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Need help with new employee!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by T.E., Mar 17, 2005.

  1. T.E.

    T.E. LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 799

    My knew guy is now on his third week. So far he has been great, passes out about five hundred door hangers in a little over three hours, never late, puts tools up, wants to do all of the work. If I start to do something he say's I got it tony. Just a real hard worker.
    Now the problem We have started to mow a few of the lawns, and he can't trim for crap! His trimming is slow as can be, and his edging with a line trimmer is horrendous, absolutely a no go. Has anybody else ever had this problem? I know I need to give him some time, but his trimming and edging skills are null and void. I wanted him to do the trimming while I do the mowing am I dong this back wards? How have some of you handled this situation? any help will be appreciated. Thanks, Tony
  2. nmf392

    nmf392 LawnSite Member
    from Ma
    Posts: 17

    I used to work for a guy just starting out in business. I was in high school when I started and I did the mowing and he did the trimming. Now that I have my own business, I had my worker slowly integrated into trimming process. I first let him do only the easier trimming until eventually he became more comfortable. Now he is trustworthy enough to do a good job
  3. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    Have you taken the time to show him the correct way that you want it done? If you have give him a litle more time, and if he still can't get it then you have a choice to make. Hard workers are hard to find, dumb workers are a dime a dozen, So I'd probably take the extra time to show him how I wanted it done a few EXTRA times if that would make a diff. Or buy an edger for him to edge with.
  4. promower

    promower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,232

    Take him to a park and let him have at it for a while. Just takes time but I'm sure he will catch on quick. I'm sure it seems like an eternity to you though.
  5. AlpineNaturescapes

    AlpineNaturescapes LawnSite Member
    Posts: 149

    Trimming is the hardest part of maintenance and edging with a trimmer is harder yet. Few people I know can do it well. I'd say you need a stick edger anyway - it is faster than edging with a trimmer and looks better or are you talking about a string edger? The best way to break a new employee into trimming is to rotate. One, he'll kinda watch what you do. Two, everyone wants to mow. No one likes trimming all the time - it is the hardest and hottest part of the job. So this will help his whole outlook. Three, he needs to know how to do it all in case you're sick etc.
    My three(count'um 3) cents ;)
  6. bushtrimmer

    bushtrimmer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 351

    Maybe you should think about doing the trimming, edging, and blowing yourself and have hime cut. Anyone can cut grass, the difference between an ok job and a great job is in the trimming and edging.
  7. Guthrie&Co

    Guthrie&Co LawnSite Senior Member
    from nc
    Posts: 784

    true but he wont be as productive as he could be. just take the time and show him how its done. if need be let him pratice on your place or a park somewhere
  8. T.E.

    T.E. LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 799

    Thanks for the responses guys. Yes I did show him how I want it done, and he does try. I think I will try rotating him, and ease him into the harder trimming. I also will have him edge with an edger not a trimmer. He has really impressed me with his desire to work, and maybe he will get the hang of it. I just know that I'm real paticular with my trimming. Thanks, Tony
  9. Kelly's Landscaping

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

    This has worked for me ask him while he's watching to describe what your doing allot of them see the motion but have no clue what you are actually trying to do. After a few weeks you need to step up the criticism if he’s not up to par. Don't just let it slide Iv shown guys how to edge and they could not get it I finally asked them point blank what is it you think this does they had no clue when it was explained it was more then tracing the edge it was attempting to get a clean edge in line with the end of the cement it started to sink in some. It never hurts to let them think you are god what I mean is my guys fear me, as I am all knowing. After a given amount at time I start to correct their mistakes more and more and one of the best ways I have found is this ask them questions. Sounds easy enough but here’s the catch I never ask them anything about what they have just done that I do not already know the answer too. Did you trim around the tree near the deck? They can answer this in 2 ways they can lie and say they did or they can jump and say I missed that I’ll go fix it. Most will lie at first but when it sinks in after a few times of me going really lets go look then shall we they get the point I see all and they need to pay attention to detail. And that is the point of all that you need them to mature to the level of inspecting their own work. When they see their weaknesses and pay more attention they can only improve and as they get better I no longer need to even check their work once that happens its the greatest job the world not care and as easy as it gets pull up and every one knows their job. But before you get that pleasure they need to learn and that’s where you come in.
  10. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    I would just give him a little longer to figure it out. Also in the mean time, I would have him maybe practice before and after work. Show him everything from different techniques to procedures. I had a guy last year that worked part time for me really stink at trimmer. He like butchered the lawn. After a little coaching he speeded up and started to do a better job

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