do you ever NOT expect alot, from certain employees?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Jul 10, 2004.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    when i worked in the printing field, each presscrew had 5-6 members. there was the lead man who was in charge of overseeing the entire operation on his particular printing press. the lead man was expected to have leadership skills, and a management mentality. he was expected to someday have the capability of moving up the the next level, which was shift supervisor, overseeing the entire shop for his shift. then there was the next level down, he was expected to someday be able to do the job of the lead man if needed. the remaining crew members were basically laborers. if they were bright enough, and ambitious enough to move up, that was great, if not, that was fine too, they would remain a laborer forever, at a low rate of pay, and no one expected very much from them other than grunt work. which leads me to my question: if you had a member on your mowing crew, that you feel had "reached his platea", in other words he couldn't do any better. his performance is acceptable, not great, and you feel he will never get any better, or faster. however, he is doing ok. now this member doesn't make a whole lot of money, he is satisfied with his low pay, shows up on time, works at a reasonable pace, isn't mouthy, etc. in other words on a scale from one to 10, he's probably a 6.5, and will never get better. but like i said, he's happy with his pay. is it worth it to keep a guy like this? where one guy may make you a $25 an hour profit, this guy probly only drags in $17. if i had 5 guys each making me a PROFIT of $17 an hour, i'd be doing ok. i'd like to have them making me $25-$35, but $17 is better than nothing. is it worth it to keep a guy that performs at the minimal acceptable level, and can not get any better?
  2. mpblass

    mpblass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 37

    I would keep him until I could find another guy that could make me the $25-$35 an hour.
  3. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,569

    I always gauge an employee by 2 main standards: 1) Is he making me more money than he is costing me (including all extras, Taxes, FICA, Insurance, in other words every related employee cost not just pay) and preferably if I am say paying him $10 an hour than I would expect him to make me at least $27.50 an hour worst case.

    2) Does he make my life easier?

    If and when the answer to either of these is No, then he goes. In addition remember no matter what you may think or how they act, to 99.9% of all employees their loyality is really only money related. So I always remain friendly with them and treat them very. very well but do not have an outside work "friendship" with them.
  4. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,565

    Is it worth replacing him at this point in the season? If you find the training time needed to get a new guy up to speed will consume a hefty portion of what's left of the year in New Jersey, you may be better off just keeping him for the balance of the year and find someone else next year.
  5. Turf Medic

    Turf Medic LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    Even if you replace him, someone else will fall into his place. You will never have everyone working at the same rate of efficency. It's also easier to keep your "efficient" workers happy if you have a person that is willing to do the grunt work. Select one that doesn't fit the grunt job,but force him to do the grunt work, he will go somewhere else where he can do more "important" types of duties. Do you want a guy that can make you $25 hr profit, yet costs you more, sweeping out the truck or do you want him doing more profitable work? These types of duties it comes down to cost instead of the profit he can provide.
  6. Likestomow

    Likestomow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 997

    Now this is a good post, and a hard question to answer. I have one just like you described and have been pondering his outcome for sometime now too. I'm still not sure what to do.
  7. EastProLawn

    EastProLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,110

    I would keep him simply because he shows up and works at a reasonable pace and isn't mouthy. To me that is a great employee. I can't stand the guys who are very knowledgable but have an attitude and make up all kinds of excuses everytime they are late or screw something up.
  8. moneyman

    moneyman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 136

    Try talking to him instead of us first.

    Do that then go from there.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    Unfortunately, getting guys to show up everyday on time is not easy. So if your guy is reliable that counts for a lot, in my opinion. At my old job I was one of two supervisors, I was the guy that had to get the crews their routes and out the door, which isn't so hard if they all show up. But usually I'd be heading in to work in the morning, thinking, it's Thursday, so so-and-so probably won't come in because Wednesday is his billiards league night and he probably tied one on. So if he doesn't show, who can run that crew?

    We always had guys who could mow circles around everyone else, but would only show up 3 days a week. And you had to guess which 3 days those were.

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