Employee Manuals... do you use them? Why?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by LawnLad, Feb 6, 2002.

  1. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 738

    I figure everyone has to have a good story as to why they started using a manual or why they've had to make some changes in it as a result of some of the stuff that happens day to day.

    For reasons that are obvious we put a manula into place about eight years ago... but some of my favorite sections are:

    No personal cell phones (actually had an employee stop and talk to someone on his phone while a customer was talking to him. Told the customer to hold)

    No cash advances - never had anyone ask for one since I put this in.

    Company not responsible for personal property (had a guy try to claim that his glasses fell off the dashboard because the foreman was driving too wildly - and they fell on floor of truck and got damaged... so company was responsible - right!)

    Smoking policy (had employees flicking butts on customer's property)

    What kinds of policies/procedures do you guys have?
  2. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,899

  3. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 738

    Bob -

    Thanks for the reply. It's too bad there isn't more serious 'conversation' abou thtis topic.

    We are in the process of documenting our operating procedures. I made a post about some administrative stuff in the 'filing' thread.

    I think it would interesting to know in detail how others train their new employees. How do they know what to do on their first day?

    Oh well... people are welcome to email me directly if they want to go over this topic.


  4. visions landscape

    visions landscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    We started using manuals , they are great . I have all new employees read and sign off they understand our rules before they start . We also are doing a lot more safety meetings, I like holding them Monday mornings
  5. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 738

    Visions - for your safety meetings, what's the format? How long are they? We just bought the ALCA safety talk book as a starting point. We want to start the safety talks, but looking for a format that is consistent that we might follow.

    What's been good... what's been a challenge for you about it?
  6. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    We have a policy and procedures manual that each new person is given. It is not a training manual as far as how to do nor does it do job descriptions.

    It's along the lines of behavior, expectations, problem resolution, dress code, work hours, OT etc.

    I found regular meetings at this level to be worthless. Occasional training sessions for tasks, skills, safety and customer relations etc are good.

    The meetings went like everyone was quiet except a few. The few that talked never had anything positive to add. Then there is the guy who thinks he has a bright idea that you used 15 years and it sucked. No he's he's bent out of shape when you tell him it doesn't work, that you've been there and done that when he was in 5th grade.

    We have binders in our trucks with price lists for our services, emergency phone numbers for us and authorities, how to measure sites, volume tables for product at different depths, how to resolve customer complaints, towing and tire companies, etc.
  7. mike48114

    mike48114 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 124

    You dont have a serious BUSINESS until you have a HANDBOOK
  8. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    I dont have a serous business then.
  9. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    Yup, use a handbook. Employees can not start working until they have read it and signed it.
  10. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    It's a great topic .... We started our health and Safety manual/program last winter ... had our external audit last August and we are now certified. 97% if I may brag a little.:)
    Why did we do it? A number of reasons but a couple of main ones are that one... you better be able to show due diligence in court if, god forbid, there is ever a serious accident at your workplace. Two, it is just all around better for the company ... it helps breed a culture of conscientious workers, projects a better image and you also need it here if you want to bid on certain projects.
    We've added some different things to our manual this winter.... we now have a step by step procedure standard for a number of tasks.
    Over all a health and Safety program will improve production and save you money. Right away upon being certified we were given a 5% reduction in our workmans compensation rates and up to 20% more in another program called P.I.R. that we registered in. Half of the savings will be passed on to the workers for things like steel toed work boots or other related safety attire..... haven't worked out all the details of that system yet. The other half of the savings will be put back into the safety program.

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