Hiring and KEEPING a helper/right hand man

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by kels, Sep 13, 2003.

  1. kels

    kels LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    Alright you big dogs out there, tell me the secret in hiring and keeping a helper/right hand man.

    I have currently run through 2 helpers this year and am baffled by the no show no call problem. Everything seems to be going fine, buy them lunch pay them well give them co. shirts (even bought one shorts).

    I am at the point where I need a right hand man for future expansions and to be able to take vacations, any words of wisdom, advice?
  2. Indiana

    Indiana LawnSite Member
    Messages: 246

    I have had the same problem. All is well for weeks, buy lunches, pay well, always round up on the hours, buy all the drinks they want, company shirts, offers for paying for further education. Then gone. No call, no hint, nothing. When you finally get up with them, they just shrug their shoulders.

    What's up?
  3. sprout

    sprout LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    Don't have one. If you build your business around help you'll always have this problem.
  4. kels

    kels LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    sprout, do you ever plan to get sick, take a vacation? just curious what is your business plan is when you get too old or God forbid hurt in the field. I know I have a family to look after who also depends on the income also all of the time and money I have invested, I just do not want to give it up if something were to happen.
  5. ConPro

    ConPro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    Don't kiss their ---. Make them work as hard as you, or harder. Pay them a decent wage. One way I keep good help is to offer them a bonus for Christmas. That way if they leave they are throwing away money. It is hard to find a decent person though.
  6. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    Just keep trying, and eventually you will get lucky, but i know how you feel.
  7. doublesharp

    doublesharp LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 365

    End of the year bonus, Xmas bonus etc. Keep a substantial carrot that won't be delivered until season is finished. When I operated a retail fruit market/garden center I cut my 2 managers in on the Christmas tree deal. Treat them with respect, praise publicly, criticize privately and give them a financial incentive to stay. Another method I used to get my lumper to work on time was a $ 20 week bonus for being on time. Late one day, blow bonus for week. Made a game out of it and it worked pretty well. Just my 2 cents.
  8. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Messages: 4,040

  9. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    If I may ask, what do you consider being paid well?
  10. GLAN

    GLAN Banned
    Messages: 1,647

    I treat my men with respect. Don't over work them, don't buy them lunch. On occasion to show appreciation I will buy lunch. Pay them regularly. 2 paid Holidays And I don't make them think I desperately need them.

    When I needed 1 I hired 2. Quickly hired more as we grew.

    find the ones that have the smarts and are willing to take somewhat of a leading roll.

    It is no doubt difficult with just one employee. They take a day off without notice, what do you do?

    Hire 2, what are the chances both won't show? Hire more the odds go down. Also when they are gone more than a day replace them even if the new guy is temporary. When they come back if that person is worth while you have the option to straight out tell them they have a job here, and that they can be replaced. Takes some time, but when get above 2 employees alot of the silly stuff seems to go away.

    And also realize that they to have a life and need a day off for their personal things.

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