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Christmas tips to employees by customers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawnman_scott, Dec 19, 2007.

  1. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    Do any of your employees get tips from customers? I had four customers give me and my employee each a card with money in it. I was impressed by that, he needs the money more than me anyway, and I know he will remember it more than I would anyway.
  2. Dunn's

    Dunn's LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,546

    Yes from what I see about 10-15 % of the customers tip our employee's. We ask that all customers send the tips to us to disburse to the employee they intend it for. It helps weed out any problems with them being accused of stealing or customer saying that was payment for the service. We might not get as many this year though since with the snow on the ground they won't be out servicing any of the properties. This week which helps jog the customers memories about tipping sometimes.

    So far there has been one tip that came through so far.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I don't know but speaking as an owner / operator a tip to me is the last indication that my prices are too low.
    Much as I hate to be like this, but I did a study in years past, what burns me is the tip doesn't make up for it, not even close.

    I had the opportunity to study this again this year, I had one account lightly underbid, it happens.
    The tip (what did I say) ended up making up for maybe half of that, and iffy on the figures, best case scenario half.
    That's my take on it, I don't recall ever getting a tip on a properly bid account, is the flip side of this coin.

    So I guess if you want tips then either underbid, or better yet give yourself the tip and bid it right.

    As for employees, can't say for sure but I'd be willing to hedge a conservative bet that it's still payment for services.
    Not wanting to get into details here, this is a tough one for me, not sure what to do...
    Obviously raising the price won't help, whether a pay raise would help is doubtful as well...
    I suppose I'd keep my eyes open to a point, but I also know there's but so much doing, it's yin yang with employees, you'll have some problems that, like this one, likely one of those things that's best to leave well enough alone.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    The question with employees is this:

    If you give them a raise...
    Or if you raise the customer's prices...
    Either or both...

    Will it stop or prevent first that customer from asking or begging your employee to do something extra when they come out?
    And, will it stop your employee from doing it, if or when asked?

    My opinion is the answer is no, none of that will stop the behavior.
    I also don't believe punishment to be the correct answer.

    But I do believe employee tips could be an indication that extra stuff is happening, still it is iffy.

    The answer most likely lies herein:
    What is it you can do different that will stop this behaviour?
    Somehow, it's somewhere within the way things are being done, I just don't know where...

    So in the meantime it might be just as well to let them get their tips, it may not be a problem with an easy solution either, some places accept them, others don't, perhaps that is the answer, or maybe just leave it alone.
  5. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!! I was just wondering if others have some nice people that think of their employees too. Now the prices are too low, the employees are lazy........

    TREEGUARD LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 303

    my guys get tips more then i do yesterday they got $30 bucks from a customer. Most of the time is 5 dollars but they love it, makes then feel good.
  7. bobcatnj

    bobcatnj LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 687

    some customers give tips. the employees deserve it for busting there ass all year
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I thought about this some more as I was working today...

    There is little in the way of it being a serious problem, benefits wise you can't knock it for the time being, but some businesses that have been around many years you see accepting tips is a no-no.

    So I dare say if employees getting tips is not a problem then you have other things far worthier to worry about, which is also to say that IF or when this becomes a problem it means you're doing pretty good :laugh:

    Usually by the time this becomes a problem you've got more than a few trucks and trailers, and your name is well known at least in your own county, you're an old man and been around 40-50 years and so on.

    By the time tips are phased out you've got yourself a training program that you don't even teach, their wages more than make up for it, the customer's prices are high, and the owner(s) are not much a part of the actual operation anymore... They still work with the business, just you don't see much of them, hard to explain, but I thought I'd clarify this.

    So, unless your operation is that far down the road, I think accepting tips is just fine.
    Yes, even if they do little extras, it all works out, it really does.

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