Employees Who Do Side Jobs, What to do?!

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Rebel Orchid, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. Rebel Orchid

    Rebel Orchid LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    My company does landscape maintenance. I send my crew out each day with a list of properties that they need to service each day. Lately I've noticed that they have been going other places, 15 min here, 20 min there...etc. How would you guys bring it up, it's been hard to find good qualified employees, and my employees have been getting really good reviews from customers. What should I do? How do you other companies deal with employees who do side jobs, when you find out, what do you do?
  2. JMiller08

    JMiller08 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 349

    Well what do you consider "side jobs" ? Like taking your mowing equipment to other homes not on the route and servicing them on your buck? If so then I personally would confront them with a warning and then after that there gone. It doesnt matter how good an employee is thats your money and time from yuor company your losing, big no no.
  3. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,904

    find another crew.
  4. capnsac

    capnsac LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 702

    If they find out you know that you they are doing this and still tolerate it then they'll continue to walk all over you. I'd set them all down and tell them how things operate, and servicing other peoples property on your dime is not one of those things. Take a firm upper hand, you're their boss and if they can't respect that then they need to be disrespectful someplace else.
  5. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,371

    Your screwed, thats why I stay SOLO. If you fire them they will start their own business wit hyour customers, if you dont fire them they will start their own business with your customers.
  6. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,457

    I'd fire them on the spot.

    Course it's in my EMPLOYEE MANUAL that all new hires have to read and sign (before they are actually hired) that doing side jobs, or talking about side jobs with potential customers while on my clock is a no no and is an offence you can and will be terminated for.

    This policy has been working fine for me.

    My guy's have copies of my business card to present to potential clients and they have my cell number. If a potential client approaches them they are to refer the client to me.

    If the potential client needs the work done immediately, they are to call me.

    If there are any questions at all concerning my policy, they are to call me.

    If there are any infractions of the policy I will fire people starting with the crew leader.

    With a good employee manual and a good training period for new hires and 5% unemployment I'm not at all scared to fire someone who is stealing from my company and ultimately me and my family.

    This is a no brainer.

    Some of you guy's sound like the employees run you instead of the other way around.

    It's all about the tone you set from day one.

    I do not take any crap from employees. Period.

    Don't like it, there's the door.
  7. steve5966

    steve5966 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 210

    If they are doing work for themselves on your time, with your equipment, then the only choice you have is wether you press charges for theft or not.

    When an employee does this they are stealing from you. I had to fire two of my top three guys a couple of months ago for basicly the same reasons. It sucks and it's a pain in the azz but it had to be done. If you let them get away with it now it will only get worse.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    A smart employee will always figure out a way to do side work and not get caught. It's just one of those things that's always going to happen. Only the dumb ones get caught...:laugh:

    I'm sure not many will agree here, but I would look at it on a case by case basis. I'm not going to fire a great employee over doing this one time.

    If you can offer your employees some sort of incentives or bonuses, it goes a long way towards curbing this sort of behavior. Most laborers are not paid well and they look at it as they can make their lunch money for the week by doing the neighbors lawn for $20.
  9. kkls2006

    kkls2006 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 141

    Seeing how they seem to have extra time, Maybe they need a few more scheduled stops on Your route to keep them busy during their shift?????
  10. ford550

    ford550 LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 221

    This is why all my trucks have tracking GPS. I know where they went, when they went and how. It is also in our employee manual, that they sign, there is zero tolerance for this kind of behavior, no warnings, immediate termination. Also, we have no compete clauses in the manual, if they try to start their own business and/or steal my customers and cliets I will be getting that money in court. Each truck has plenty of my buisiness cards for them to hand out to potential work. Haven't had any employees do this yet (knock on wood), you gotta treat them the same as you want to be treated. But some are just bad apples anyway.

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