How to encourage more initiative/speed in employees?

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

  1. hort101

    hort101 LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from S.E. New England
    Messages: 6,030

    LOL is this for better productivity ??
  2. guitarman2420

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

    Oops wrong thread;). Supposed to be about the work pants. Sooo embarrassing
    hort101 likes this.
  3. windyridge

    windyridge LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    salary is a funny thing. get payed the same no matter how hard you work or how much you work. think about changing him to hourly but make it so he thinks he is getting a raise. you said he was normally only working 30-35 hours so pay him what ever that would be but hourly he will see that he can make more if he hits 40 hours. but attitude has a lot to do with it everyone is different.
  4. grassmonkey0311

    grassmonkey0311 LawnSite Silver Member
    from MD/NC
    Messages: 2,905

    Just from prior experience and working close with employees, here are a few things I figured out.

    1. Salary. Most feel like they are over worked and under paid, or don't want to be over worked and under paid. They either complain about pay and hours, or work at a slower pace and have the "I'm not going to work myself to death" mentality.

    2. Hourly. "I'm going to get mine" mentality. Some will work slow and milk the clock, try to kill some time here and there, generally overall need to be monitored more by management to make sure they are being productive.

    3. Incentive. Also referred to as piece work. Some of these employees also have the 'I'm not going to work myself to death" mentality, but it's less common. Most just don't like the unsteady pay check, but like the fact that they can work at their own pace and the more they do the more they make.

    The hard part is finding what fits for your business. I tried #2 and it was horrible. Lawns that should have taken 20 minutes took over an hour. I never got complaints from them probably because they were so 'thorough' in their process of slooooooowly mowing to milk the clock. I'm now on #3 which has worked great. The problem with #1 and #3 is to know where too much work means too much work. You don't want to work them to death just like they don't want to work themselves to death. But changing to #3 has drastically increased the work ethic. One tool I use to measure productivity is Yards Per Hour, which has maintained where it should be since switching to #3.

    The most important thing (which no employer really ever does...) is get feedback from your employee. He'll tell you everything you want to know, then you can decide what option is best for him. Maybe he says he's not a Monday person and works real slow on Monday- will #3 motivate him to work faster? Or it could be an equipment issue you didn't know about, etc. Employees are very hard to deal with, but don't think 1 method of pay will work the best.
  5. ohiolawnguy

    ohiolawnguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    Couldn't have said it better... precisely on point.
  6. ZombieCutter

    ZombieCutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,082

    I've found axing an entire crew out in the field works great to keep the others in line.

    I do not pay for slack, get caught slacking, you may find yourself walking back to your car.
    GrassManKzoo likes this.
  7. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,690


    I read that too
    hort101 likes this.
  8. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,690

    Because you have soooo many useful productive applicants chomping st the bit to replace the guys you just fired to make a point?
    hort101 likes this.
  9. Trees Too

    Trees Too LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,597

    I've been in this business long enough to know that different people work at a different pace. And simply throwing more money at them as an incentive doesn't automatically flip a switch to make the slow employees work fast. They just do what they do. Another fallacy, is the idea of pairing up a slow worker with faster ones in order to speed him up. In reality he will still mosey/lollygag at his slow pace, thereby slowing down the rest to the faster guys who have to "carry" his slack. One common denominator with slower employees is that they tend to be disorganized slobs. Look at their work space, locker, cab of their truck, etc. Disorganized? Hoarding extra crap that isn't necessary to do the job? This is a big red flag right from the get-go that they suck at time-management. Slovenliness screams disorganization and production inefficiency.
  10. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,690

    suck at time management.... Really?
    The guy is replying to a CL ad to be a lawn worker, if the guy had ability to manage his time and be self motivated and self promoted, he wouldnt working for you in the first place.

    My quick refernece guide to getting a clue RE: employee expectations.

    Step one:
    Write down a list of job responsibility and qualifications

    Step two:
    Assign an ideal pay rate

    Step three:
    Read your own ad

    Step Four:
    Laugh at the guy who wrote that because you wouldnt do all that for that wage.

    Step five:
    come up with reasonable expectations for what you are willing to pay.

    Works every time.
    guitarman2420 and hort101 like this.

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