Employee Break-Time?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Gene $immons, Jun 28, 2005.

  1. Gene $immons

    Gene $immons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    One of my mowing crews was finished with the mowing schedule yesterday, and when I pulled up to check on them, they were camped out under a shade tree. Now, I know it is hot, and a man needs a little break from time to time in the heat, but if it is at the end of the day and there are no more lawns to mow, why not just come in and go home? I think they may have been trying to prolong the day in order to "milk " some time from "the man".

    This kind of upsets me. I just gave my foreman a raise last week. I wonder how long the break would have lasted had I not drove up. They quickly got up when they saw me coming, and my foreman said "were finished" and they followed me in. I did not say anything yet. I wanted to think it out. I do need these guys and they do excellent work, But....a break at the end of the day???

    What would you say?
  2. wrestlingcoach

    wrestlingcoach LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 251

    they are milking it
  3. lawnandplow42

    lawnandplow42 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 508

    ya they are. I'd set them straight, and tell them you don't put up with it. :realmad:
  4. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    That's why I pay my Foreman a salary .... too him any thing over 40 hours is "his time"
  5. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    They finished early? if so you have nothing to complain about. If there on over time then you need to reduce the work when it gets real hot out, OR give them more incentive payup to finish on time.
  6. Tvov

    Tvov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,157

    Well, obviously you have to talk with your foreman about this. If they did their scheduled work, and did it correctly, and finished early, it can be looked at as a small "bonus". The problem is your foreman should have said something to you.

    How are your employees paid? Are they expecting 40hr weeks, or just as long as there is work to do? If they are being paid only as long as the work is there, do they get some sort of a bonus for finishing quickly but doing it correctly? You may want to make some guidelines so that if this comes up again everyone knows what is expected.

    As to this particular incident, I would let it go after talking with your foreman. Work with him to figure out what to do in the future when this happens.
  7. Gene $immons

    Gene $immons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    The problem I have is 3 guys possibly sitting down "on the clock" for an hour...or two??

    I started another crew to reduce the very costly overtime, are they milking it now that the schedule does not take as long now?

    I'm not sure I understand your point.
  8. Gene $immons

    Gene $immons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    They are paid hourly and average 45 hrs a week during the growing season, 25 to 30 hours in the winter.
  9. Gene $immons

    Gene $immons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    Sorry for the tripple post.

    Should I just accept the fact that if I want to have my own business, and not be there all of the time, that my guys are going to take more breaks than normal? And I have to pay for it :dizzy:
  10. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    YES- it only natural. when the cats away the mice will play.
    If your paying them 45 hrs a week and added a 2nd crew to make it easier on them then IMO its time to crack the whip. I thought that maybe they hurried and finished early and were just relaxing before heading in. But if the heats been in the 90s you might want to take that in to consideration

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