Good/Bad boss?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by fga, Feb 12, 2004.

  1. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,449

    Just wondering how you guys associate with your workers? I never wanted to be a slave driver, and don't ever plan to be. But how do you know when you're not ..... strict enough? When I hire a guy, I just want him to get the job done, but keep a good attitude. I've only yelled at 2 workers in 6 years (2 examples from my previous post). This can make a bad boss ( i hate the term boss), if guys think they can get away with things. When I was younger, I worked for some real hard @sses, and I worked hard for them. But every minute of the day I'd be thinking I have to get out of here. And I did! The last one was responsible for me starting my business, I said I'll never work for anyone ever again. Funny, now I have almost 100 people I work for:D . Back to the point, where do you draw the line as far as treating your employees daily?
  2. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    I try not to get socially involved with any of my workers. It makes being a boss that much harder. I am a strict person when it comes to procedures and policies. They are in place for a reason; for safety, for profit, and for production.
  3. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,449

    So how are you on a average day? What do you mean by strict? say a guy says he wants to take a minute to smoke a cigarette, what do you say? (i don't smoke by the way). Or if you pulll up to an account and a guy waits for you to get out of the truck with him? Driving in the truck, are you friendly with the guys or do you talk about what they have to do at the next house? These little things I think can affect the way your workers take you. I wish I was stricter. You ever try to make an example to set the tone in the beginning? I lied one time about a "previous worker", who did such and such, and fired him on the spot, hoping to keep this new guy sharp. didn't work.
  4. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

    I think what makes a great boss is one that is fair and consistent I do intimidate my guys but it’s not a mean or scary feeling. They know I work harder then they ever could and that builds a respect between us. I never cheat them on pay in fact I round up their time cards I never bounce checks I do joke around with them like one guy I told him he was on beach rate when he asked what that meant I said well you see since going to the beach is considered fun anytime were with in 2 miles of it you are off the clock. Hehehehee had him going for a few moments fact is my town is on the ocean so that would mean he was on beach rate 10 hours a day LOL.

    Some people yell and I have worked for them. Some that’s all they can do and they make very poor bosses. I prefer a more friendly environment but I have enough presents to stop and excessive fooling around before it gets to far. And as long as you can keep the atmosphere light hearted and yet retain control and be able to push your guys if they are falling behind then you can keep a friendly relationship with your men. And they will like coming to work. Going into this season coming up I have a cash flow problem and it looks like I only will have about 6 k for March payroll. To put it in perspective how much my guys love me 2 of them have told me they will work for the first 3-4 weeks before I need to pay them so we can get some monthly cash flow started again. If I was a bad boss and they didn’t like me I don’t think they would offer that it comes down to trust and they fully trust me I don’t hide anything from them. But even when I worked for my last boss and was a foreman for 6 years the crews had that kind of loyalty despite the fact the owner was a cheapskate that would cheat them on pay. Bounce their checks then have the balls to yell at them for being a few mins late.

    I think guys like to have some pride in what they do and if you can do unheard of amounts of work with the crew they tend to bond and become more of a team my all time record for lawns with a 3 man crew was 51 in one day with a 4 man crew I once hit 60 if they don’t love you they aren’t gona give you that kind of performance.
  5. hole in one lco

    hole in one lco LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,793

    Treat them how you want to be treated. I never talk down to anyone. If you ask them to do it they will but if you tell them to do it. It mite get dun but probably not to your likening and a simple thank you good job goes a long way
  6. Mikes Lawn Landscape

    Mikes Lawn Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 458

    You have to keep a comfortable distance from your guys in other words you don't want to hear about their GF troubles or past problems. Keep the conversation light and focused on business not on personal issues you don't want them to think of you as a friend. If they ride around in the truck with you all day its a little harder to keep your distance you have to lead by example.

    A little story for ya:
    A few years ago I worked for a medium sized construction company as a PM. I reported to the VP of the company we did not get along very well but I got along with the Pres.

    One day I'm sitting in my office the VP comes in and starts yelling at me over a subs change order. There were about 10 people in the office who could hear this guy literally yelling at me for 10 minutes the whole time hes yelling I did not say one word he gets up and goes to his office 5 minutes later he comes back and yells at me again for another 5 minutes everbody in the office is just looking at this guy with their mouths open in disbelief.

    Later that day the pres comes in my office and asks what happened I explain to him what happened he doesn't say much.

    Next morning VP comes into my office and apologizes up and down for his actions because the Pres told him to. The Pres calls the VP into his office for a meeting 1 hour later the VP is being escorted off the premises he was fired because of what he did.

    All I could say was sweeet:D

    I know long boring story but I thought it was pretty cool
  7. TRex

    TRex LawnSite Senior Member
    from DFW ,TX
    Posts: 487

    All I can add is show respect weather you have it for them or not. And try to have a protocal set for everything that could happen, by this I mean that you should almost right a book of how everything is going to get done. Then you will be able to act like you are not the boss, but rather the book is and you will have to follow it very closely.

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