything so F'd up, they literally drive halfway decent employees away to competitors.

No one keeps the wild idiot owner in check.

Then those owners rant about how all the employees suck.

Do a Self check, sit down with competitors, or other owners over dinner once a month, discuss things.... most often you are all having the same problem, OR maybe you are doing something radically different from the majority of other guys.

These are good ways to do self checks.

Many owners expect WAY too much from employees for what they are paying.

I call it the McDonalds syndrome.

How many times do you hear someone complain about service at McDonald's?

Here what happened to me the other day.

I went through the drive thru for breakfast.
I ordered a #1, which is an egg mcmuffin meal.
I really hate them trying to force me to order an egg white delight, it annoys me. But their Management makes them say that.
Management is also pushing them to go faster and faster.
So what happens? I get my egg mcmuffin, in pretty reasonable time, a little fast if you ask me, because they are shoving the food at me before I can get my wallet back in my back pocket.
When I get my sandwich out, the wrapper was INSIDE the sandwich!
All gooped up with cheese.
The guy had wrapped it so fast, it got all discombobulated.

I got mad at first.

But then thought, what does this guy get paid?
8 bucks?
and he's got some manager breathing down his neck to go faster faster faster.
and why does some idiot manager put the girl with the highest squeekiest voice to talk over the loud speaker?
They are hard to hear.

Who's go the problem here?

The squeeky voice girl?
The speed wrapper?
Or the Manager?

I bet the Manager never even walks out to the speaker box to hear what his employee sounds like over the loud speaker?
Nope too busy looking important, forcing speed.

Too busy crunching numbers, trying to get blood from a penny and go faster.
All the time he saves, he wastes on employee turnover, by pressuring them too much for 7.75 or 8 bucks an hour.

the fault doesn't lie in the tool, It lies in the craftsman.
It's not the employees fault, it's the manager.

If you want the employee to succeed, you first must realize not everyone has the same capacity for everything.
You need empathy, and you need to listen to their willingness to do certain tasks.
If they arent so willing, they are comfortable doing it.
You need to put into place systems to support the employees and give them the best tools you can afford so that they can succeed.

Many LCOs sit around complaining about employees, but they perpetuate the problems themselves, not having any of the experience themselves, they are expecting out of their own employees!
Sit around sometime and listen to what customers have to say about you.
OR even your own employees?

What do you have to improve on? What skills do you need to develop?

Sure you're the boss , so you answer to no one and youre always right?
Keep thinking that, and you will keep having employees issues....

one more thing, stop telling people how much you think they suck, at least not to their face... it doesn't help them work better for you, at all.
Would you consider yourself a good worker? And more important a good employee?
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Old 12-31-2013, 04:06 AM
zimmatic zimmatic is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 408
A couple of observations
1. Money NEVER motivates EVER for a desired outcome.
2. All employee's will hit pay and or position celing. Sometimes imposed by the employeer but most of the time it is done to themselves.

1. Money NEVER motivates.
If you pay someone 8/hr vs 20/hr will they do the task better at 20 vs 8?

2. If you pay someone 8/hr to trim and blow vs 20/hr to perform morning equipment checklist, fill out all paper work mow, check for quality standards, mediate disputes among teammember (give more responsibilities) and they both perform to your expectations would you reverse the rolls of these two and their compensation? I wouldn't because the 8/hr person may not, could not or not want to have all the extra responsibilities and the 20/hr person would be insulted not because of the demotion but by the basic reason---they need a challenge/responsibility in order to feel committed.

Remember both perform to your standards. Now they come to you and want a raise. Remember money does not motivate. They are asking for several reasons. Life changes, tenure, threat of leaving--So what do you do?

Is it in the budget (employeer imposed wages)

If I pay the employee more will they do more work or take on more responsibilites? Do they have the capacity to learn more within the company? Do you the employer have the time to devote to teach them into a higher pay range IF they employee is willing (employee self imposed ceiling)

Threat of leaving if they dont get more money I usually let them fire themselves by leaving. I wont be held hostage and they will do it again to another employer They are also a toxic person I have found.

I have found that paying people more and hiring talented people will do what money does for everyone---It BUYS you freedom.

Talented people who are paid more will take many headaches away from you without you ever knowing. You also have to trust your talented team; they will make mistakes, but as the leader you can teach them. They and you will be better for it. I want my team to make mistakes, it shows me they are learning, growing, raising the standards.

The people in this thread that espouse ideas of how employee's should be treated, from being paid, to equal treatment, tenure, compenstation and not have ever employed people for longer than 1 year---hire someone. Hire a veteran, a woman, black man, Mexican, Venezuelan, a single mother, a 50's some old white collar professional a 16 year old white kid, or any majority/minority person. Then come back and tell us how well those ideas worked out. You may just find out that the observations I mentioned above run through most of these individuals.

The challenge for me is not mowing a lawn--(any person can do that) rather, making more money for me my family and the company while employing a team of well paid and TALENTED individuals working for a common goal.
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Old 12-31-2013, 05:31 AM
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TPendagast TPendagast is offline
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Money doesn't need to motivate.

You pay the position, not the employee.

If the position is Senior Hardscapes foreman. And the going rate is $17/hr and you want to hire the top guy, prepare to pay $19-$20/hr.

Don't hire a guy to BE the Senior Hardscapes Foreman and only pay him $12/hr because "thats all "this" guy is worth"

Then he CLEARLY isn't the Senior Hardscapes Foreman. HE's a Laborer.

IF the guy you hire to be the Sr. Hardscapes Foreman, doesn't cut the mustard, you let him go. But you pay the position, not the employee.

IF Burger Wrapper I is an $8/hr position, and that's the company model. Then expect to get messed up burgers wrapped in all sorts of bad ways.
NOT because the guy is all messed up, or he doesn't get paid much.
Because YOU aren't expecting much from that position.

The job is to push cheap burgers out quickly.
Everyone knows what to expect at the fast food window.
People who complain have a Beer Budget, and Champagne taste.
Want something better, go somewhere else.

The guy who runs A 1979 Locke Mower with an under age 15 year old kid in addidas shorts and pays $9/hr would HOPEFULLY be giving a different level of service than the guy with a uniformed team on scag turf tigers.

It's a different position, with a different company, and the expectations should be different as does the expectation for compensation.

Are you selling pink goo? Or are you selling top of the line?

WHO are you competing with.

There is nothing wrong with doing $20 lawns and trying to jam in 20-30 of them a day.
That's a business model.
It's going to have $9-$12/hr employees.
It's also going to have pit falls of high turn over and be dragging the bottom of the gene pool for talent.
Again, there is nothing wrong with this business model.
Slum Lords make money too.

But you can't be the Mcdonald's of the Green Industry, expecting Ruth Chris employees to be beating down your door looking to get hired.

McDonald's knows who they are, they have an identity, they deal daily with their high turn over, and make BIG bucks doing it.
There is no web site for McDonalds Managers to complain about crappy employees.
If there were, there would be no posts.
Again, they know who they are, they know their business model and deal with it.

$9-$12/hr is going to draw people willing to work for that amount.

$14-$17/hr is NOT top wages in this industry. No matter how hard you click your heels together and try to make it to Kansas.

$22-$25/hr is top wages in this industry. Trust me, I know I look at the paychecks every week when the guys think they got jipped on hours or OT.
I do the interviews, and I hire them... I know exactly what the top guys are getting paid.

I've seen a few pull $27/hr. (Not for maintenance positions mind you)

What do you want that position to do?
Wrap cheap burgers?

You get what you pay for.

also understand, a guy that is getting $14/hr and is single is probably thinking more about some bar, or party he is going to after work, than he is thinking about the work.

The married guy (or one with a steady baby mama and a rent to pay) is probably thinking about the second job he needs to make it to after this one.

$14/hr isn't enough for a family to live on.
If you are paying that, the guy isn't 100% devoted to your cause, because he's trying to make ends meet elsewhere.

You have to take this into account, and understand that, although that sucks... it's perfectly reasonable. It's just plain ole reality.

and learn to manage to it.

Again, the weakness is 70% in the lack of/poor management ball park.

The employee is a piece of clay, not a piece of crap.... The manager either makes a work of art, or a stinking fly collector.
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Old 12-31-2013, 05:34 AM
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TPendagast TPendagast is offline
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Originally Posted by Trees Too View Post
Fast food vs. lawn care. Great analogy. Damn those production goals. Sounds like you just described TruGreen, Scotts, Lawn Doctor or Weed-Man!
I used to work for TruGreen.

Helped develop the current business model, before they sold the LandCare division.
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