Help with Employee issue

Discussion in 'Employment' started by Lawnamus, Jun 1, 2007.

  1. Lawnamus

    Lawnamus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    I need the help of those who own their lawn care business and deal with their supervisors, foreman, whatever. I have one particular guy (foreman) who for the most part does a pretty good job, works hard, and shows up everyday, and has been with me for the better part of 6 years. While there is a lot to be said for that, over the last year, he has started his own little side business cutting residential and smaller commercial with my knowledge and hesitant approval. Last year when he started faultering a good bit, I voiced my concerns. For the most part this spring/early summer has gone well. But obviously his business has grown somewhat rapidly and I told him it was a huge conflict of interest for him to be a supervisor because I know he always " needs to go" after the job is "done" matter of opinion. I tried to make a change which he readily accepted, put a new guy in and it blew up in my face. Bascially most of the laborers for the lack of better words, revolted so I switched it back to the way it was. Now he doesn't want to work weekends "because he has his other stuff" etc., etc.

    Its the ultimate Catch 22. For the above reasons, I would be cutting off my nose to spite my face if I just fired him, because as all of you know, good let alone decent workers are very hard to find and that show up. But I've given him everything, done everything for him, pay him extremely well, etc. and its apparently not good enough. He tells me that last year I kept threatening his job so he had to have something to fall back on which I reply that he threatened his own job with shotty work, not me, and trust me I have been forgiving.
    In the end, I have too much to do to just up and let him go, but it just keeps eating at me that a person with that position wants his cake and eat it too. Like I said, he works like a mad man and does a good job running the guys, but damn Any ideas would be great.
  2. stangman35

    stangman35 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 62

    How about promoting one of the laborers to his position,any of them good enough for the job?If he works in the same area as you he should be considered a competter.
    Right now your supporting a guy that could be taking your coustomers one day.
    Sounds like he's already trying to run the show,has your laborers behind him.
    Cut him loose and tell the other guys if they dont like it go work for him,I dont suppose he's big enough yet to support extra help is he?
    Right now your feeding his business,It will come back and bite you in the a$$.
  3. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    His mind is elseware, kick him to the curb.
  4. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,172

    Or next time, have the worker sign a "not to compete clause" for two years.
    I've seen a ton of this in the lawn care industry; we sprinkler folk don't see
    it that much, but, Jeez, you gardeners & mowers..I feel for you.:cry:
  5. KGR landscapeing

    KGR landscapeing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,544

    how soon we all forget how we started. we all milked other people for r start but if hes not working to the level that his laborer r then cut him let one of them have his job bringing somebody eles in and not having start as the trimmer guy or weedpuller can cause problems
  6. Lawnamus

    Lawnamus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    I take exception to the fact that you lump me in your category of milkers. I worked 70 hrs. a week for 24K to start. There was no miliking here I can promise and in fact, I go stabbed in the back so I left. Its just baffeling to me that I have worked so hard to not only give my emplys a good job but try to give them a better life and it still is not good enough. NO UTTERS HERE. I'm going to take care of business, its just flat mind boggeling.
  7. KGR landscapeing

    KGR landscapeing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,544

    I wasnt bashing you in any sense. But we all got are start somewhere and had to learn from somebody eles and it wasnt really u that i was talking about. it was the post about the not to compete clause. we work are ass for excperience so why shouldnt we be aloud to use it.
  8. teeca

    teeca LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,202

    i've hated to let people go, and even see some go. but what i have always tried to keep in the back of my mind is, i like to see people better themselfs, and make a good life for them and their family. ya it's hard, but i'd set him down later in the season, closer to fall/winter and let him know he needs to make a choice, and at that time have him sign a no complete clause with it reading that he coundn't take workers from you in the event he quit/fired. i had to sign one like that, pretty indepth. that will give you the winter to find a replacement. also, i'd be pretty pissed off at his crew for turning on you, might just dump them also, because you may never get them to change.

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