Growing Pains..... What to do with an a good employee, what would you pay him?

HPSInc

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Buffalo, NY
That's true, but if he's a team player he will. It's only a few months, and if he does it you can compensate his efforts and sacrifice in the growing months when the money is rolling in. He's playing ball and worth it. He's there when you need him and not a drain on your accounts when there's no work. Heck he doesn't even know how to plow yet! He can do it like this until he learns what he's doing, it can always change next year. Depends if he wants to commit to the company like he says he does. Guys need to look at the end game and not just what they make week to week. I know that's expecting a lot but if he's who he says he is he should get it. Save your money all year like the rest of us. He probably lives at home with his mom.
 
OP
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DLONGLANDSCAPING

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Birmingham,MI
Honestly, all this help is GREATLY appreciated. I started to think that i was doing something wrong when i am going to say no to this salary deal. I can see how Salary would work out starting in April. IF he makes X amount and is working 60-70 hour weeks, and then in the winter, pretty much gets paid for all of that overtime spread out the course of the year.... What doesnt make sense is when he's taking home 1100-1500 dollars per week in the season making overtime, then wanting to be started on Salary during the slow time.... Best of both worlds.


I truly value all of the help on this site and i think i know what i am going to do from here on out with this. The way i see it, come spring if he isn't around, i could get a GREAT worker for a couple dollars more per hour that WOULD be doing what he was supposed to be doing, but better and bring more to the table.

I always say to my guys that i hire, when you bring another trade to my business, and teach the whole crew your specialized trade (be that it pertains to landscaping industry) it helps everyone. For example, i have an employee that used to do tuck pointing/masonry/cement work. He has taught all of us how to do this and we can sell services with the knowledge he brought to us, rather than subbing out cinder block wall constructions for stone veneers on projects we do.
 

AI Inc

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Southern NH
If you teach a guy how to sell and how to install , it will not be long before he realizes he doesn't need you!
 

grassmonkey0311

LawnSite Gold Member
If you teach a guy how to sell and how to install , it will not be long before he realizes he doesn't need you!

This is more myth than fact, just like, you should never share your prices with employees.
 

joeslawncaree

LawnSite Senior Member
If you teach a guy how to sell and how to install , it will not be long before he realizes he doesn't need you!

Thus isn't always true if you pay your employees fare. if they ask for a raise and you come back with .25 cents after they feel they've helped your company grow! Then yeah they'll look elsewhere or start their own.

I think this is the problem with a lot of companies they feel that everyone is after what they have! I've learned a lot from working with some companies then others nothing at all it was like I was teaching the owner how to do things.

You don't have to tell employees the exact prices but if they know how things work and the prices you charge it can help you grow.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

AI Inc

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Southern NH
Thus isn't always true if you pay your employees fare. if they ask for a raise and you come back with .25 cents after they feel they've helped your company grow! Then yeah they'll look elsewhere or start their own.

I think this is the problem with a lot of companies they feel that everyone is after what they have! I've learned a lot from working with some companies then others nothing at all it was like I was teaching the owner how to do things.

You don't have to tell employees the exact prices but if they know how things work and the prices you charge it can help you grow.
Posted via Mobile Device

what is your idea of fair pay?
 

joeslawncaree

LawnSite Senior Member
what is your idea of fair pay?

It depends on the person experience level and work ethic.

I'll give my own scenario. Got hired in to run a crew the company had three crews splitting up 430 accounts, my crew was me and another guy. we did 200-230 lawns a week 6 days. Got hired in at 13.50 didn't ask for a raise until the end of the year. He gave me .25 cent raise.

Next year he hired new guys that had no experience started them off at 15.00 while me and the other guy on my crew were still at 13.75. Now this year he has four crews still splitting up 430 accounts. My crew is still doing 200-230 of them so I ask for another raise tell him I want to be paid more then someone with no experience. He comes back with .25 cents again says he can't afford to pay more.

So by him starting new guys out at 15 that don't know anything about mowing and have me at 14.00 I'm going to look somewhere else or better yet start my own.

I did end up starting my own and those 200 customers are all slowly coming to me for service. I would have stayed with him if he paid me fairly and helped his business grow just like I did with the last company I was with for 8 year's. Couldn't afford 4000.00 more a year yet now he's loosing 100k a year!

This is the fear every company has, if you pay your good guys good they will always be with you!
Posted via Mobile Device
 

TPendagast

LawnSite Fanatic
Honestly, all this help is GREATLY appreciated. I started to think that i was doing something wrong when i am going to say no to this salary deal. I can see how Salary would work out starting in April. IF he makes X amount and is working 60-70 hour weeks, and then in the winter, pretty much gets paid for all of that overtime spread out the course of the year.....



no no no :nono:

Dept of labor requires that your people who work in the field get paid Ot IN THE WEEK they worked it.
Salaried employees are ONLY exempt IF:
a) they work LESS than 20% of their hours in a direct labor manner
and b) make more than (I don't recall exactly) approx. $54,000 a year.

your guy is getting paid (tentatively) $2,400 per month. Or $28,800 per year.
A typical "foreman" in the field with design/build skills than can lead a crew from design to completion is worth $20 or more per hour.

A typical man in typical USA will work 1200 reg hours and 240 Ot hours
so the regular hours of THAT guy comes to $24,000.00
and his Ot hours are another $7,200.00
so THAT guy is $31,200.00

YOUR guy is $28,800.00
BUT you need to PAY him for OT he works if he works it AND more than 20% of his hours are "labor in the field"
Ie if his work is billable and not OH, you owe him OT worked.

BUT technically this guys "regular rate" is $13.85/hr (based on salary)

So his OT rate is only $20.76 so every hour of OT he DOES work is only paid at $20.76.

so lets say he works 15 hours of OT per week That's $311.40 extra in Ot per week.
Your busy season is probably 20 weeks long (where you really NEED Ot worked) so this guy costs you another $6,228.00 per year in OT.
So hes $35,028 compared to the "other guy" who is 31,200.00

It's still not massively over priced for a right hand guy/lead.

Here's my suggestion:
Offer him a salary of $24,960.00 (that's 2080 per month or 13/hr base)
Remind him about OT in the summer (which you would pay out at 19.50 OT rate)
Now he costs you approx. $30,810.00 and he has room to grow.

If he argues, point out that he doesn't actually fill the position and he needs to learn, he has one year to learn, at which time you will reevaluate .

If he declines, offer that deal to some other young kid eager to learn.
 

whiffyspark

LawnSite Fanatic
$20 an hour for a plow truck driver is crazy. My guy boys that to his shovelers. Here in Maryland we can't go on unemployment all winter if we did that. If we made $500 one week for snow unemployment gets cancelled.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

AI Inc

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Southern NH
It depends on the person experience level and work ethic.

I'll give my own scenario. Got hired in to run a crew the company had three crews splitting up 430 accounts, my crew was me and another guy. we did 200-230 lawns a week 6 days. Got hired in at 13.50 didn't ask for a raise until the end of the year. He gave me .25 cent raise.

Next year he hired new guys that had no experience started them off at 15.00 while me and the other guy on my crew were still at 13.75. Now this year he has four crews still splitting up 430 accounts. My crew is still doing 200-230 of them so I ask for another raise tell him I want to be paid more then someone with no experience. He comes back with .25 cents again says he can't afford to pay more.

So by him starting new guys out at 15 that don't know anything about mowing and have me at 14.00 I'm going to look somewhere else or better yet start my own.

I did end up starting my own and those 200 customers are all slowly coming to me for service. I would have stayed with him if he paid me fairly and helped his business grow just like I did with the last company I was with for 8 year's. Couldn't afford 4000.00 more a year yet now he's loosing 100k a year!

This is the fear every company has, if you pay your good guys good they will always be with you!
Posted via Mobile Device

So what do you pay your guys?
 

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