Keep him or cut him loose

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by pjslawncare/landscap, Apr 19, 2005.

  1. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,410

    One of my workers has been with me for two previous seasons and he works good, puts down nice stripes, finally trims nice and straight and has everything down pat and has had a good attendence record till now. My attendence policy is if your late three times within a 30 day period, your fired. Well today he came in 20 min late (third time in 3 weeks) & I sent him home and said I will have a "discussion" with him tomorrow. He has called me twice tonite expressing concern about what I will decide, but his reason was simply that he slept rite thru his alarm. I feel I must let him go to set a presedence for the other workers. If I "let it slide", the others wont take my rules seriously. If I can him, I will lose one of my most valueble workers whice will definately hurt my business in our most busiest time.
    What are your thoughts?
  2. cutrite

    cutrite LawnSite Member
    Posts: 78

    How many employees do you have?
  3. quiet

    quiet LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 720

    Let him know he is a valued employee, but he broke policy, and the business simply can't tolerate that.

    Put him on a 2 month probation. I'm sure he'll let the other employees know, so they'll know he's one strike away from getting fired. Now you look a good guy, and if he's late again, well, he made the bed . . .
  4. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,410

    Rite now I have two others besides him in this endever. I & a partner have 8 guys working at a cemetary, but thats a seperate division. I am currently in the process of adding a few more workers for my business now though, so shortly I will have about 6 or 7 workers
  5. grassmanvt

    grassmanvt LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 906

    I would say have that serious discussion with him and let him know where you stand but I wouldn't push it to the point where it would make him want to quit. Help is hard to find and good help can be next to impossibe. There have been times where I wished my one or two guys showed up on time more than twice a week. I guess it all depends on how you are set for help. Sounds like his overall performance has been good and if thats the case than maybe its worth letting this slip as long as it doesn't become habitual.Sometimes you have to think about how much worse things can be rather than how much better it could be, just a thought...
  6. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Posts: 4,205

    I think you can find something other than firing him to prove your point.
    If his attendance has been good in the past maybe you should have a conversation about what has changed.

    Good employees are hard to come by, but on the other hand you are correct in assuming it will hurt your authority over the others.
  7. cutrite

    cutrite LawnSite Member
    Posts: 78

    Might suck but policy is policy! If you don't fire him that is just bullets for the next guy who sleeps in.
  8. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,810

    That's a tough situation. Three times in three weeks is a little excessive. I like the probation idea. Good help is tough to find in our line of work. I just hired my first full time employee and it was slim pickin's. If it were me.. I think I'd have a long talk and maybe apply the probation idea.

    Is he paid well with consistent raises? Do you offer any kind of incentive?
  9. rclay11541

    rclay11541 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 100

    How big is your crew? If you can spare him then loose him.

    Personally i wouldn't can him, you've invested the time to train him and now that he's trained hes an asset. I would give him crap when he's late. When one of my guys is late if he doesn't have a really good excuse we kinda haze him. For example, when one of my guys came in late with a piss poor excuse we uncapped the water cooler and soaked him. Light hearted and all but a good wake up call. If the worker is screwing things up and a little hazing dosen't work then we put him on crap duty. Weed wacking all day long.

    My guys are late once in a blue moon.
  10. cutrite

    cutrite LawnSite Member
    Posts: 78

    The only thing is now he has to change his policy for everyone. Policy's are not based on work ethic it was established to prevent people from continually being late. If you change then what will happen the next time. I mean you all ready have changed once(that's to say if you change).Don't broadcast your policies if your not going to enforce them.That way you can make a decision based on performance.

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