Uniforms (not the usual questions)

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Edgewater, Jan 4, 2007.

  1. Edgewater

    Edgewater LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 457

    I do not want to have the uniform/no uniform debate, or the uniform service vs. bought uniforms.

    Here is my situation.

    I give my guys the following.

    3 t-shirts
    1 sweat shirt
    1 hat
    1 winter hat (for late fall)
    I ask them to buy one of a few models of pants ($25-35)

    They get the cold weather stuff if they are still around at that point.

    My problem is that some guys only last a few days, and many less than a month. Between 3 t shirts and a hat, i am out about $50.00.

    I have had some people tell me that I should not give them the stuff until they have been around for a week or two, but that seems to give them the idea that the uniform is optional and they can't understand why i am pissed when they show up as a COORS advertisement.

    How do you guys minimize this cost?
    If the stuff is baisically new, do you give it to the next guy? Does that seem like a bad idea, it is effectively what a uniform service does,

    Looking for some insight.

    Thanks
     
  2. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    Take it out of their check as a uniform fee. A little bit every week. If you fire them, ask for your stuff back before they can get their check.
     
  3. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    I often start people out at a reduced labor rate. Say $1.00 less than my normal. I tell them in 90 days they will get a raise after evaluation.

    I tell them up front they must been clean and professional. I wait about 30 days before ordering uniforms, shirts are no biggie but the pants are hemmed.
     
  4. Tn Lawn Man

    Tn Lawn Man LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 479

    What I do is give them a single T-shirt in the morning and have them return it in the evening. At first I don't care about pants or a hat (as long as the hat is not vulgar).

    When they have been around for a few weeks then I give them three shirts and a hat.
     
  5. Total.Lawn.Care

    Total.Lawn.Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 841

    I only use T-Shirts. If they need cold weather stuff, They can wear their own sweatshirt and put the T-shirt over it. I have not had hats made yet, but T-shirts and Hats is all I will provide, and I mandate that they wear Blue Jeans, (BLUE ones) and they can be faded, but no holes.
     
  6. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,986

    Every job where I've worn a uniform, you need to return them in order to get your check. Write it into the employment agreement.
     
  7. Edgewater

    Edgewater LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 457

    Thanks for the replies so far.

    I do make them give the uniforms back at the end, mostl just to keep them from wearing it where I don't want to be seen.

    So you guys will "recycle" the stuff if it is in good condition?
     
  8. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    I havent had this problem in awhile but I told them if they want to work bad enough and to take pride in themselves to buy a dk green t-shirt and kaki shorts then after a month or so I give them 5 t-shirts,thats it! they can buy their own damn shorts and jackets but I just ask them to buy a certain color---so far not a problem. And yes, before they get their last check I want all of the t-shirts back ripped or not.
     
  9. Mr. Vern

    Mr. Vern LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 632

    I've heard a lot of good suggestions here, but I think you are just treating the symptoms and not the disease. I would be more concerned with why you are having so much turnover. Turnover (as I'm sure you know) is very expensive. I would take a hard look at your hiring practices and see if maybe you could change your interviewing techniques, or perhaps look at the working conditions and salaries to understand why guys aren't staying. I would gladly pay double for an experienced crew than to be rotating new guys in and out all of the time. You will more than make your money back in increased productivity and less management headaches, not to mention the quality of your workmanship.
    Also, why do you only give the guys 3 shirts? There are 5 workdays per week and 6 in the busy season. Do you expect them to have to do laundry twice a week, or do you accept that they will wear a dirty shirt twice a week(which is more likely)? Also, how often do you re-issue new fresh shirts?
     
  10. Edgewater

    Edgewater LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 457

    I knew someone would ask the real question. I do have to be more careful in hiring, but workers are hard to find here.

    I give out new shirts when the current ones are worn out. Wear and tear I have no problem with, but destroyed after a week, lost or just too lazy to put it on drives me crazy.
     

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