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training an employee

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Agape, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. Agape

    Agape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,645

    got a new guy who has no experience in lawn services but has some excavator experience and installing underground cable.
    How long should it take to train him on weeding/ raking, mowing ( he admitted that he mows his grandma's lawn in a spiral:laugh:).

    when someone claims to have experience, my interview includes watching them edge with the trimmer, but how much patience should I have with a newbee?
    I'm thinking he should have it down by the end of the day for weeding, raking and mowing, and maybe end of service route on edging (had him a couple days so far and we have installed landscape steps and I had him be my eyes and the "shovel guy" while I worked the ASV RC 50 on a small job, so its been relatively slow paced work the two days I've had him so far).

    What do you guys think? I'm not afraid to admit I may not be an experienced/ effective manager, and I don't want to show frustration where I shouldn't. I just don't want to stretch out the inevitable either
  2. Sprinkler Buddy

    Sprinkler Buddy LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 1,187

    I usually can tell if they have what it takes the first day on the job but I'll give them two weeks before I make my final decision if they don't quit first. lol I take a lot of time explaining how I like things done with a new guy throughout the day if they need it. Having little experience can be a very good thing, you don't have bad habits to break. Those that refuse to listen or can't hack it or show me an attitude off the bat don't last.
  3. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984

    The problem with you and others that have their skill set in place forget how long it took them to get there.

    Aquiring lifetime skills take a good part of one's life.

    The man that liked doing things with his hands took shop classes in school all throughout Jr and Sr high.

    A good chance the love for making things runs in the family. Grandpa, dad, had a work bench and as a 6 year old would say: GP and dad have a whole mess of tools that they can build anything with or fix everything.

    An LCO may only be 32 years old. Though he has been learning his craft since he was 12 years old "landscaping" his mom's yard and working on things with his dad.

    It is a lot to expect that everyone else had 6 years of shop when many schools have cut back or eliminated shop. There is a HS that closed 4 shop class rooms. Shops are double the size of a regular classroom. Then converted the space into a new and much bigger library.

    Many dads today do not have tools and do not do much of anything. Their most used tool is the phone.

    If you do not want to train employees then hire experienced people as good as you.

    As with anything people all have different learning rates. So is the guy learning? Does he make the same mistakes over and over?

    People hire trainees. Then they complain that the new employee can't learn in a day, or in a week, what they have learned in a lifetime.

    In the end you get what you pay for.

  4. Agape

    Agape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,645

    This is true, however, if the employee can listen to me ( a learned master of the craft) I can teach him exactly how to do it.
    my question was not "Why doesn't this guy know it?", but rather "what should I expect?"
    I agree with sprinkler buddy, that if he doesn't take instruction and makes the same mistakes, it's no Buenos.
    I already tried to show him how to dig in rocky soil so that it would be easier and he wanted to do it his way. and he prefers the balling shovel to the flat shovel for scooping 1/4 minus, and I don't want to be that boss that nitpicks every tiny detail because after all, things are "getting done"
    I think mowing can be learned in about 4 lawns and weeding/raking well can be picked up fast as well, whereas edging with a string trimmer is more of a craft but can be learned if he accepts some pointers.
    I guess it'll come down to sense of urgency, by the end of the first mowing day I should be able to say" this is a full service account." he should be out the door in the right direction

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