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Trained the New Guys...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by John at JDH Select, Apr 27, 2004.

  1. John at JDH Select

    John at JDH Select LawnSite Member
    from Indy
    Posts: 66

    I learned a valuable lesson this week. By nature I am a very agressive, impatient person and found out it was costing me money. I have (3) guys working with me, each from various backgrounds. (2) of the (3) followed me from my last job to begin mowing and landscaping this year. I have been in/out of the lawncare business since 1992 and see commercial mowing as a second nature business. After all, who cannot run a WB, ZTR, or trimmer. My impatience with their abilities turned out quite a bit of deadtime yesterday and some visibly shaken employees, so I decided to approach things differently this morning.

    I prepared diagrams for the guys this morning explaining exactly how to mow a residential / commercial account. I explained stripes, throttling down around mulch beds, keeping the grass clippings off the street and items such as this. I fired up all of the mowers and let them run the equipment all over the parking lot. I explained eache piece of equipment in detail, then we loaded for the day.

    Once on site, I explained to them that I did not care how fast we moved through the properties. Cut at a comfortable speed and relax. After each account, we walked the properties to look for problems and recommendations about how to make a better cut next time.

    I have to say..... WHY DIDN'T I TAKE THIS APPROACH IN THE PAST! By the end of the day, the guys were having a ball because they were cutting well, comfortable and confident. I hope someone else learns from this thread. Please invest time in the crew (just as you would in equipment) and watch the dividends be returned.
  2. PaulJ

    PaulJ LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    traing the new guys is always stressfull. I did my share of training as a forman for a couple of mowing companies I worked for. what we take for granted is often a coompletly new idea to some of them. The first day wiht a new emplouyee will probably take longer than just doing it yourself. And that's hard to take in a "time is money " busness. I always try to show them, explain to then, any questions? try it, suggesions/ corrections, and go.

    I'm glad I work by myself now.
  3. stslawncare

    stslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    from DE
    Posts: 1,484

    good job!!! how are they progressing now?? anyone have any of those diagrams they can post on here for others to use for training helpers?
  4. Acute Cut

    Acute Cut LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 980

    Abe Lincoln said it best i believe:
    "A drop of honey will attract more flies than a bucket of gall."
    Train them meticulously in every aspect that you can. Walk each lawn for the first two weeks. Ask THEM to show you what is wrong. Even when they do good they will still find stuff. Make sure to give them PRAISE when they do well. If you are patient with them and work with them instead of yelling at them, then they will go out of thier way to please you because they will think that you are the best boss in the world.

    Just my view though, i could be wrong.
  5. stslawncare

    stslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    from DE
    Posts: 1,484

    very good point acute cut. i couldnt agree with you more, praise praise and more praise. you can never give to much of it and with out the helpers will hate you. with it like you said they will love you.

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