Employee Help

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Locqus, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. Locqus

    Locqus LawnSite Senior Member
    from Detroit
    Posts: 708

    Alrighty, as always I would like a little advice about one of my guys. I have seen threads about when to fire etc and have definitely taken them into account, but each situation is different as they say.

    My 3rd in command, just got promoted to run his own truck, was pretty good. Very personable, hard worker, had some problems waking up some days which we were working on. Recently his parents entered into a divorce and it is starting to take his toll on his work. He is becoming a bit forgetful with accounts, the late thing started again, and the other guys are starting to come down on me and him more about his performance. We lost a snow acct. because he failed to show up 2 times...

    Now, he sadly, has the most knowledge on his truck and route and is training the guy under him, and our customers know him by name etc. I figure we should start phasing him out to part time if he needs to deal with "family issues." I feel outright canning him would be a huge blow to him. I like the guy a lot and in my mind, had him running his own division one day. Trying to whip him into shape...or find his replacement in the mean time, but stuck for now. I am not a yeller, and the feeling that "I can get him to change" is always in my head even though I know it is possible a farce. He is 22, a lot to learn still.
     
  2. XYZLawnPros

    XYZLawnPros LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 398

    Sounds like you have been more than patient with him. But in hindsight, you lost 1 snow account because he failed to show up TWICE??????????? And he never told you this?????????


    End of story. Immediate termination. Laziness and lying is not an excuse for disrespect and sheer incompetence. Personable you say? Don't give 2 sh!ts if he is an adonis and makes people starry eyed when they speak with him (you stated your clients know him by name). Once a fellow human being stops knowing right from wrong they become oxygen wasters. You seem to want to continue to give a liar, lazy, disrespectful, brings problems to work and destroying the fabric of his own crew, another...and another.. and another chance. You may not be a loud mouthed owner who yells at their guys, but your are coming off to me as very weak. Your employees will notice this right away. They always do. Make a choice. Stick to it. Don't be wishy washy. Don't be flippy floppy.

    Competency in the workplace, especially in this industry is the smoking gun. You can give people a choice to either ruin your business, or help it flourish. I'd rather be on the flourishing side. That way I can treat my labor compensated help better than any others in this industry.

    You should have already made your decision.
     
  3. Locqus

    Locqus LawnSite Senior Member
    from Detroit
    Posts: 708


    Well put XYZ, well put indeed. He got chewed out for "forgetting" about it, after the customer called, should've done it right after I got that call. I have my moments of weakness I suppose. Thanks for the tough love.
     
  4. Armsden&Son

    Armsden&Son LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,357

    Great response Locqus!

    I really admire you for responding to XYZ in the manner that you did....

    I guess, because in your heart you know what he is saying is true...

    But there are so many guys here with HUGE ego's that would have reacted differently that you did...

    Good stuff, good stuff.....
     
  5. Locqus

    Locqus LawnSite Senior Member
    from Detroit
    Posts: 708

    ^^^sadly yes, emotion and sentiment have their place, not often in business however...I needed the kick. Ah the Ego, another detrimental emotion!
     
  6. snomaha

    snomaha LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 874

    Do you have a set of "core values" for you business? Things you would either take a financial hit or fire someone if they were compromised?

    Can't remember the author - might be Jim Collins? He stats that we tend to hold on to high producers with low core value fits because they are generating income for you. What they are really doing is poisoning everyone else on the team. Unfortunately I have had a few employees that were fired and after all others said "glad that guy is gone - all he did is *****"

    Sounds like your guy is now a low producer and a bad core value fit? Not a good combination...
     
  7. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,890

    Everyone has personal problems.

    Everyone needs to learn to leave personal problems at home. Maybe I'm too demanding, but eventually any of my former employees that let personal issues interfere with work become former.
     
  8. Locqus

    Locqus LawnSite Senior Member
    from Detroit
    Posts: 708

    ^^ all great points, thanks guys.

    @Mark
    True, personal problems should not interfere with work, that is not too demanding at all. Everyone has problems. I have slowly forgotten that. Perhaps I just needed to vent on it. :)

    @ Snomaha
    I do, but nothing bullet proof, since I value each situation separately. Quality and customer service are always up there. As is reliability. Which he has tested. I have the mantra "hire for personality, train for a job"...I like him, nice guy, etc. the same old story. So I am a bit sentimental, and that I put a couple years of hard work training him up decent. He is just at that tipping point, and I know what I should and will do. Just very, "blah" about the whole situation. I wish I could just clone myself.
     
  9. McFarland_Lawn_Care

    McFarland_Lawn_Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,387

    I constantly struggle with this....REALLY need to work on being decisive and ready to discipline, no matter how tough it may be.

    Subscribing....
     
  10. Mow Mony

    Mow Mony LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Posts: 229

    I try not to forget that, living on what my guys make(which is better than avg. but not enough to live really well on) life can be hard at times, not to mention many have made some poor life decisions which is why they are mowing lawns in the first place. Doesn't mean they aren't good people or good workers though, but most of mine have been through some hard times. I'd say lay out your expectations for what you expect going forward, then give him the option of a pay cut, or finding a new job. Tell him once he shows he can be reliable and perform again to the levels you expect, in all areas, he will return to his pay rate. If he is good in almost every area he is probably worth keeping. I have done this before and it has worked for me. As others have said, don't let him poison the morale though, and make sure something is done as a consequence, even if its not terminating him. I go above and beyond for my employees (sounds like you are the same way), and they appreciate it for the most part. I am not afraid to fire one though if it isn't working out...but if they are overall a great employee, and have a few slip ups, we address it, make sure they learn from it, and move on.
     

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