Anybody else tired of employees

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by kickin sum grass, Aug 1, 2003.

  1. kickin sum grass

    kickin sum grass LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 628

    I mean the crap they try to pull, wanting to many days off, mistakes they keep making, just in general employee crap.

    My guys work hard and long but it seems lately it is a day off here and there (more than acceptable) or twice this week one blade on one machine was put on upside down ( the guy who did this has been doing it for 5 years for me and never happened before).

    It has really been adding up or at least seems to be lately. Enough where I am considering firing all this winter and going solo again just so i don't have to deal with it anymore. Heck, customers are enough to deal with. Not that I will down size but it sure seems tempting.
  2. parkwest

    parkwest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 678

    Just part of the games.

    Had an employee complaining he couldn't live on what he was getting in his paycheck every week. I asked if he ever thought about working 40 hours in a week. lol This guy had more excuses than my ex on why he couldn't work. lol

    Since placing another level between me and the subs I use, it's been fun again. As for the lawn business, I'm just about ready to fire the whole lot and lease or sale all the equipment unless they shape up real fast.
  3. mottster

    mottster LawnSite Member
    Messages: 191

    I don't see why it's so harsh on that one guy that he put one blade on upside down for the first time in 5 years. Mistakes happen, i'm sure you make them too. As an employee for a LCO here in town i can tell you that just as us wanting time off more frequently at times is stressful for you. But going to work everyday to take orders from you is stressful for us. I know we put ourselves into it but in my opinion theres only so much we can take. Give the guys like one day a month to take off to relax...that would help me, anyway. I get every other friday off and when i come back on that following monday i'm refreshed and ready to go and my crew leaders always comment on how well i'm doing. For that whole week i kick some ---! Hardly any mistakes and i don' get as tired as quick so i can pick up slack for anyone who's having a rough day or whatever. Doing the same thing over and over every day week after week gets you in kind of a "robot" mode. You can do the job but you just do don't pay attention to it. As for the blade upside down...the grass will grow back.

    my thoughts though...
  4. proenterprises

    proenterprises LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,296

    I can relate with what mottster said here.

    I am also a employee for a lco in new milford, connecticut (4-5 days a week) and it does get stressful. What makes it even worse, for what I think in my oppinion, is that we do lawns and only lawns. It makes it tough to do the same exact thing day in and day out. Its not like a landscaping co where 2 days are lawns, 1 day is mulch, and the other day is a garden installation. Its hard to not mix-up what you do and you do fall into a very heavy robot mode, especially with just cutting grass......

    I would give your guys alot more than you give them now (kikin grass) I mean, I assume that you are doing most of the more no labor intensive work such as riding your z around all day while they are weedoing and running about. This is what I do in my company. The number of times I have rode a Z around this season can be counted on 1 hand. Weedoing for 10 hrs a day 4 days a week gets rough and by the time friday rolls around I am too looking for a break..

    I would suggest that you give your guys some slack and walk a mile in their workboots before you cry boohoo about them wanting a day off once in a while or a once in 5 year blade mistake....
  5. kickin sum grass

    kickin sum grass LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 628

    don't get me wrong I do expect mistakes and I never yelled at the guy for the blade thing, but come on 2 times in a week. I have been doing it for over 10 years and never put one on upside down. It is just paying attention to what you are doing, simple. The lip side goes up. how hard is that.
    But that is not the complaint. It is just seems like all has been pileing up this year to stupid stuff happening.
    As far as a day off once or twice a month, thats what the weekends for. Hello, go get another job and tell them you require every other friday off and they will tell you to get lost. I am a business and I need my employees here, on time, every day. Can't do that then mcdonalds will be glad to hire you. If you need a day off then use your personal days or sick days.
    I understand people need a break but I am talking over and above amounts of days off, calling in the morning and playing sick or grandma died again.
    Keep in mind that I pay more than most compaines in my area. I start my guys out way above most LC compaines. So I do expect more from them then being a robot.
  6. kickin sum grass

    kickin sum grass LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 628


    Nope, when I am with them I do all the harder stuff most of the day. When they go out by themselves I make sure that they mix up job duties and not one guy is doing all the trimming. I work in the field right along with my guys each and every day. One day I may go with mowing, another w/ fert or landscaping. They have it good, I don't yell at them, when they make a mistake I teach them why it was a mistake, how to avoid it again, and what the consiquences were from the mistake ( as in how it has to be repaired, how much it cost the company to repair it, customer relation damage, etc.). It is not uncommon to let them go a little early and I finish a job up. My new outlook is you give an employee an inch and they will milk it for all it is worth. As of Monday there is a new employee handbook that all will sign regarding time off, sick days, personal, hrs worked, dress codes, behavior, attitudes, and the list goes on. I feel like they want to play the game then "GAME ON". If they don't like the new rules they can work else where. If I sound harsh, I am not. These are no different from anyother type company policies. I have always been easy going but I am being taken advantage of and it stops monday.
  7. GLAN

    GLAN Banned
    Messages: 1,647

    You have to see the signs of worker fatigue. First 3 or so months I realy don't give a damn. They sat an there azz collected unemployment, and the weather is cool.

    I am setup that August is our slow month. Everyone gets days off. But last year we did realy nice Commercial landscape and this year we have a couple big ones. So, not much chance of a day off when I feel it's fine. They take a day here and there to do personal things. It's fine. They have a life to. Just that I prefer notice before that day or the end of the day before.

    Some of that nonsense got to the point where they just did not show up. I have no tolerence for not being responsible enough to call. You miss a day, I do not know in advance, you lose 1/2 a days pay. It's courtesy to call.

    I always let my men know what's coming up in advance, not the basic mowings, but when we have those jobs that are good for the company and you need all hands for a day. Or when we get a 3 day weekend for the 4th of July and they get paid for the 4th and Thanksgiving.
  8. kickin sum grass

    kickin sum grass LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 628


    I don't even dock pay for that, The first time I sit them down and explain that it is unacceptable and then if it happens again, when they come in the next time I have their check waiting for them.

    All I ask for from my employees in common courtesy, and proper work ethics. It is very common this time of year to be done at 3. Today we were done and everybody gone by 2. You know what I heard, "Since we are only going to be out till 2 today, I am going to take off after lunch and let the other guys finish up." Not, Then that means they have to stay out longer to finish. This is what I am talking about giving an inch and milking it.

    I realize it is all my fault cuz I have been very lax when it comes to these things. I never hade a good employee handbook and it is biting me in the azz. Why do people think that just cuz it is lawn care that it is not important to work regular, or pay attention when doing things.
    Like I said before I pay very well and I do expect a lot, but not more than any other company out there.
  9. proenterprises

    proenterprises LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,296


    sounds like you are handling this employee dilema in a very mature as well as professional manner. your men will now understand what is expected of them and it will be very clear.

    if it is not to much trouble, I would like to see a copy of that new employee handbook and what your expectations are, it could be also very beneficial to use with the guys I work for...

    keep up the good work and you will continue to of luck
  10. proenterprises

    proenterprises LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,296 you mind me asking what your starting pay you have scheduled raises or as they are appropriate


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