Employee Woes

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by mtlandservices, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. Greg78

    Greg78 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,010

    How do you handle your guys when you go to EOW? I'm guessing you have enough installs to keep them busy on the off week?
  2. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,505

    Yes, we always have projects going on. I use them on my house flips as well. They lose a few hours, but they make them in OT during the season. I tell them up front to save a little, I don't want to hear whining. I also pay on Mondays. Paying on Friday caused guys to party all weekend and be hungover or calling out on Monday. I haven't laid anybody off yet. I've been expanding my pool service and pressure washing divisions which stay constant year round.
  3. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    I am in the same boat except for the house flipping. Since taking the leap to have my first employee I paid him even during the off weeks, at least a little something. Even though everyone tells me that this is crazy including my accountant. Last year I paid my guy full time almost the entire winter.

    I know many would say this is crazy but what I have figured out is this...my income does slow significantly during the winter..so why should theirs?

    Greed is good for the bottom line for a short period...but maybe not so much in the long term.

    The most valuable asset my business has besides myself...is my employees. No mower, trailer, truck will ever offer a higher ROI than a good employee. I make sure my guys are taken care of because I worked too hard solo to reach where I am today, I continue to grow because of them, they will ensure I reach my goals tomorrow....so why would I crush them during the winter if I can avoid it?

    I know will many say that this is crazy, my accountant tried to tell me it was, but I have a very low turnover rate (my first employee was with me right at two years) and that has its advantages. My customers feel comfortable if I am not on the property knowing my guys will take care of it just as if I was there. This alone is worth ensuring they get properly compensated during winter months as it allows me to......make more sales by taking days off during the week and getting estimates done.

    Many of my subs send me money towards the end of the year as a thank you. Some a couple hundred bucks, some a hundred based off of the volume I sent them....guess who gets all that money right before x-mas? That is right I hand it right over to the employees. They get me a lead and I land the account...they get a bonus. I give them ever reason I can to ensure that they continue to take care of me as although I love what I do....I do not plan on having to do it everyday. :usflag:
  4. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    Installs not always...but I push my customers off as long as I can on stuff especially if it makes sense.

    Mulch for example. Everyone want to dress their lawn up for spring and during summer when the heat just sucks. You and your guys are not as effecient during this time of year. Not to mention installing during this time of year means it is going in during or just prior to rainy season....not a value for your customer as it will wash away in rains or fade in the sun.

    I train them if they want it done, do it in the late fall. Why they ask

    1. Not during rainy season so it will most likely not float away.
    2. It will not fade as quickly from the intense sun we see during summer
    3. Your beds will look better during really high traffic times of the year like x-mas and thanksgiving
    4. when we get a freeze your beds will draw the eye more from passers by as the grass is not longer green but rather brown...doesn't it make sense to have the beds looking their best during this time of year?
    5. It will cost you more now than during winter or fall. That is right...a 5% or even 10% discount is more than made up by myself because the heat factor we face during summer. Anybody can move faster in 80 degree weather than they can in the mid 90's or higher...it more than pays for itself in labor savings....especially when you consider you are looking for stuff for them to do anyway.

    Same way for massive clean ups etc...I price higher for summer/spring work but follow up with a better quote for fall/winter. Many customers are willing to wait a couple of months seeing the potential savings, some do not and that is fine too, money is money.
  5. minx

    minx LawnSite Member
    Messages: 82

    My guys get OT in summer, my guys get paid 3/4 during winter.. I have 4-5 great guys.. trying to find the last 1-2 team members has been a nightmare and still fruitless... pay is not the issue.,..advertised $9-12 per hour.. depending upon experience or level required.. tried for labourer tried for crew leaders, tried allsorts of interviewing techniques, followed up on references and done trial weeks with them (some lasting 5 hrs.. not many lasting the full week),,, been searching since december.. absolutely headbanging. still looking :hammerhead::cry::dizzy:
  6. South Florida Lawns

    South Florida Lawns LawnSite Platinum Member
    from usa
    Messages: 4,783

    had 2 white boys quit this summer 1 walked off the job and never heard from him. The other was calling his wife by 11:00 on his 1st day.
  7. vegandude

    vegandude LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 457

    is that a problem:laugh::drinkup:
  8. keeping going

    keeping going LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    Thankfully my permanent workers are awesome guys and other than a few minor issues I have no complaints.
    But holey Moley it's been hard work finding anywhere near decent seasonal staff this year - Craigslist is just a disaster now as far as finding good workers and the labor pool even worse - had to resort to getting to the gas stations very early in the morning to find decent guys willing to work who lets just say perhaps are not speakers of the English tongue as their first language

Share This Page