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View Poll Results: How much do you pay your lawn mowing foreman?
8-10 1 0.81%
10-12 17 13.82%
12-14 31 25.20%
14-16 44 35.77%
16-18 16 13.01%
18 or more 16 13.01%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 123. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 11-15-2014, 06:56 PM
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Cedar Lawn Care Cedar Lawn Care is offline
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Lawn Mowing Foreman Pay

I want to get a feel how much I need to pay my foreman. Take the poll and lets see what people are paying.
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  #2  
Old 11-15-2014, 09:19 PM
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walkerway walkerway is offline
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walkerway

Im paying my mowing foreman $14 an hour!!
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  #3  
Old 11-15-2014, 11:54 PM
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Cedar Lawn Care Cedar Lawn Care is offline
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Originally Posted by walkerway View Post
Im paying my mowing foreman $14 an hour!!
Is that enough for him to want to stick around for a while? Do you have a high turnover or do they feel quite content?
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Old 11-16-2014, 12:53 PM
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walkerway walkerway is offline
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walkerway

Idk its way more that he asked for, i was thinking about setting him up on a salary plus comission!! To motivate him to make more sales and stuff!!
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  #5  
Old 11-16-2014, 01:01 PM
PenningsLandscaping PenningsLandscaping is online now
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I think a decent base pay plus incentives is the best way to pay a foreman. Extra money for no complaints or call backs, finishing the route on time, commissions on sales, ect is the best way to get the most for your money. I don't have a foreman, but have worked as one, and let me tell you, getting 12 an hour without incentives leads to high turnover and lack of initiative.

I quit my last landscaping job after an idiot that worked under me, but couldn't accept he worked under me, and my boss wouldn't do anything about setting them all straight, sent a brand new ferris 61" into a pond, after I specifically told him to use a walk behind four times. I was mowing the other side of the property, and came back to that. Boss was as pissed at me as he was at the guy, that was it. I wasn't going to take the heat but not have control over the crew.

Last edited by PenningsLandscaping; 11-16-2014 at 01:05 PM.
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  #6  
Old 11-16-2014, 02:24 PM
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Cedar Lawn Care Cedar Lawn Care is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PenningsLandscaping View Post
I think a decent base pay plus incentives is the best way to pay a foreman. Extra money for no complaints or call backs, finishing the route on time, commissions on sales, ect is the best way to get the most for your money. I don't have a foreman, but have worked as one, and let me tell you, getting 12 an hour without incentives leads to high turnover and lack of initiative.

I quit my last landscaping job after an idiot that worked under me, but couldn't accept he worked under me, and my boss wouldn't do anything about setting them all straight, sent a brand new ferris 61" into a pond, after I specifically told him to use a walk behind four times. I was mowing the other side of the property, and came back to that. Boss was as pissed at me as he was at the guy, that was it. I wasn't going to take the heat but not have control over the crew.
What specific incentives do you feel would motivate an employee to work quickly, and do top quality work?

$40/week bonus for no complains?
$40 bonus if they talk to someone who becomes a client?
2% Christmas bonus?

2015 will be my first year with a foreman. I want to keep him happy without giving him all my money. I appreciate any input.
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  #7  
Old 11-16-2014, 02:56 PM
PenningsLandscaping PenningsLandscaping is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cedar Lawn Care View Post
What specific incentives do you feel would motivate an employee to work quickly, and do top quality work?

$40/week bonus for no complains?
$40 bonus if they talk to someone who becomes a client?
2% Christmas bonus?

2015 will be my first year with a foreman. I want to keep him happy without giving him all my money. I appreciate any input.
That sounds pretty good, I mean I would give him a small percentage of up sells. Nothing crazy, and factor it into estimates. If he estimates, make sure he knows your numbers up and down and factors in his percentage.

I would give 1/2 a mow price for new lawns he talks to, accurately bids, and stays a customer for x number of cuts. Say two months worth. 1/2 for weekly, 1/4 for EOW would be fair. I'd be happy to get that.

I give my employee a full cut price if he picks up a lawn, most of them are around $30 here anyway. But I'm in the field, my costs are lower than yours. 1/2 is generous with the size of your op. Most foreman don't get good perks, that's why they eventually leave and become your competition.
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  #8  
Old 12-04-2014, 12:04 AM
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XC skier XC skier is offline
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I have 2 employees, although they are not foremen they have the technical skills of one. They both have been with me for over 12 years, they are never late and have missed only a handful of days in that time.

This is what I offer them: $17.75 per hr
3 paid holidays
$30 per month cell phone allowance
Year end bonus- $220 this year
Uniform (pants, belt, shirts, vest, jackets,
hats, gloves and safety glasses)
Paid lunch* (since they don't take any breaks)
and of course I actually pay workers comp insurance and unemployment insurance which one collects every winter.
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  #9  
Old 12-04-2014, 11:44 AM
Armsden&Son Armsden&Son is offline
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Wow ^^^^^

That is great XC skier.

You sound like a fair boss and I'm sure that's why your guys have been with you for over 12 years.

TPendagast would LOVE to hear about this... I am sure that he will chime in...

Cedar...

I marked down the 14-16 box because that is where I was when I was a foreman.

I am currently 2 years into ownership and I am solo. My business plan calls for hiring guys and growing.

Was I happy at 15 an hour? Yes, but you have to keep in mind that I LOVE what we do... I am honestly happiest when I am outside working whether it be on a mower, spreading mulch, or even carrying blocks for a retaining wall around. In a nutshell, I was easy to please.

If you read any of TPendagast's stuff, he is always harping on the guys that come on here and complain about bad employees/not being able to retain good employees. His theory is basically that most owners are not compensating correctly.

I am so glad that XC skier chimed in above... Take a look at that compensation package and then look at that magic number.... 12 years! That is terrific.

Look, if guys are going to come on and say "Well, I can't afford to give my guys that kind of package!" Well, maybe you need to re-think your business model. You can't have your cake and eat it too..... If you want your owners salary to be x amount, then you can't complain that your labor is ghost when you pay them y amount.

We all know that employees are the name of the game.... Well, all of us that read Marty Grunder anyway...
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  #10  
Old 12-04-2014, 08:50 PM
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XC skier XC skier is offline
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Thanks Armsden. Actually one of the two has been with me longer but, I can't even remember when he started. I had another employee for 21 years that I had to fire a few years back because his elevated stature went to his head and his attitude became a cancer. I couldn't get him to come around so he's now bouncing around from one landscaper to another.

I had several arguments with my wife because I was paying my guys more than what she earned at Macys' but, it is a great selling point and it gives me such peace of mind.

Today was the last day of the season for one of the guys who goes back to Guatemala every winter and he thanked me for another good year. He said that he is happy to work for such a good boss and that he appreciates that I trust him to do a good job. That is a very rewarding feeling. When he returns in the spring I'll loan him $500 to get back on his feet and I know that he'll repay me very quickly and work as hard as he ever has.

I'm sure that a numbers guy would say that I can't afford my payroll but, I feel that I have an obligation to do the best that I can. I feel bad when I don't have the hours to give them knowing that they have families. As long as I am able to get work, charge enough and manage my business well things should be OK.
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