Does Anbody NOT Have Employee Issues?

Discussion in 'Employment' started by TYTILIDIE, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,463

    i do cap myself at a certain number of days or hours a week. not really a certain dollar amount. no i don't skip jobs based on dollar amounts.

    my point of view is simple. my prices for services are set at what i need to make to cover my cost of living (needs). my needs don't include things like big screen tv's, rv's, ipads, fancy houses with pools, etc. just your basics. food, water, heat, etc. i do make more than that, and the rest gets saved for a retirement fund i will never use and for a rainy day should something major come up.

    my point of view is also i don't try to go out there and get as much work as i can to make as much money as i can so i can have the money to purchase all that stuff. i live simply. sure i have some of that stuff but as i said, i received them as gifts for birthdays or xmas. i'd rather sit on the couch and watch tv than go out work just so i can afford to buy an ipad.

    as long as i can put food in my mouth, clothes on my back and a roof over my head i'm good. and thats all the more i'm interested in working.
  2. NEwhere1

    NEwhere1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    Sounds like you have/had a good dad. I think a good work ethic is something that is learned and can be taught, but it starts from a very young age. I also realize that some people just have a stronger natural drive that others, maybe that is your deal.

    You are a business owner for a reason. You were not scared to take the leap. It's easy to go to work every day for someone else. It's much harder to go out and generate your own work.

    Some people just don't have what it takes to be a good provider. Some people have low expectations of themselves. Some people are just plain stupid, can't see the forest for the trees.

    I was an excellent (actually i was criticized for being to much of a perfectionist i.e. taking my time to do it right i.e. not fit for slammin out yard after yard driven by $$$) full-time employee for a Landscaping company for 4 years while I went to college. I saw many other crew leaders come and go. Most of the problems were drug related. The illegals were the ones you could count on. I've never meet a lazy illegal but i've sure met a lot of lazy fellow boss eventually turned me into the "customer has a problem" solver. So me and one or two guys would go "fix" everything his crew leaders who slammed out the jobs screwed up.

    One of the biggest things i learned from that experience was how to take a group of 12 men, who you can't communicate very well with, and turn them into a smooth functioning group that pays attention to all the details, points out problems, THINKS AHEAD, and works harder for you than anyone else. Pretty simple to do, just work as hard (or harder) then they do. Of course that's how i was raised growing up working on family xmas tree farm.

    In my first job interview after graduating one person asked me what would be my dream answer was I'd love to be one of those guys mowing I-40 between Chatt. and Knox. when asked why i said "Because it's just you and the machine and a job to do, when you are done at the end of the day you can look back and see what progress you've made, and look ahead to see what you need to do".
  3. sehitchman

    sehitchman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 998

    I've had a nice career, as many as 60 employees and I've see it all. I coined the phrase "the double wide syndrome". That is where when the employee achieves the nicest trailer in the extended family, they no longer have motivation. I'm way past the people who cry about not having money for rent or gas to get to work, but always seem to have some personal drama that keeps them from ever getting 40 hours or heaven forbid, work overtime. My father always told me "overtime is when they finally pay you what you are really worth". You would be hard pressed to find a young person who does not freak when you ask them to work overtime and they might miss pool night. I've had jealous husbands threaten to kill me because their wife was seeing another employee and somehow it became my fault. Yes, this happened more than once. I've had tires slashed because of terminations, punches thrown for telling an employee to clean up their work area, or quit hiding in the men's room. I could go on... I love having no employees and really like it that way. I have a young man I hire to assist, he needs the work and is always asking to do more. Hired him to detail the wifes car last week, said he's never washed a car before! OMG, he's 18 years old. That is what we're dealing with in this country now days. I'll never condemn an LCO for hiring latino's, you have to get the work done somehow.
  4. adam.neusbaum

    adam.neusbaum LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    It just hit me! Attach an xbox 360 cordless remote to each & every piece of equipment. Most guys don't mind putting in overtime with the gaming systems. Add beer, smokes & reefer & they play thru the night & then call in sick or its a No-Call No-Show altogether. Glad I got bored with Nintendo early on.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. NEwhere1

    NEwhere1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    LOL couple of these might keep them entertained
  6. adam.neusbaum

    adam.neusbaum LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    I want one by this time tomorrow! They are awesome & I could get addicted to that.
    Put me up in my brothers 80' bucket truck over the house so I can see to mow the whole yard without leaving the truck.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  7. seabee24

    seabee24 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    I've had bad guys all year myself. Here's what I'm
    Considering for next year. This is after messing it all up and then doing LOTS of research. The. Again this could all be wrong too

    1. Hire extra guys, and then be quick to

    2. If someone calls in or leaves early they automatically will get 2 days off. I figure if they really are sick I don't need them getting the other guys sick. If they are not sick or sick because of the night before, they get the second day off as punishment, let them hurt their paychecks they will think twice about calling in a day.

    3 days in a row or 3 total for the same reason must show a doctors note or be fired.

    consider a "point system". A large retail store has this
    Near me. 1 point for showing up more than 5 mins late, 2 points for missing a day for any reason. Once you get 12 points in a season your considered unreliable and terminated.

    Daily bonus. I'm thinking of adding a few extra lawns to the route to pay for this, but a consideration is $20.00 cash to each guy that shows on time, and fully completes the route. If you don't show, or complete, you don't get it. Those guys that are broke and have no smokes and gas will see the value in coming to work an finishing the day just to get $20.00. My guess is any owner would trade $60.00 per day of it ment fully completing the route everyday.

    This will also engage more pressure from the crew leader an other guys. They will be pissed about not getting their $20 because they can't finish. I promise you the crew leader will tell you to fire the guy after he does it more than 3 days

    One thing to think about, if you don't have a grading scale or a goal or a way to measure each guy that they can see. They will never know when they cross the line. If you say look you get 6 days per year, and on the 7th I don't need your services. Once they get to 4 they will think twice.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,463

    the automatic 2 days off for calling in or leaving is not a good idea in my opinion.

    sometimes when your sick you only need one day to recover. and there actually good employees who will only call in when they are actually sick.

    just because you have a work 24/7 attitude doesn't mean you can expect your employees to have that.

    I'd never show back up if you automatically gave me 2 extra days off. work for someone who expects me to come in when sick, or thinks I'm bluffing, or thinks I need 3 days off to recover, screw that.

    might not be a bad idea for those repeat call in sick guys, but not for the good ones. and it's kinda hard to treat some employees different.
  9. Duekster

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

    I agree about the 2 day rule but I do have stipulations if you are gone 3 days you need a note. I also have job abandonment rules.

    I also only pay vacation if they give notice.

    TYTILIDIE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    I don't have enough employees to cover a guy to take off for more than a day. Even that day kills us. Hopefully with the steps I have been taking over the last month or two this will all change. I am really hoping our company takes off next season. I have spent a lot of time and money and hope it will now come back to me. We'll see. I think that having more employees will change their view on the company itself and mine. I'm still stuck in work mode and it is getting harder and harder by the day to operate the business. I'm feeling the squeeze you could say.

    I was taught that when you get to this point, this is when it is time to build yourself a new job. I have accepted my resume :lol: and ready to start, just need more properties and I'll be set. This winter we plan to work on organization and systems. Hopefully that coupled with heavy involvement with advertising and sales will give me a boost enough to not have to be so tight and reliant with employees.

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