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Define a Foreman/Team Leader

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by MarcusLndscp, Jan 20, 2006.

  1. MarcusLndscp

    MarcusLndscp LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 634

    I'm going to post this in a couple different places........

    For those of you in the commercial landscaping forum, what do you expect from your foreman/crew leaders? How much project management is expected from them? How much do they deal with clients? Coordinating subs and their work? Scheduling? Long term forecasting of time frames for project completion? Scheduling materials? Watching the budget/mHrs? Scheduling work and the interactions of different divisions of the company?

    Does your company have different levels of foreman/leaders? Senior foreman, junior foreman, assistants????

    When you've defined your requirements of a foreman for you (if you don't mind my asking) what kind of pay scale,perks and benefits do you provide them in compensation for the performance they provide the company? We're currently analyzing ourselves and are just curious where we stand as a company within the Construction/Green Industry.

    Any input or thoughts are appreciated.

    Thank you
  2. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,742

    I'm haven't been an owner for a very long time, but I have been on the management side above the foreman for a number of companies. I have seen some try to get the employee to do the job that the owner defined and I have seen some recognize the limitations of the employee and redefine the job description to account for that.
    The first description was problematic from my observation. They would take a good worker and give him responsibilities that he could not handle. Then management would keep pressuring him to do what he was supposed to do or be upset with him because things were not going according to script. Pretty soon there is a lot of negativity between him and management. Typically, these guys are close to their crews and vent to them and try to shift the incompetency from themselves to management. Then all of the employees get an "us aganst them" attitude.

    Understanding who you have and what they can and can't do is more management work, but you get the best out of people and generally leave everyone with the feeling of confidence and you are getting them everything they need to get the job done. That is management.

    In the first case, this is shifting the burden of management down the line is great as long as that person it has the ability. You know how hard it is to hire laborers that work out. This is harder. The biggest concern is that you will take a great worker and put him into a position to fail - then you can't reverse it.l
  3. MarcusLndscp

    MarcusLndscp LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 634

    Hi Andy! How's things been for you? I'm actually sitting in Mashpee as we speak near Quashnet Valley. Would you beleieve we're still celebrating christmas???

    I could not agree with you more. While my boss and one of our other managers discussed this the other day I told them exactly what you wrote. Unfortunately it's a common trend in the industry as a whole during the "busy season". I told them that they set a great deal of their guys up for failure and seem to hold it against them when they do. I for one feel that is incredibly wrong. For one blue collar workers seem to reduce in numbers everyday. Most kids don't grow up saying I want to be a landscaper. They are going for the 9-5 jobs sitting behind a desk starting at 40-50k a year w/ a full benefits package and many perks to go with it. I feel as an individual in a management role that we need to set up these less experienced guys for success. You need to develop their minds and give them a CAN DO attitude. When their done with a job they need to be acknowledged for their accomplishments to leave them with a positive attitude every time. Sure guys will make mistakes and those need to be accounted for as well, but the negatives should not be what is remembered at the end of a year. Not all minds develop the same...you just need to know how to bring the best out of people. In order to do so management needs to give them their best as well. We've got a guy who can do site work, plantings, hardscapes, paving, and most other construction type work but is not the best at all in the area of project/people management. He was set up in a position he was not ready to be in and failed. Now ,like you say, he has a negative attitude and through my conversations with him will most likely leave the company this spring (probably a 50/50 chance or better). I have spoken my mind about him because he does have a construction type mind and we should utilize that to our advantage.
    Hope all is well

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