Employees don't shut gates- what can I do

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Five Diamond Lawns, Sep 10, 2004.

  1. Five Diamond Lawns

    Five Diamond Lawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 197

    :dizzy:
    One crew of mine started at the beginning of this season and is doing pretty good. Clients like them ( actually a lot :blob3: ) but I have lost my second client because they keep leaving gates open. I know I should suspend, then fire them but I'd rather find a creative solution. Can't dock their pay :dizzy:

    Be creative and give me some good suggestions
     
  2. Lux Lawn

    Lux Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,267

    Did anything major happen like a dog get lose or are they just mad they left it open?
     
  3. Lawn-N-Garden Guy

    Lawn-N-Garden Guy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 321

    Had a problem like that with a new client,1st time we cut her we left open the gate and the blind def dog got out and took them better part of the nite to find it. Then the last cut of the year the same gate was left open and guess what,They found the dog but I lost a customer do to negligence of my employees,Soo next time this happens it costs everyone the price of the cut.That way things like that are checked and rechecked.
     
  4. leadarrows

    leadarrows LawnSite Senior Member
    from N/A
    Posts: 925

    Start out by making one person in charge of checking the gate and while your at it any thing else that needs checked like hand tools and last look at property for quality control. One person being responsible avoids the "I thought you did it no I thought you did it" scenario and it's more likely that a person assigned that duty will remember than that a group will.
     
  5. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    There are two obvious ways to skin this particular cat. the first is the warning, suspension, firing route. The second is an incentive program.Give them some amount of money, friday pizza and beer or whatever, that they earn from being complaint free. Then with each justifiable complaint they lose a part of the incentive. So say you give them a $25 weekly bonus. $5 gets taken away for each complaint or the whole thing goes away if a client cancels due to negligence.

    Of course you have to investigate complaints and they need to see the money or it has no value. No docking for PITA complaints. But perhaps double docking for repeat violations.

    Just spell everything out and be generous as opposed to stingy. If they are always only getting $5 because you are looking to be cheap it won't work. If they see that improving gets them more moeny it should work. Hey, at $25 that is +50 cent an hour raise, off the books.
     
  6. Littleriver1

    Littleriver1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 811

    I don't think incentives and bonus will work, nor are they appropriate. You just need them to do their job. Close the gate, how hard can it be. Have I ever left a gate open by mistake? Sure! More than once? Sure! Give them a 3X5 card with a check list on it and a place to initial each item. Leave one at the customer and send one to you. If they screw it up, then retrain them and give them a do over. We're cutting grass, not launching space craft at the stars. Just remember, if you do this, you will be on their PITA list. So don't try to BS them. Just tell it like it is. If they got a better idea then let them tell you what to do.
     
  7. jbell113

    jbell113 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 654

    I have had the same problem except its with myself so to solve this problem I put a small reminder checklist on my weed eater rack.
     
  8. BryPaulD

    BryPaulD LawnSite Senior Member
    from MI
    Posts: 392

    Really really stress the golden rules.......If you open it, close it. If you turn it on, turn it off. If you get it out, put it away. And most important.......................If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
     
  9. Five Diamond Lawns

    Five Diamond Lawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 197

    I like the incentive idea. I've tried the checklist idea and it worked for a while and then they would forget and started filling them out at the end of the day.
     
  10. Tony Clifton

    Tony Clifton LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 865

    We have the same problem at times. One thing that we require is for the guys to do a walk through before they leave each account. I am not sure if it is best to have one person to walk one way and another person walk another or if it is best to have them walk through together but a walk through should be required at each stop. This not only eliminates problems with leaving gates open but you would be surprised with what the guys realize they miss, 99% of the time they come back with a large stick, more weeds, grab a weedeater off the truck to get a spot they missed etc. My point is, if a gate is left open it is proof theydid not do the walk through.
     

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