Employees: Salaried vs Hourly - Your Thoughts.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Jason Pallas, Jan 23, 2001.

  1. Jason Pallas

    Jason Pallas LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,335

    Brand new to this site and really love it. Maybe I could get some helpful insight into how others handle this problem. We're a mid-sized company in the Detroit area / 450 weekly accounts lawn , 100 Snow (residential and commercial). We split pay for our employees - 1)crew chiefs/supervisors get a salaried pay during lawn season and then in the winter they go on seasonal unemployment and plow snow for us when it snows. 2) Our summer lawn help is all hourly and they usually aren't kept on in the winter - they're largely replaceable and as long as we have a good core of crew chiefs, we can build crews every spring for lawn service. Up until the last year or so the salaried crew chiefs working over the hourly grunts provided a good balance. The crew cheifs wanted to get done faster. The hourly guys, of course, wanted their hours so the two balanced out well. However, as of late, we see more crew chiefs flying through the accounts as if it were a race to get done and unfortunately quality sometimes suffers. Talks and warnings seem to only bring temporary improvements. Anybody else experience this? Solutions? The other owner is about to abandon the salary concept.
  2. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,415

    I would maybe keep it the same but add incentives for quality work. "Job Quality" questionnaires can be sent to customers on a periodic basis where the customer will give a rating of job performance. Give either prizes or bonuses due to the response rating totals for the area of each crew.
    Add the questionnaire to the invoice so no extra costs will be encountered.

    [Edited by LoneStarLawn on 01-23-2001 at 10:51 PM]
  3. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    Put out a carrot for the crew leaders. I agree with the quality bonus. The next thing I suggest may get me some real heat. But here it goes...

    When things get back into the same problems and you've had your talks, FIRE SOMEONE. I know this may sound bad, but if the others know you mean business, all the BS will stop. Its your company, its your @ss on the line. You must retain control. This is an old management tactic, but it still works well. The best attention getter is fear. :)
  4. Skookum

    Skookum LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 675

    Maybe try a percentage per account method. Would give crew leader more reason to make sure accounts are kept and desire to have more. You lose a account, they see direct result the next payday!

    I would keep customer out of a quality program aimed at employee control. It could lead to backlashes from employee that thinks the customer is watching too much. I also do not think it would be worth it, since the customer is only looking at their lawn with their preferences. You as a professional are looking at other things when talking about your crews. Your crew could be doing it wrong on one yard and right on another and the customers may not be able to tell.
  5. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    Seems cold but even the keepers sometimes have
    self dicipline problems.Seeing that you will
    be fair but will fire somebody,will get their
    attention.Sometimes helps a LOT.
  6. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 8,954

    I had a employee one time and i paid him a % of the weekly gross similiar to what Skookum said. Kept him motivated and wanting to make sure we kept the accounts
  7. Vandora Lawn & Landscape

    Vandora Lawn & Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    Maybe you could require your salaried crew leaders to work a mandatory 8 hour day. Put them to work on something else if they get back early. Like maintence. Something they don't like doing. Maybe they'll work a little longer on the accounts then.

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