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How to encourage more initiative/speed in employees?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Ijustwantausername, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. Ijustwantausername

    Ijustwantausername LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    I would like to see more speed and productivity in my full-time guy. He worked with my part-timer in the fall when he was hired but now that we are slower this time of year my part-timer only works when we have big landscaping projects. Since there were 2 of them I didn't really notice any lost time/loss in productivity. Now that my full timer is doing all of the yards by himself I have noticed that he really isn't that fast.

    However, he does a great job and I get compliments a lot and 0 complaints. At the same time, you can't take 1.5 hours on maintenance on a half acre or smaller lot, at least not in this business or you'll lose money.

    So from the perspective of his work quality he is great, as far as moving quickly and also maintaining quality that is wanting. My MAIN concern is that we are about to kick it into gear around March and I need him to be quicker and I would hope that since he is familiar with the lawns that he can be. I have another guy that I am brining on part-time with him in March (not the one from last fall) and he has worked some jobs with us already. He is really quick and has experience and that is what has prompted me to ask the question "how can I make my full time guy work quicker?"

    Few things
    He is salary for full time
    He generally works 30-35 hours a week
    No weekend work
    I am flexible with his time if he needs off for class as he is in seminary
    No issues from him as far as conduct

    1. Am I being unrealistic?
    2. Do I take the good with that bad in that I get no complaints from him but I just have to deal with him being slower?
    3. What approach have you used to talk to your employees to boost them to work quicker?
  2. guitarman2420

    guitarman2420 LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Midlothian, VA
    Messages: 612

    You're facing the same issue that all of us deal with every day. When you have a fast guy, you wish he would use more quality. When you have a slower guy, you wish he would be more efficient. I think you're better off starting off with a quality guy and trying to speed them up then the other way around. Maybe try to motivate him by giving him a bonus for completing more jobs. Also, it says that you're paying him a salary. You could give him 15 jobs a day, let's say, and just tell him he has to work till it's done. If he's like most people, he will speed up so he doesn't have to work 12 hours
  3. FLC2000

    FLC2000 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    Just to be clear, you had 2 guys doing the work and now you have 1 guy doing the work and you're noticing it is taking longer...? Am I reading that right?

    GRANTSKI LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,187

    My idea : employee will start at $13 an hour. If he increases speed and efficiency pay will be raised in increments based on increased efficiency. (If he goes from doing 10 lawns a day to 12 lawns a day his hourly will increase). Mistakes will be fixed on employees own time. If employee is not interested in becoming a faster worker...Pay will only increase depending on length of employment (yearly)
    Michael1323 likes this.
  5. ZombieCutter

    ZombieCutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,082

    Cattleprod works well for me. Dog shock collars....Make sure to get the large dog ones.
  6. MarkintheGarden

    MarkintheGarden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,133

    The only way to know if someone should work faster is to work with them and observe. It might not be a matter of working faster, rather a matter of avoiding wasting time. Often people will waste time by not thinking ahead, and ending up walking back and forth, not combining trips, etc.
    There is always a world of difference to be made by being more efficient.

    Talk to him, and get out there and observe. Start a dialogue about being efficient and getting more done. Do not ruin a good employee by applying pressure that is not understood.
  7. guitarman2420

    guitarman2420 LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Midlothian, VA
    Messages: 612

    That's great advice! Lots of wisdom.
    hort101 likes this.
  8. ZachBreeden

    ZachBreeden LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    I'm with you.

    I would definitely make sure and do my homework to make sure he really is taking as long as you think he is, and also, you need to remember that quality counterbalances speed. Your not going to get professional level quality out of someone doing 25 yards a day.
    guitarman2420 likes this.
  9. MarkintheGarden

    MarkintheGarden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,133

    Too bad employees don't come with power ratings like engines do.
    I will take two 25 HP landscapers and one 20 HP lawn mowing dude.

    But seriously, when I train people I tell them and then demonstrate how to pace yourself. My favorite pace is to jump in at high gear, then hit a stride till I am almost done, then kick it back into high gear and get the job done.

    Bama, you just need to have the conversation, and get out there with him.
    hort101 likes this.
  10. guitarman2420

    guitarman2420 LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Midlothian, VA
    Messages: 612

    Picture1.png For the Village People look with the chaps
    hort101 likes this.

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