Employee Incentives

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by drmiller100, Jun 18, 2005.

  1. drmiller100

    drmiller100 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 562

    I was thinking the other night about what my goals for my employees are. I want them to take care of my equipment and mow lots of lawns.
    But I pay them by the hour. ????????

    So, I implemented an equipment bonus. Each month each employee gets 75 bucks in his "account." Preventable expenses come out of that. Lost a shovel? Everyone loses 5 bucks to pay for it. Equipment not greased? EVERYONE loses 10 bucks. If I catch a piece of equipement low on water or oil, then 10 bucks each. Out of gas on the side of the road? Lost wages come out of the bonus. Been doing this one for 3 months, and great results. First paycheck I handed out the sheet, and one person jumped the rest and said "we lost 30 bucks each because we couldn't count shovels and put grease in the bobcat. That was stupid."

    So, on mowing. I've only got 40 accounts, which my foreman by himself can do in two days. I want to pay him for his hustle, and not lose him, and encourage him to hustle through his accounts. So, I told him I would give him 10 percent of the gross as a bonus for any mowing he can do on Thursday and Friday. That way I can work his ass on Mon-Wed, and he is happy working 10 hours if need be on thursday/fri. Further, as I add accounts, he can be thinking of ways to get smoother, more efficient. Obviously he has a ZTR and backpack blower, and we mulch EVERYTHING, so the work isn't brutal. I talked last night, and he says mowing 20plus lawns a day is an easier day then the rest of the week as far as sweat goes.

    My theory is if I put folks on commission of some sort, they are LOOKING to do more work instead of AVOIDING work.

    Has anyone else done incentives like this? thanks!
  2. JRAZ

    JRAZ LawnSite Member
    from NW
    Messages: 143

    I started an employee incentive plan this year geared toward proper maintenance of equipment, wash trucks weekly etc. similar to yours. After some thought I decided to cancel that. My decision was based on, why should I pay them extra to do something that is part of their regular job description? My incentive plan is now based on good performance rather than what they are supposed to be doing already. If we can get through a job quicker than planned with proper execution then there will be a little something extra. I like the idea of giving bonuses or commission for getting through the mowing quickly.

    Incentives, proper pay and a little respect will go a long way in keeping your all star employees.
  3. Lawn Masters

    Lawn Masters LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 850


    I like your plan, I think I'll implement it with my guy. I enjoy my 2 man outfit.
  4. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Messages: 4,040

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    Hi drmiller100,

    It sounds like you took alot of time to think this out. I like the idea of it. There is nothing like a monetary incentive to get people to work harder. Please let us know how this works for you. Maybe then others will consider it.
  5. drmiller100

    drmiller100 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 562

    one of my competitors called. he is getting out of the business. he wants to give me 9 of his accounts if i will mow his personal home for the season. I called my foreman, and asked him if he'd like to work late tonight and go check out all the accounts with the competitor.
    "I'd love to!!! If I can figure out how to mow them on thursdays and fridays, do i get the bonus on them????"
    You bet!

    So as we are driving around he's all excited figuring how to incorporate them into the mowing route, and thinking how to get the big mower into teh yards and chatting up the neighbors selling the business.........

    we were talking. he says he has 162 minutes of drive time in the two days. he figures if he puts in some long days now, in another month the grass won't be growing so fast, and he can get his bonus for only working 7 or 8 hour days.......
    on the bad side, i've had two customers call saying we missed some weeding spots. they all but accused me of flogging my guy and overworking him because he is always in such a rush. but he is smiling. so i talked to him, and said we need to spend a little more time on teh accounts.......

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