Employee Compensation

bmwsmity

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Ohio
I've searched, but only found one thread, and it didnt really answer my question.

I have two guys working for me now...one is new, the other has been with me for 4 years.

Each year, I've given the long term guy a raise...but this year, if I give him a raise he will be getting paid more than what I think is really a "reasonable" rate... perhaps I'm wrong.. he already makes $15/hr now. I offer him over time if he wants it, but he's more worried about going home to party/find chicks.

So the question is, how do I give this guy incentive to work harder at this point? I don't wanna pay more per hour, because frankly, I find myself too irritated with him to do so. The few times I've let him basically make his own schedule, he shows up at 10 or 11 am...granted he works till 6 or 7...but when I'm working 14 hour days, I'm a little peeved at his lax attitude.

Despite his annoyances, he's a good guy, my customers all love him, and he generally does good work. But his lack of motivation really gets under my skin because I'm a workaholic..

I've thought about some sort of bonus program, but he pretty much only does installs... if I give a bonus for finishing faster, I'm certain he will cut corners.

Most tech's in my area make around $13-14/hr

Ideas?
 
OP
bmwsmity

bmwsmity

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Ohio
Spell it out to him, explaining any further raises will depend on him and his work ethic.
Done this till blue in face... works for a week then back to SOS..

Thinking of doing a bonus structure and a gainsharing plan:

Base hourly, plus:

Actually work 8am-5pm every day, bonus $

% of $ saved from more efficient production (less time to install job)

Zero callbacks after install, bonus $

Year-end bonus based on # of warranty claims


Thoughts?
 

Kiril

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
District 9 CA
Done this till blue in face... works for a week then back to SOS..
Then IMO it is up to him. If he wants a raise, then he will have to step up.

Actually work 8am-5pm every day, bonus $
You shouldn't have to pay a bonus for your employee's to show up on time and work the hours you expect them to work. If the guy can't adhere to your scheduling requirements, then he can find a new job.

% of $ saved from more efficient production (less time to install job)
Again, IMO you should not need to award someone for doing their job the way it should be done. Beyond that, I feel you run the risk of sacrificing quality when giving speed incentives.

Zero callbacks after install, bonus $
Again, I don't think you should feel the need to award a bonus for doing the job they are being paid to do. The bonus for not having any call backs (or at the least very few) is that he gets to keep his job.

Year-end bonus based on # of warranty claims
Same as above. Now if you want to award a bonus just for the hell of it because business was good that year and you are a nice guy, or because the guy performed above and beyond your expectations, then those are are good reasons IMO.
 
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OP
bmwsmity

bmwsmity

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Ohio
Problem is Kiril, you're coming from an assumption that I could easily fill his position if I fired him.

Finding someone with his experience, that customers like, and that generally does good work is not easy. I'd rather not pay $400 for a month of posting a job ad, which may or may not give me someone thats worth a damn.

I'm kinda in a crappy spot... don't wanna fire him, and he know's I'd be screwed if I did... so whats left but to give incentives for doing what I ask of him?

I'm thinking about dropping his hourly rate, and making the "8-5 everyday bonus" equal out to what he's making now when combined with the lower hourly rate... which will effectively penalize him monetarily every time he shows up late/leaves early.

And the other bonuses would equal out to a pay raise, if he so chooses to apply himself more...
 
I will just make this simple observation ...we work the way we do because we are motivated not just to make a living, but to make money so we can either support hobbies or family in other words, to get ahead.

When you have a young person who all he cares is to support habits and a way of life that they don't know any better, then how can you expect them to always be motivated. These people, there is a reason in the first place that they work for other people....to stupid, lazy, ect......

The people who are motivated aren't going to work for you, but for themselves.

John
 

Kiril

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
District 9 CA
Problem is Kiril, you're coming from an assumption that I could easily fill his position if I fired him.

Finding someone with his experience, that customers like, and that generally does good work is not easy. I'd rather not pay $400 for a month of posting a job ad, which may or may not give me someone thats worth a damn.

I'm kinda in a crappy spot... don't wanna fire him, and he know's I'd be screwed if I did... so whats left but to give incentives for doing what I ask of him?

I'm thinking about dropping his hourly rate, and making the "8-5 everyday bonus" equal out to what he's making now when combined with the lower hourly rate... which will effectively penalize him monetarily every time he shows up late/leaves early.

And the other bonuses would equal out to a pay raise, if he so chooses to apply himself more...
Finding good employees is never easy. Seems to me your biggest problem with the guy is the hours the guy keeps. Perhaps you can setup a specific monetary yearly bonus based on a set number of days per year he is "allowed" to sleep in because he is hung over or leave early because he wants to partay. If he goes over that "allowed" number it will reduce his bonus each time.

If it were me, I would tell him the work day is from 8-5 and that is what he is expected to work ... end of story. If he can't keep those hours then tell him you are going to start interviewing for his replacement. I have little to no tolerance for slackers and neither should you. You are running a business and you should never feel like you are at the mercy of your employees, although we have all probably been there a time or two. I know I have.
 
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DanaMac

LawnSite Fanatic
Not to give exact numbers, but both my guys make $20+ an hour, just so you have a reference.

There is a reason he is an employee, and you are an employer. Work ethics, motivation, drive to succeed, drive to excel and grow. If he wants to just put in his 40 a week and be done, then so be it. Tell him he may now be limited to where he can grow financially. If that is fine with him, then so be it. If you need someone else to go above and beyond what he is willing to do, tell him that, and tell him you will be hiring someone else to work above him for more pay and with more responsibilities and to boss him around. If he doesn't like it he can hit the road.

I am going to create some kind of bonus this year based on what my techs can sell for upgrades, add ons, revamps, etc. Not going to be based on everyday repairs and efficiency. If they don't want to sell the customer on upgrading the system, they don't earn any more money than they already make. But the bonus will also be based on hours the job was bid at, hours it ACTUALLY took to complete, and if there are no call backs.
 
OP
bmwsmity

bmwsmity

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Ohio
Finding good employees is never easy. Seems to me your biggest problem with the guy is the hours the guy keeps. Perhaps you can setup a specific monetary yearly bonus based on a set number of days per year he is "allowed" to sleep in because he is hung over. If he goes over that "allowed" number it will reduce his bonus each time.

If it were me, I would tell him the work day is from 8-5 and that is what he is expected to work ... end of story. If he can't keep those hours then tell him you are going to start interviewing for his replacement. I have little to no tolerance for slackers and neither should you. You are running a business and you should never feel like you are at the mercy of your employees, although we have all probably been there a time or two. I know I have.
Mainly it's the hours he keeps, which effectively makes it take more days to complete a job, in addition to corner-cutting here and there (crooked heads, valve boxes not level with ground, heads too shallow, etc)

Really its more of an issue with when he ARRIVES at the job site. Yes, he will often work later hours to compensate for late arrival, but it looks bad to the customer if he's not rolling in till 10 or 11.. .and if I have a second guy, makes it look like thats acceptable.
 

Kiril

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
District 9 CA
Mainly it's the hours he keeps, which effectively makes it take more days to complete a job, in addition to corner-cutting here and there (crooked heads, valve boxes not level with ground, heads too shallow, etc)
If this is the case, then I would be looking for a new employee because in the long run it is costing you money to keep him on. Nothing pisses me off more than having to do things twice .... especially when it involves an employee being sloppy.
 

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