How much do you pay your employees?

eggy

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Seymour Indiana
Probably 50 percent offer benefits with employee numbers ranging from 5-10 which would be considered very small. The turnover seems low as several 6-10 year employees have stayed put. We are looking for the people who choose not to go to the factory or distribution centers here and almost all are hiring and offering a wage of 14 hr to start plus benefits. Even at 14 a hour year round that's around 30,000 a year reasonable wage but nothing great. Typically we don't advertise wages so low and benefits so bad you will qualify for a government subsidy.
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grassmasterswilson

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
nc
Wrong. We have hired on 9 guys this year so far. Only 3 of them had experience and honestly those were our biggest challenges. If they know nothing, our trainer is so much better able to teach them our ways and our processes.

So now I have to ask, what is your training like? Or are you just "snipe hunting" for the perfect guy who doesn't need training, works for next to nothing, and is ready to go 100% the day you hire them? Maybe you're expectations are the problem.
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Please share your policies and training. You seem to have it all figured out and have worked the kinks out.
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Patriot Services

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Tampa FL
Probably 50 percent offer benefits with employee numbers ranging from 5-10 which would be considered very small. The turnover seems low as several 6-10 year employees have stayed put. We are looking for the people who choose not to go to the factory or distribution centers here and almost all are hiring and offering a wage of 14 hr to start plus benefits. Even at 14 a hour year round that's around 30,000 a year reasonable wage but nothing great. Typically we don't advertise wages so low and benefits so bad you will qualify for a government subsidy.
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Indiana does not have year round landscaping jobs. That and benefits means you're your lowest / average guy is costing around 45k much of it unproductive time. The young guys in this career field will take more money over benefits any day.
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XYZLawnPros

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Tundraland
Originally Posted by eggy
We are talking full benefit package ( I hope) with these wages? Health insurance, vacation, holiday and retirement?
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Name some small companies that offer those benefits with any salary. Being seasonal vacation and holiday kind of comes natural. Obamacare offers low cost health care with tax credits to offset that. Retirement has become the employees responsibility in even the largest companies. What is your compensation package?
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It definitely doesn't seem that any schooling before college and barely any college or university teaches any people how to spend and conserve thier money. A miniscule amount of busineses do any kind of training, guidance, instruction or cultivating of thier labor towards an end. That end being a position of the laborer to know how to gain thier own benefits or retirement as well as healthcare and investing.

We take an approach of providing them with what works for us. All the improtant aspects are covered to be able to enjoy life. This is all done within the first 3 weeks of them providing thier time and labor for us. They can then make thier own choices after gaining some very important knowledge. We don't want just another slave. We want a human relationship. Due unto others as you would have done unto thyself. If they show the intelligence and logic to take the free advice and knowledge we offer, they become dead set in thier own minds on how to make it work for themselves. Help with building pride and integrity plus self respect goes along way to usher themselves forwards into a position of confidence and knowledge and always looking to the future.

Sharing in the productivity of all of our endeavors. A tight community together will always become better off than a loose shell of slaves running amuck. So far none have proved to be just there for the "compensation/paycheck". Working like a charm.
 

Will P.C.

LawnSite Senior Member
The general rule of thumb is that it takes 3 months of employment before the employer can begin to see a return on his investment. High turnover is super costly.

10/hr-12/hr is what I think is fair for metro Atl for someone coming in at the bottom running a trimmer. It is a physical job, hot as hell, seasonal and requires 0 skill. There has to be a certain level of acceptance that you aren't going to get A1 employees and many of them will bounce as soon as something better comes along

We have a ton of staffing/ temp agencies around that will place you somewhere making 12 where there is less manual labor in a factory/warehouse/distro center and a really solid chance of getting on full time with benefits/401k/paid holidiays/ and all the hours you can work. Like the above poster stated, why the hell would anyone want to do landscaping work for less money.
 

kemco

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Memphis TN
Man I'm in the same boat. I would love to pay my guys more, honestly would. I paid a couple workers more a handful of years ago to 'help them out' it was a big bump in pay for no other reason than I was trying to pay as much as I could hoping maybe a little more effort would come my way. The exact opposite happened. Less productivity, seemed they stayed awake at night trying to find novel ways to milk the clock just a minute here or there. Then came the 'I need more money' constantly complaining about how little they were getting paid. I had bumped them both to over $15 an hour and that was a handful of years ago. All they did was mow and trim. They are no longer with me, fired one and the other just didn't show up for 2 months then wanted his job back. I have no answers as I'm still looking for them myself. Just wanted to share my experience.
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Efficiency

Banned
Location
zone 6
Man I'm in the same boat. I would love to pay my guys more, honestly would. I paid a couple workers more a handful of years ago to 'help them out' it was a big bump in pay for no other reason than I was trying to pay as much as I could hoping maybe a little more effort would come my way. The exact opposite happened. Less productivity, seemed they stayed awake at night trying to find novel ways to milk the clock just a minute here or there. Then came the 'I need more money' constantly complaining about how little they were getting paid. I had bumped them both to over $15 an hour and that was a handful of years ago. All they did was mow and trim. They are no longer with me, fired one and the other just didn't show up for 2 months then wanted his job back. I have no answers as I'm still looking for them myself. Just wanted to share my experience.
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I'm not advocating to pay ducks more for the sake of just paying more. If it walks like, quacks like, works like a duck, no matter what you pay it, you still have a duck.

What I am saying is if you can afford to pay better, you won't even entertain interviewing ducks. What you'll start getting and hiring will be swans.
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jc1

LawnSite Silver Member
Advertising for a career with good pay and potential promotion will lead to better applicants rather then advertising a job.
Advertising a pay scale that someone can afford to live on will provide better applicants.
Better pay gives someone the chance at changing carriers with out stepping backwards financially.
It's really a choice as a business owner. You can pay $10 an hour and always be advertising for help or start paying a higher wage to start building your business. 2 dollars an hour is $16 per day.
Save $80 per week and need better help.
There are hard working guys that want to get ahead and enjoy the the work they just can't afford to live on what gets offered.
 

TPendagast

LawnSite Fanatic
I'm not advocating to pay ducks more for the sake of just paying more. If it walks like, quacks like, works like a duck, no matter what you pay it, you still have a duck.

What I am saying is if you can afford to pay better, you won't even entertain interviewing ducks. What you'll start getting and hiring will be swans.
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^this!!!

If you've decided to spend ten grand on a mower
You don't go shopping at home depot
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TPendagast

LawnSite Fanatic
Advertising for a career with good pay and potential promotion will lead to better applicants rather then advertising a job.
Advertising a pay scale that someone can afford to live on will provide better applicants.
Better pay gives someone the chance at changing carriers with out stepping backwards financially.
It's really a choice as a business owner. You can pay $10 an hour and always be advertising for help or start paying a higher wage to start building your business. 2 dollars an hour is $16 per day.
Save $80 per week and need better help.
There are hard working guys that want to get ahead and enjoy the the work they just can't afford to live on what gets offered.
How many of you work 32 - 40 hours a week
Put in minimal preparation and effort
Eat out every day
Accept no responsibility
And expect everything to be provided for just showing up;
And can make a "living" behaving like that?

Well if you can't do it
Chances are workers can't either

Workers aren't possessions
They are people

Being a business owner/entrepreneur
You are in the business of asset development
Employees need development

They need to be taught more than how to mix fuel and start a weed whacker
So instead of paying 12/hr and treating them like babies
Pay them $15/hr and expect them to come to work with a pen , a pocket knife, a multi tool, a pair of felco pruners , gloves , eye protection and ear protection and bring their lunch and drinks

These should be inspectible items

Come to work
Ready to work
Do you have these items?

No?

Come back when you do

They can have these things and get paid for

preparation and responsibility

Or they can work for less for everyone else
Those who come with the right things are coming to work ready to work
They show they are the employees you want and are worth the extra pay and the time to develop them
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