Crew communication (cell phone abuse)

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by TPendagast, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,329

    Cells aren't allowed at work,
    When you work at Mcdonalds.
    When you work at Walmart,
    When you work just about anywhere.

    Except the mobile universe we all work in where there is very little direct supervision.

    Lots and Lots of personal time spend on cell phones.

    but we use them to communicate with our crews, they use them to navigate from place to place.

    BUT I estimate as much as 20% efficiency, attention to detail, and just plain time loss because of the added distraction/temptation of talking and texting on company time for personal use.

    Before, with nextels only supervisors had hen privileges on, normal blokes, radio only.
    Before that everyone just had motorola radios.

    What to do now?

    How to control/limit this problem?
  2. gcbailey

    gcbailey LawnSite Silver Member
    from WV
    Messages: 2,732

    My two guys in their 50's loathe cell phones, they have them but they are the basic flip phone. Only used when needed. I honestly don't think they could figure out an Android OS if their life depended on it. However, I've always had to deal with the part time college kids having the phone out as much as they have the trimmer.

    In the past I've just had to give a couple of warnings, but this year I finally told the guy to leave the phone in the truck or go home. He was honestly probably adding 10 minutes per property from constantly stopping to text.

    As far as large properties go, we actually use 2-way radios. We have about 6 of the Baofeng BF-888 radios. They are dirt cheap, but you do have to program them. They are capable of talking to a repeater if needed. We have several large properties where cell service is limited or non-existent (thanks mountains). The only way to communicate 20 acres away is to use a radio.
  3. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,372

    Find a provider that has only the features you require and lock out all other non essential features. If your employees have their own phone and do what ever on their own time that is their business. On company time using their own phone, First time a warning, second time caught sacked. Emergency situations to be handled on a case by case basis. Problems solved.
    easy-lift guy
  4. gcbailey

    gcbailey LawnSite Silver Member
    from WV
    Messages: 2,732

    That's the thing, I don't provide company cell phones, I don't think that we are the size to justify it, plus I believe all carriers now provide unlimited talk/text, so it's not going to cost an employee for using their minutes to talk about work related topics if needed.

    The thing about employees is that I can't constantly be babysitting or have them in view. If a guy is in the same part of the property (visible) then it's easy to go over and tell them to get busy otherwise it's just "oh, let me go trim around back where no one is.... and text too..."

    I can see it being a major problem in larger companies and costing money that will definitely add up at the end of the day.
  5. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,372

    Actually I believe the point the OP was trying to make was the loss of TIME, due to same commodity being wasted by personnel. Having unlimited talk and text plans is a monumental waste for staff who can and will abuse this privilege.
    Lock out non essential features and I believe the abusers will find something else to take up company time, and when caught doing that sack them and go forward.
    easy-lift guy
  6. gcbailey

    gcbailey LawnSite Silver Member
    from WV
    Messages: 2,732

    well you know what they say..... time is money.... it's at what point does time cost you money?
  7. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,128


    We've told grunts to leave them in the truck, but then they say they use them for music.

    I hate cell phones.
  8. rawtoxic

    rawtoxic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    I let my guys have phones at work... but when it becomes excessive I usually text them "Get off your damn phone and get back to work"

    I give my guys an incentive of boss buying lunch once or a few times a week but then when I'm pissed about an issue like cell phones, poor listening, tardiness, attendance etc I let the crew know lunch will not be bought this week because we need to work on "......." seems to work and my crews are usually self regulating the guys will get after the problematic guys and try to fix the problem. If the guy don't listen to the other guys they usually kind of run them off the crew and they quit or I am told by the foreman to fire them
  9. Sponsor
    Messages: 804

    ^^ Also let my guys have their phones at work. They usually keep them in truck and use them when moving from lawn to lawn. I have the driver use it minimally and switch off if he needs to make long calls/texts etc. Lunch the guys can use it as they wish. As long as I do not see a drop in productivity because of cell phone use I am fine with it.

    I always worry about the "emergency call" that a guy would'nt get because of a harsh cell phone rule.
  10. gulfjoe

    gulfjoe LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,638

    I really like this approach

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