How do you discipline an employee?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Mr.Mow-It-All, Apr 29, 2006.

  1. Mr.Mow-It-All

    Mr.Mow-It-All LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 506

    I have one full time employee. My first full time employee. Last week he was late 3 times (1 hour late each time). He works hard, still not that proficient though after a month. Was wondering how to discourage this late arrival. Should I dock his pay? How to do this. Also, what about things that he breaks. I know things are going to happen, but along with being late this week 3 times, he broke a latch on a wooden gate (that cost me $8 and an hour of my time to fix), lost my $65 knife, and a padlock.

    Do you guys pay a bonus if all goes well at the end of the week? Make them pay for things (like the latch)? Although I know accidents happen and don't feel like I should make him pay for every little thing, but would like to encourage him to pay better attention so things like that won't happen. Do you give some sort of warnings or something like that.

    Also to add, I have already been looking for other help, but just hard to come by right now. I would say he needs this job more than I need him, but with the labor market so low right now can't afford to just get rid of him.

    Would appreciate the advice from the pros here as I look forward to adding many more employees and crews in the future.

  2. Likestomow

    Likestomow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 997

    Do you absolutely need this guy? If so, you'll just have to put up with it.

    If you warn him and he still is late and you don't fire him, he will figure out who has the power between you two. Try pulling out from where you meet him at your designated work time. Let him come late and find you gone. If he has a cell phone he will call you and you can direct him to meet you somewhere. Just like a child, he should understand that starting time is starting time and you will begin with or without him.

    Try putting an ad in your local "nickel" paper, something like this:

    "Lawn care helper needed. Must have verifiable experience and own vehicle. Top pay $10 - $15 per hour."

    You will get lots of calls from dead beats wanting to make big bucks for little or no work, but, you will also get some calls from guys who do have the experience you are looking for. A good guy is worth a minimum of $10 around here.
  3. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    1st time late..warning..2nd time late..don't bother to show your face.3rd time late..your fired!
  4. dcplace2004

    dcplace2004 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 423

    Mount him to your trailer and have him hold the equipment in the hot azz sun...
  5. befnme

    befnme LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,413

    work on a points system .1 point = warning , 2 points = 1 day off no pay ,3 points = fired .

    CAL-LANDSCAPER LawnSite Member
    Posts: 48

    If you're going to have employees, YOU need to have company policies.
    Rules are needed and those you hire need to know them.
    Should also be in written forms and signed by employees.
  7. Evergreenpros

    Evergreenpros LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,155

    Not sure about your state but you have to watch out for your unemployment rating. Here in Washington state they pay full benefits for just about everything. I kid you not, 4 months ago we had a person work for 2 weeks, quit and claimed the job was to hard. The Washington State Unemployment department gave her full benefits!!!! We even tried to appeal it and she won again!!!! We had another person work 4 hours and walk off the job, she got full benefits as well!!! We had another employee who was pregnant and got full benefits, I tried to fight that one and lost. She even consulted a lawyer and you know what he told her to do at the hearing????

    LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE!!!! You will win.

    So guess what, she lied lied lied lied lied and got full benefits!!

    It may not seem like much money but these few claims will cost us about $25,000 more in unemployment insurance over the next 5 years!!!

    The government, what a joke.
    So be careful about rolling over employees and firing for everything. Make sure you document because of you let these little claims go if you ever get 15+ employees it will cost you through the nose.
  8. ArkansasLawns

    ArkansasLawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    You made it before you hired him. You will survive after he quits you when you need him most.

    1st time- verbal warning
    2nd write up a warning
    3rd day off no pay
    4th- there is no 4

    Get something in writing. Make sure all employees read date and sign it.
    Every thing is in the past and today they start with a clean slate.
  9. upidstay

    upidstay LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Posts: 1,346

    I like to use a wiffle ball bat myself...
  10. mulcahy mowing

    mulcahy mowing LawnSite Senior Member
    from ma
    Posts: 721

    i like it:rolleyes:

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