I have many questons for those with several employees who show up at your shop daily.

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Az Gardener, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    I have 9 guys now and I will probably have double that before I outgrow this new building I'm moving into. My guys work 4-10's and in this AZ heat you know its no picnic. So I do what I can to provide the best working environment I can. Obviously that is mostly field related as that is where they are most of the day.

    We use an office more than most
    • We have weekly meetings with the whole company
    • We have educational classes
    • We do much more paperwork than most companies to track stuff so the foremen usually spend at least 10-15 min after work talking, making lists for the next day or week.
    • Some guys carpool and end up waiting for rides/passengers
    • My hiring process is lengthy and involved so I want a environment that makes the candidate want this job more than any other
    • We review and update our operation manual each winter, more meeting time.

    I had originally planned to add a bigger bathroom with a couple of stalls and urinals. The cost is really getting up there and while I know it will get plenty of use but is it really my responsibility? For the cost of this bathroom I could AC and put RV toilets in all my trailers. Now I have camp Dunne's in the trailers but the single stall at the office always seems to be in use in the morning and someone is always waiting.

    I also want to create a vibe for prospective employees that make them excited about coming to work with us. So what can I do in the office to make it cool? Ok maybe somewhere they don't dread coming into.

    What do you regret about your office or what would you do differently?

    Please give me a little background if you respond how many employees etc.
    Also if you are an employee of a bigger company give me the good bad and ugly of your office.
     
  2. fivestarlandscapes

    fivestarlandscapes LawnSite Member
    Posts: 51

    I used to work for a big commerical landscape company and they has a beautiful office. They has two bathrooms, a refrigerator always stocked, and snacks. They had mailboxes for the employees and really nice desks and tables. The thing was, this office was for owners, managers and foreman only. No laborers allowed, not even to use the bathroom (they had a portapotty out near the trucks). This made the forman happy and it made laborers want to be foreman. I was really impressed when I applyed to that company because of the office. I wanted to work there. I was hired as a foreman, but if i wasnt i would want to stive to be one just for that reason (the office). But after two years, I discovered why they had such nice facilities (they didnt pay s***)
     
  3. ajslands

    ajslands LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,239

    Maybe have like a small kitchen for you and your secertary and other workers that are at the office all the time. And I would say a unisex bathroom in your office, and then a few in the garage. Also you talk about having meetings once a week; maybe a confrence room. do you do any plowing at all?
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  4. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    Yes I have a small kitchenette and a big meeting room planned. The only thing to plow in Phx is the BS everyone spreads.
     
  5. ajslands

    ajslands LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,239

    What about mt. Lemon and all those other mountains, I'm sure people want their driveways cleared!
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  6. Lawn Enforcer

    Lawn Enforcer LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,381

    I run a small company with my dad (sometimes I have an extra person in case I get behind) but I always have the fridge stocked with gatorade, pop, water, and of course beer. I bought some nice office chairs at a garage sale and at the end of the day you can relax a bit with something cool to drink. Plus if a customer or friend stops by you can always offer them something!
     
  7. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,795

    i love the guy who mentioned plowing for AZ, hahahaahha

    we have one stall and one urinal, with 7 guys sho9wing up to work every day including us crew leaders. no one is ever waiting to use the restroom and it is not that big of a deal. we used to provide a small refridgerator but it was never kept clean and folks would leave gross stuff in it so it was removed . sure systems could be put in place to cover that issue but it was not really worth it.

    i dont evny you at all, i was in pheonix in feb and it wa in the 70s, cant imagine working in the summer or how any grass is even green there in summer. here it has been in the upper 90s and 100 and despite irrigation the grass is still brown.
     
  8. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 37,806

    I currently work for a guy with currently 3 full time employees (two guys and myself) and 2 guys that come in when they feel like it (if they're not working for cash or high).

    My responsibilities:
    1. Full time grass cutter. If it's raining or the grass is burned, I'm generally on the landscape crew helping out in order to get my 40.
    2. On call. I literally live directly across the street from his shop. If he needs me to check something, grab a truck, etc, he gives me a call.

    Pros:
    1. The pay is well.
    2. I have been getting 40+ hours until the dry spell recently.
    3. He has no problems with my running a part time business. We both market to different customers.
    4. I feel needed and respected.

    Cons:
    1. No more responsibility is in the future.
    2. He does not delegate. Cannot let go. No paperwork for foreman, and we don't know what's going on until after the day's over.
    3. No benefits possible.
    4. He does not provide a sense of camaraderie. As employees, we form our own friendships with no leading from him.
    5. Plays favorites.
    6. Poor management. Does not the the steps to prevent problems or to fix problems before they get out of hand.

    What I would like to see:
    1. Allow the grass foreman to plan the routes, fill out paperwork, etc.
    2. Company lunch, cookout, or whatever else. Something on his end to bring us together.
    3. Drinks provided (not an overabundance)
    4. As wages increase, so does responsibility.


    Sorry for the long post. I will not be returning to his company next year. I would love to work for you, you seem to have excellent business sense and value your employees.
    Sorry for the long post.
     
  9. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    Are you a Steeler fan?
     
  10. ajslands

    ajslands LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,239



    Dood! I'm telling you! It snows in Arizona! I've seen it! You can ski there too!
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