Great Employees are Hard to Replace

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Sean Adams, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,597

    I have been in business for a long time. I've learned so much over those years that is never easy to pin-point one particular lesson that stands out for me. There is one lesson I have learned that I will never forget and I hope you realize as well...

    Great employees, talented employees are rarely easy to replace.

    Can you go out and find someone to fill their position? Sure. In today's economy there are plenty of people looking for jobs, but that doesn't mean you will get what you lost.

    When a business owner has the mindset that everyone is replaceable, it's a mistake.

    When you have an employee who knows your company, knows what you expect from them, knows how to work hard, is capable of delivering results, treats customers the right way, and sets a good example for other employees, can be trusted and is very good at what they do, it is your responsibility as the owner of the company to find a way to keep this person on board.

    Yes, employees can be difficult sometimes. But talented people who have all of the attributes listed above are worth dealing with 99% of the time. I am not suggesting that a talented, hard-working employee should be given the green light to be a pain in the behind, but dealing with a little attitude at times is still better than trying to start over and replace that person.

    I have also noticed that when a great employee is let go - either by my doing or by their choice - it has an impact on other employees in the company. They all recognize that this person was different and special, and if they were willing to leave or be let go, then the other employees start to wonder if their job is safe or if maybe there is something better out there because the great employee was willing to leave.

    When a great employee wants a little more money, give it to them. It is far easier to give a great employee a raise from $13.50 per hour to $15.00 per hour than it is to start over and find, hire, train and mold a new employee.

    Bottom line, you can have plenty of money to work with, top of the line trucks and equipment, a long list of clients and a fantastic marketing plan, but it is your employees who make the business run. Without good employees, your business is in trouble. When you have a great employee, do what you must to keep them on board.
  2. NC Greenscaper

    NC Greenscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 447

    This is so true. I have begun the seach for two great (or just good) employees. I posted a craigslist and put the yard sign out, and started reviewing the applications. The quality of people calling or stoping by amazes me. It is so hard to find one person who's application and presentation is acceptable. Every year I end up lowering my standards and the results speaks for itself. I had one today give me his application less than half filled out with no addresses or telephone numbers and proclaim that his goal was to find stable employment. I handed the application back to him and said, "I too am looking for a stable employee, can you go back and fill this out so I can see a track record of stable employment or at least some indication that your a stable employee"? He answered indicated he had no moving violations are tickets or arrests on his application, but doesn't have a driver's license and he is probadly 40 years old.

    I haven't posted an add in the newspaper, yet. I've got to find a better way of recruiting. I know this is a broken record and more of the same ranting.

    I don't have a problem paying more and I'm going to a better employee.
  3. Swampy

    Swampy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,435

    Yeshhhhhh..... Is it that bad out there? My late Uncle Don, he owned a small chain of convience and liqour stores in the Milwaukee area, told me that employee's come first!!!! They are your customer support, image, and a extention of yourself. Treat all your employee's great and the you will see everything else improve.
  4. adam.neusbaum

    adam.neusbaum LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    I probably tell each guy; Great job or looks good (as long as it does) more than they might want to hear and when a customer overhears me then they relax & know they're getting the best work & in the end declare the same satisfaction to all of us. Partly might be the power of suggestion. Secondarily us humans take constructive criticism better when we know the same person offers equal praises for a job well done. I wouldn't want to be lopsided in judgement & besides a word of encouragement is free.

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