Once again, let down by employee expectations

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by nobagger, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    This is no surprise to many of us. I've been through 2 guys already this season, one guy who just never showed up and the other worked for 2 days then MIA for about a week and a half until payday (of course). Our other guy decided to have a seizure on a job site and I thought what next. A friend of mine gave me a name and number to a guy he had apply with him. This guy said he has a degree in commercial grounds maintenance and 6 years experience. I met with the guy and he's a nice kid and talked the talk but man, now that I see his work, good Lord! Either he slept through his classes or this "college" was N.Carlolina State college of give me 1500 bucks and take a few on line classes and your a landscaper. His work so far is sub par at best and I want to keep him around to see how he mows but lawns are so wet even if it stopped raining today it will be a week or so before we can mow.

    MOHUSTLER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,376

    Mabey he jsut needs some on the job traning. If he seem like a good kid and worker keep him around. But I feel your pain on finding good employees. I dont think they exist anymore. Im also extremly picky and I want stuff done exactly my way. So I probably cause more tension then normal.
  3. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,083

    Essentially all employee problems can be traced to hiring/supervision/communication issues which start with you the owner.

    Do yourself a favor and research management techniques for small business which includes how to properly interview/hire and supervise employee(s). You'll see one of the biggest issues regarding labor management is communication between the employer/employee and problems that arise from gaps in this process.

    Regarding employee(s), a one size fits all attitude does not work since not every employee is the same. The kicker is how to get the employee(s) to understand not only what needs to be done but the manner you intend the work to be completed. This neither happens over night nor is particularly easy to implement. However, it can be done but only you are able to determine at what cost in terms of time/effort you are willing to expend to achieve a stable employee base.
  4. ashgrove landscaping

    ashgrove landscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,463

    I only expect an employee to be half as good or lower then myself. Anymore is a luxury. I figure I'm only paying them 1/6 of what I'm making off them so at least they 're here and helping out. It's not worth the stress to expect employees in this business to be top quality.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Probably the most common mistake inexperienced employers make is pay top wages thinking employees will somehow work "better?"
    Let me ask you...

    If a man can not change a flat tire, either because they don't know how or for any other reason they just can't do it.
    Do you think if someone pays that man well over, say triple the normal rate that somehow an employee will be able to suddenly
    have a flash of genius that allows that person to change a flat tire that not 5 minutes ago they couldn't do?
    So how about if we pay that employee ten times the normal rate, would that work?
    Would 100x times regular pay suddenly make that employee be able to do something they could not do before pay was discussed?

    This is the reason why I pay $5 an hour, I don't have no expectations but if someone's not here by the time
    I am ready to leave then I work by myself that day and don't care, the pay is sub minimum wage but then
    again it's a cash job and they get paid the same day they work and if they don't like it they can just keep looking.

    All the qualifications on the face of the earth don't mean squat to me and talk is cheap, they didn't come to me looking
    for a job because they can find better elsewhere and the only folks I get by paying more is bigger liars, at least by paying
    dirt cheap wages they don't BS me much, matter of fact mostly it gets right down to the dirt.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2011
  6. ReddensLawnCare

    ReddensLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,652

    I will never pay an employee less than 9.50/hr and its normally ten. I know how hard the work is an I show my employees that by their pay scale. I dont have anyone that works full time with me like some of you guys, but I do always give them respect. And to the OP, if he graduated from NCSU Turf program, he probably doesnt have a ton of on the job training, but that is a very elite school in the green industry down south. So help him out for a while, he may not be that great right now at the planting and mowing, but when it comes to knowledge of how things work together to create a perfect landscape, he may blow your mind in the future. Just keep that in mind
  7. Clark Griswold

    Clark Griswold LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 554

    I would never want the aggravation of hiring & firing employees, no way no how!
  8. Agape

    Agape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,645

    here is a reply to a CL ad I put out for worker paying 9-10;

    > Sent: Saturday, April 23, 2011 3:42:40 PM
    > Subject: That's a lot a qualifications for 9 to 10 dollars per hour. I meet the requirements but won't work for next to nothing. Its funny how 10 years ago it was 9 to 10 dollars and yet with cost of living jumping almost 50%, people like you still think they

    it actually did stop abruptly at "they"
  9. Agape

    Agape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,645

    ps- the "qualifications" were experience with checkable references( company, supervisor, phone #), clean driving record and own transportation
  10. Dogbonz

    Dogbonz LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 389

    it's all because, our society keeps, pussafying this generation. It's ok Billy,, were sorry for your pain, you'll be alright. How many of your dad's told you,, quit cryin,, and suck it up boy. Don't be a wussy, or the like. How many of you had to mow the lawn, cause dad said so, all while he sat on the porch and drank a beer. then when you got done, you GOT to wash his car, so you could cool off in the water!

    Instead, kid's these days, sit on their bum's and play Nintendo, or on the comp, or tv and don't know what work is.
    So they grow up, and think they deserve a $40,000 year job right out of high school.

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