Employee Mistakes

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Lawnut101, May 7, 2012.

  1. Lawnut101

    Lawnut101 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,260

    How many employee mistakes do you put up with before you fire, demote or replace employees? How much money do you let them cost you? I am having a frustrating spring with employees, and just wondering how everyone handles this tough task...

  2. calvinslawnservices

    calvinslawnservices LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 836

    I don't have employees but I have worked in enough businesses to know that the 3 strikes your out rule is the general guide line. One verbal, one written, last one termination. There are certain things that are termination right away. It depends on the employee and how bad you want to keep them and your discretion.

    Any examples?
  3. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    Use an employee manual. Have them sign off on your file copy that they have been trained on each piece of equipment and that they have read and understood the companies rules.

    Document every-thing on paper and put it in a file. Verbal warning won't count in court. Write it down and give the employee a copy.

    Also, we should be aware of the employees legal rights. For instance, in Vancouver British Columbia....we have a three month period probationary from the start of employment, where we don't have to give a reason for termination. You can tell if some-one is a goof within a few days, usually.

    After that three month probationary period is up, if we let some-one go we have to pay severence.

    Basically, don't rely on what some-one says is the gospel on a web site chat room. Look into your own employment laws and make an educated decision based on law.
  4. Gilmore.Landscaping

    Gilmore.Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 645

    Sounds like you are already at the point of wanting to let them go. I would say if they are constantly making the same mistake then they only get a few chances. If its always something new that they have never been property shown how to do them maybe be a bit easier on them.
  5. Lawnut101

    Lawnut101 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,260

    Well, I don't necessarily want to let them go. They are great guys, but I am just wondering how much others put up with. I tend to be to forgiving sometimes.
  6. Lawnut101

    Lawnut101 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,260

    Well, not properly caliberating equipment, missing strips of weeds, wasting product ect... Also needing to do certain tasks over, due to not paying attention, example, not lowering mower deck...
  7. calvinslawnservices

    calvinslawnservices LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 836

    In the places that I have been employed, a verbal warning is still written down. It just makes the employee feel better because its just a 1st strike.

    I think we have all done the not lowering the deck thing, in a hurry and just forget to. lol

    Are they maxed out where they are trying to cut corners in order to get everything done?
  8. Jimslawncareservice

    Jimslawncareservice LawnSite Platinum Member
    from mn
    Messages: 4,143

    Have you sat down with them and had a chat? Some guys that need work will straighten out if they think thier nuts are close to the chopping block. Some won't, sadly. What's your mood with them? Horse play? Pissy all the time? Stern? Sometimes it reflects the persons in charge attitude. Do you have a handbook? Are you short handed and running them ragged?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,724

    Things that cost you money that never needed to happen always piss you off. I had a year old accelerator bagger last year vanish. I know what happened to it, no it wasn't stolen from my property, nor was it stolen on the last lawn I saw it on. Nope it was under a mesh tarp and my employee drove the truck to our dump site and never bothered to look and buried it under 3 or 4 yards of grass never to be seen again. Nice 450-500 dollar hit that never needed to happen and worse it was the new one not the 6 year old one about to be retired.

    This month I had one break a small window on a basement. And that was not necessary but pales compared to the other employee taking out a window the size of a sliding glass door the following week. We seem to take out a window every 18 months or so thus 2 in a week is freaking ridiculous. Iv been doing this 23 years and only broken one once as for terminating them that's always a tough call depends i guess how often they screw ya.
  10. sim

    sim LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Does anyone make employees pay for bent blades and minor property damage that they cause? I never have, but there are employers in my area that do. They all tell me that their employees are much more cautious when they are held directly accountable for their mistakes. I must admit that it's pretty tempting.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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