Getting Employees to listen?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by bjm95, May 11, 2013.

  1. bjm95

    bjm95 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    My guys work hard and show up on time but they do not seem to listen.

    Example: I asked them to stop rounding the edges, I want 90 degrees on corners. They are not doing it.

    I am constantly telling them to put things back where they got it. They dont do it.

    You can only yell, ask or threaten they're jobs so many times before it gets old. I don't want to fire them because they do work pretty good but at the same time I need these things done.

    Does anyone have any legitimate suggestions??
  2. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    Just fire one and the others should fall in. They know your threats are meaningless otherwise
  3. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,904

    i use snickers candy bars as a way of positive reinforcement with them.
  4. Chineau

    Chineau LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    When you tell them 90 on a corner do you explain why? I started new guy this week past rule number one with me at the customers property never fill equipment on the customers lawn, why you spill you kill grass. You kill grass they don't want us back we don't have work. He understands.
  5. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 41,937

    Quit treating them like kids and they'll stop acting like kids. I understand there's a time to yell, but never threaten your guys. What would you do if you in their shoes? What's happening to make them not want to listen? I just quit a pretty good job as a field supervisor for 5 grass crews because upper management didn't understand how to manage people. I show up on time every day and only called off once in over two years I've been there. I worked more hours than any of the other 30+ employees last year and you know what my reward was? A scolding about too much overtime. How does that make me want to work hard anymore? It doesn't. I can take a lot of crap and some people even think I'm a push-over. But I'm not going to stay on if I poured my blood out for two years and don't even get one measly "thanks for working late tonight."

    I know I ventured off topic for a bit, but as a manager, you're responsible for your employees. If your employees are unhappy, look at yourself. What am I doing wrong that's making them feel that way? If your employees don't listen, look to yourself to figure out why. Sure, you get bad employees that need to be removed, absolutely. Not every guy can be managed. But instead of making them fearful of losing their jobs or even worse making them angry at you, help them to feel good about making your job easier.

    And don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you should coddle your employees or treat them like spoiled children. Treat them like adults. As a leader, you need to show that you have their back, but aren't willing to be walked on. They don't put something back, call them on it. They don't do what you want, call them on it. Suspend them, issue a written warning. But if you change your mindset to "how can I help them do their jobs better" from "what the eff are they doing," you might notice some slow changes.

    Professionalism starts from the top and works its way down. If you want your employees to be the best, you have to try your hardest to be the best.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but I've watched over 12-14 employees for a couple years and I wasn't in the position to fire any of them. Which means I had to deal with what I was given. Being a consistent force of strength, cool demeanor, and compassion goes a lot further in my opinion than fear.

    And every day I'd go home thinking about how poorly I did working with them.
    Last edited: May 11, 2013
  6. bjm95

    bjm95 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    Yes, I explain why and I even show pictures of what happens.
  7. bjm95

    bjm95 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    I agree %100 that's why I am asking. I treat them like grown men, I don't yell, I ask and I do lots of things other bosses don't do. That's why I get frustrated when they don't listen continuously.
  8. Efficiency

    Efficiency LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 6
    Messages: 1,851

    Choose your battles. I choose to deal w all that and more just since my guys come in on time and do a reasonably good job most times. Employees are mostly capable of average and no more. If they can do more, they would have their own business.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. McFarland_Lawn_Care

    McFarland_Lawn_Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,445

    subscribing - managing employees is what I struggle with most. I'm not terrible, but would love to be a LOT better. Hard to know how to help each one grow and where to draw lines.


    CLARK LAWN LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,526

    So if you take your truck in to get work done and they do it half assed you would be okay with that?
    Posted via Mobile Device

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