Ask the Expert with U.S. Lawns: Conquer Your Staffing Challenges

Discussion in 'Franchising' started by Michael J. Donovan, Oct 5, 2016.

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  1. C&C Landscaping

    C&C Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    I have an interview with them asking alot of questions. If we decide to try one of them we then put them with a crew leader for training and evaluation. After the first week with the training crew leader we move them to a crew that we feel will be a good fit for them and the crew, or we let them go if they can't meet our standers.
     
  2. Ken Hutcheson

    Ken Hutcheson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    Also, are you sure your pay rates are competitive? It doesn't need to be the highest in the market, but it should be above average. Also, consider offering your employees incentives to help raise their pay based upon performance.
     
  3. Ron Lackey

    Ron Lackey LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    As we all know efficiency on the job comes with repetition. First and foremost job quality is to be obtained over the amount of time it takes to get performed.
    There are incentives in place for the crew leaders if jobs are both of acceptable quality and within budget guidelines. Most of the time we struggle with the quality due to the fact that we are short on labor, therefore the people that show up on a normal basis work to the point that they are beat down. We literally have tried to hire three or four extra people to try to counter act the absents and still at times by the end of the week end up with not enough to fully staff the crews.
    From talking with other companies in our area our starting rate for non experienced crew members is higher than any other, our crew leader rate is the same or higher than most other companies. Throwing more money at the situation does not help.
    We go as far as to have drinks and frozen popsicles in the freezer for them at the end of the day and quarterly cook outs where everyone can gather and socialize.
     
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  4. Ken Hutcheson

    Ken Hutcheson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    Sounds like a good process. Lets dig deeper. Do you put your employees in uniform on their first day? Is your equipment well maintained? What about your facility? Is it clean and safe and conducive to a good work environment?
     
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  5. Ken Hutcheson

    Ken Hutcheson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    Once again, all good ideas. Very similar to our "Best place to work" initiative. Better pay is only the beginning. Its about establishing a culture of pride and camaraderie. What's your overall team dynamic like?
     
  6. kalonzo

    kalonzo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I've looked at perhaps posting on builder sites, we have tried sign-on bonuses as well as referral bonuses, but as you stated earlier we might have a problem if our own employees aren't happy. I think it is safe to say that our employees have held us hostage. When an employee threatens to leave if we don't give them more money, we give in and throw in a little extra. How can we change this?
     
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  7. C&C Landscaping

    C&C Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    We don't give new employees full uniforms of the first day, we give them tee shirts the first day and full uniforms after two weeks. Our equipment is in great shape. We have a clip board in our well kept shop for the crew leaders to post anything they want or need. I can't remember one time this year that they haven't gotten what they wanted.
     
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  8. Ken Hutcheson

    Ken Hutcheson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    I appreciate your honesty. Changing a company's culture is tough. That's what the off-season is for. We've seen some success stories where companies have turned over most of their staff during the off-season and started fresh in the spring to establish a different culture without the baggage. I'm not sure I would recommend that, but understand, someone is establishing the culture in your business. Is it you, or is it your employees? As an owner, I certainly hope its you.
     
  9. Ken Hutcheson

    Ken Hutcheson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    We've had great interaction on the topic of employee recruiting and retention. Are there other business topics you'd like to discuss?
     
  10. C&C Landscaping

    C&C Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    Ken
    What would be your recommendation on the best marketing strategy?
     
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