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How do I fire an employee gently

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by promower, Jun 11, 2005.

  1. promower

    promower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,233

    I have a guy that gives me 110% when he shows up. He's been with me for just over 2 months and has called in 7 times. 4 times were legitament (sp?) When I hired him I stressed that I need great attendance, and someone available monday through saturday. 4 weeks in he just couldnt handle 6 days a week, so I bent over backwards and crammed everything in 5 days and I work solo on saturday. Now I'm falling behind on my extras and get day help which usually sucks. Tuesday my help got in a car accident and wouldnt be back till at least monday. My new guy is awesome and totally willing to work as many hours as he can get. So how do I fire someone? I've never had to do it. He's a nice guy and hes been really down on his luck lately but I need someone reliable. This guy runs with a rough crowd too, really wishing my shop wasnt my house. Sorry long post, just need advice.
  2. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 1,796

    You just tell him pretty much straight out that you need to talk for a minute and that while he does good work, you need someone more dependable so I'm sorry I have to let you go. Won't be easy especially if you have a good relationship with w employee but the longer he stays the more it hurts you and it is not fair to him either. If he will eventaully be gone, just do it now so he can get on with his life and you with yours.
  3. greywynd

    greywynd LawnSite Member
    Messages: 132

    That in itself would be enough to raise a concern with me, why are his friends hanging out at his place of employment? I don't hang around a bank where my friend works, why should he even have his friends there?
  4. Scapegoat

    Scapegoat LawnSite Member
    Messages: 249

    I think he means the guy knows where he lives and fears revenge by the guy or his "friends." Not that anyone is hanging out there. He would prefer to have a shop other than his garage to better separate the business from his home and family.
  5. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,641

    Are you working only 6.6 hour days? Requiring a person to be there 6 days a week is above and beyond the call of duty. Perhaps if you are running 10-12 hour days you are simply burning him out. My crews average 44 hours a week but they do it in 5 days. Personally I try to keep overtime at a minimum.
  6. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,459

    Don't tell an employee about his problems because it is not the time to begin counseling when you are letting him go. You should tell the employee "this job is just not right for you" and he can save face because he wasn't fired.

  7. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    I use a different method. I start a private conversation with the employee about their problem areas. Starting with the smaller ones and asking what they would do if they were me as discipline for it. Then as I get to the bigger things continue asking for ideas on discipline (if they hesitate, then suggest something and ask if they think that is fair) and by the end of the conversation have escalated the discipline past suspension and they will see where it is headed and fire themselves.

    This usually works better if you have had 2 or more previous sessions with them, especially if they have not improved on the previously mentioned problem areas.

    I have even had people thank me after I fired them. One guy came back a few months later and told me that now that he knows what is expected he is doing much better at his new job.
  8. Appalachian landscape

    Appalachian landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    Let him have saturday off. It's hard to work like a dog 6 days a week. If he works that hard, he'll be hard to replace.
  9. motodude

    motodude LawnSite Member
    from OK
    Messages: 17

    Sounds like you should be worried about hiring not firing.
  10. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,457


    Please, I've been doing it for at least 6 years now.

    The first 2 years of my starting this business I worked a full time night job from 10 pm - 6 am then went out and cut grass all day till around 1 or 2 in the afternoon, came home ate, slept and then did it all over again the next day.

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