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Firing too many Employees

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by bjm95, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,763

    Same here, the problem is those guys are few and far between. We had our share of guys working this year. The sad part is if you could combine a couple bad employees you would have one great employee. One wouldn't listen but was a great worker, the other would listen but was next to useless working..... Out of all of them we still have one guy left :hammerhead: so next spring we'll try it all over again and hopefully find some guys that want to make money and learn new skills.
  2. gcbailey

    gcbailey LawnSite Silver Member
    from WV
    Messages: 2,745

    I've only ever had to let 2 people go in 5 years of having employees, both college part time guys.

    It needs to be made very clear up front your expectations and how your company runs. I do expect a little goofing off from someone in their late teens early twenties... wasn't too long ago I was there. However, when it's time to work, it's time to work...

    If someone wants to fuss about the $10/hour part time I pay, I tell them to go to McD's and flip burgers for $7/hour and get less hours and less freedom.
  3. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,231

    Ain't that the truth.

    He didn't say minimum wage, just low wage.

    Definitely reevaluate hiring practices. It's taken me a long time and a whole lotta firing\hiring, but finally have a good group. Not perfect, but good.
  4. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    I don't have employees but think back to the days when I worked for a friend. I worked hard for him but also prayed for rain certain days of the weeks so I could have off. But now that I run the show I feel the urgency he had at getting jobs completed and completed on time. I'll work my tail off because it's my business. Hard to find someone who wants to do that in a lower wage earner job and it's not their business... All I'm saying is its hard to expect employees to have the same commitment level as an owner does, especially at $10/hr seasonal. I want employees so I can reduce my workload and add work so I think about this stuff all the time. How to get someone to work well,get paid well, and have enough work to stay around......
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,353

    No truer saying than "it hurts to grow".
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. bjm95

    bjm95 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    Thanks everyone, reading some of these posts made me feel better. It's lonely at the top so its good to get other perspectives.Or just share the misery at times.

    THEGOLDPRO LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,222

    I fired 4 people in a matter of weeks last year, had a guy this year for 8 months and fired him finally for being lazy. He was good for a while but slipped off big time the last few months he was working for me. replaced him with a new guy who makes the old guy look like a moron. The new guy works circles around the guy i fired. So in turn i gave him 2 bucks more an hour then i was giving the old guy. It also helps the new guy is a mechanic so he has saved me a few grand this year alone in repairs to trucks/equipment. If we have a rain day he will just come in and work on trucks/equipment in the shop.
  8. NC Greenscaper

    NC Greenscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    I've had all the same problems and I spoken to many other businesses who have the same problems. I think it is a poor work ethic and many view these jobs as bottom of the barrel. The thing that I'm doing is trying to make the wage and job more attractive and harder to leave. I try to look at what it would be like in thier shoes. Create better systems that employees can get up to speed quicker and hold them accountable. I also want to make sure I do the basics of good hiring, things I don't have a habit of doing now, such as: checking references, checking experience, drug and driver license checks. If I had done these this summer I would not of hired all the 7-8 problems I hired who are longer around. However, realistically, I'm not sure I had any applications that would've passed the bar. A few that I hired would have good references and drug and license checks I'm sure but they were the ones that couldn't handle the work and heat in July.

    I got a text from an uncle of an employee last night that said, his nephew Mr. employee will need the next few days (unsure of how many) to handle some personal matters. I told him to tell the employee to take the whole next week off and then call me before returning. If I can do without him for a week, I can probadly do without him for a couple.

    The way that I look at this is its just like any other issue that I have to work through. I've got a few good employees so first Im going to make sure they stay and when I get another hold onto him as well.
  9. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    It always amazes me how threads like this drag on when the best answers is given in post number two .....and everyone ignores it. The very first place you should look when a employee fails.....is yourself and why you allowed them to be hired. The employee most likely did not come looking for employment with a goal of failing in mind.....but did you make sure he was set up for success first by hiring the right person and did you properly ensure you trained him properly.
  10. Premier GreenScape

    Premier GreenScape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    Maybe you aren't firing enough people and do it fast enough.

    Lay out your expectations, have a code of conduct and a handbook.

    When some one messes up can them. You won't have to fire many this way before you create a culture in your company. You need to be known as a hard@$$ when it comes to conduct and what will get you fired. Those stories of the people that were fired will permeate a company for years and keep the new guys in line.

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