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Getting Employees to listen?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by bjm95, May 11, 2013.

  1. georgialawn88

    georgialawn88 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,075

    thats different. i wouldnt mess with effeciency hes a good dude. his statments r true and u could learn a lot from him
  2. Armsden&Son

    Armsden&Son LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,358

    No, of course he wouldn't..... Because he is not the boss at the Truck Repair Shop.... You completely missed the point... The guy who started the truck repair shop is an absolute animal..... He know's how to fix everything and how to do it fast. He's good with the numbers, he's great with the customers.. and he treats his employees well. That's why he decided to go into business, because he knows that he has a natural talent for Truck Repair. He knows that he can compete in the market because of his experience, professionalism, know-how, and ability to look to the future and spot trends... So when he hires employees, he hopes that they will have 75% of the "stuff" that he has.... But in reality he knows that he will be getting people with half of the passion and drive that he has for Truck Repair... And he has to accept that because the world is full of leaders and followers, go-getters and no-getters....
  3. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,669

    Everyone gets scolded if there is too much OT. What you need to show, on paper is the justification FOR that OT with added sales and higher profit margins (and yes it possible to do even with OT)
    If you didnt HAVE that and all that OT was butt picking, then thats why you got a scolding.
    Two years with a lawn company might as well be the same as saying 10 months, because that's ALL the "go time" you have in this industry. so that being said, that's not a lot of time put into a company. I know guys who have worked for brickman for 12 to 15 years.

    so with that being said, that hardly makes you an expert on how to manage people. MOST people are lazy, think they know better, or are trying to find a way to not work so much, Take a snap shot of the living room in a house these workers live in, do they pick up their own stuff? or just leave it lying around.

    They get attitudes that they dont have to do that, someone else should. work ethic is a disappearing thing in this country. Especially when what you are paying someone is scary close to what they could get if your fired them and they collect unemployment.

    It's all about motivation. Instead of a system where everyone starts with an A, Give them a system where everyone starts with a D -, you want to work here? You earn your pay. EVERYONE starts with a 8/hr, if the stuff is done my way? thats $1, if you put back your tools $1, if the equipment is greased and not broken lost or stolen? $1, no call backs from customers this week? $1. You beat your times? $1...and so on. That's $13 an hour if they do things YOUR way, and $8/hr if they do things THEIR way.... its their choice. Come up with TEN things you want them to do. The guy who does it all is the perfect employee and is WORTH $18/hr.
  4. Mayor of Mow Town

    Mayor of Mow Town LawnSite Member
    Posts: 76

    Have you tried quick end-of-job checklists, so they don't leave the property until they have spent 30 secs or so essentially signing off they they have completed A, B & C (the things that you identify as the most important things to do, such as 90 degree edges?)
  5. seabee24

    seabee24 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 619

    I have my own share of employee problems. Here is my take from what I'm learning.

    1. putting back tools is basic stuff. If they cant put back their tools you might as well have hired 3 yr olds, because they don't pick their toys either. I would reconsider hiring better guys

    2. having a person that is held accountable for a task like keeping the shop clean helps when the item or area is "common" to many people. I expect a crew leader to keep his truck clean. But for areas like the shop with multiple people and crews, I would just pick someone and hold them accountable for it. Odds are if they do take the new task seriously they will put some pier pressure on the other guys to help out by putting tools away.

    3. If the guy isnt mowing the way you want him. Ask him once show him once. Then remove the guy from the mower, hand him a line trimmer for a day. Then ask him to come into the office a the end of the shift. explain to him that if he cant mow your way, then he can have a line trimmer in his hands, and BTW" I have to lower your pay because your back to being a basic labor. -- so when I say mow my way.... you better do it."

    If he still doesn't, get someone else on the machine.

    4. Have a training session on payday. Hold their checks until the very end of the day. Tell them you have been too busy cleaning and fixing their screw ups that you havnt even had a chance to write paychecks. And that once the shop is clean, and things are mowed the way you want them you will take the time to write some checks. I would remind them that your job is to write their checks, and their job is to listen and do as instructed. If they cant do their job, why should you do yours? Now that's a dangerous line, and you do have to pay them on-time. But hold them late, clean the shop, then have them come into your office 1 at a time. Give them a check, remind them of the above. Sorry to bad the banks are closed for the day, but sometimes that drives a point home. Then day before next payday, just remind them of what happened last week.

    5. If that doesn't work. I hold a meeting, and say I just cant stay in business paying what I am. I have to bring another guy on to clean up your mess, so I'm taking $1.00 per hour from everyone's pay to hire someone to come in on the weekend and clean up.

    besides all that - these are really just games to get people to think. sometimes the games work, sometimes they don't. Really if you have to ask more than once you hired the wrong people.

    I hired plenty of wrong people too.
  6. McFarland_Lawn_Care

    McFarland_Lawn_Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,392

    Some good ideas on this thread so far. I like the concept of a pyramid of accountability and responsibilities. Where you place specific jobs and responsibilities with employees. The key to remember is that when I give someone a responsibility and describe how I want it done, then they need to be given room and freedom to get it done. Should crew leaders be in charge of setting their crew's schedule for the week or should 1 person set everyone's schedules? It get's tricky when I set everyone's schedule and jobs for the week, then an "odd job" may come up (like a 6 hr chipping job or something). I would love to assign it to a crew leader and forget about it, but how can he schedule and get the job done if I'm doing all the scheduling, you know? I'm pretty tired, so there's probably a simple answer that I'm not seeing.

    What do you guys do?
  7. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 37,805

    I wasn't picking my butt on the clock, I was doing what I was told every day. They say come in at 6, I come it at 6. They say take care of these properties, I get back at 7pm, not my fault. I never purposefully wasted company time for a higher paycheck. Of course I'm not perfect and didn't run around full speed all day but I didn't sit at the garage at 8pm waxing mowers.

    And also I'm sorry if I came across as an "expert"...not my intention. I personally think I'm terrible but somehow I get results. I wasn't sure how to word my post to sound otherwise, so I can definitely see how it came across a little too self-appreciating. Not my intention at all. Maybe next time a thread like this comes along, I'll give my two cents without my life story :)
  8. bjm95

    bjm95 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 52

    Great Advice Seabee Thank you!
  9. bjm95

    bjm95 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 52

    Tried but the list doesnt get used. When I say "did you check the list" they just say yes even though it hadnt moved from the spot it was in the morning.
  10. McFarland_Lawn_Care

    McFarland_Lawn_Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,392

    wow, so not only will they not listen to what you want, but they also lie about what was done. Do they undestand why it is necessary? You need to crack down somehow....remove special privileges, take them out to lunch if they do it right for a week or a month to start......if they still don't get it you need to crack down. 1 guy on each crew should be in charge and responsible for the rest, if he is not doing it right, then he loses the position of leader and the pay of that position and it will be offered to anyone who can step up and fill it properly.

    Just tossing out some ideas.

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