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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm starting to have a few issues with an employee and not sure how to handle it.

Last October one of my customers asked if I needed help because his nephew is here living with him now, at the time I was working on a large landscape project and I accepted it and I kept him on and he stuck with me during the winter when I had little work. He's 19, above average good worker but I have come across a few issues with him since about February and now that work is cranking and my business has exploded, I'm not sure what to do. He is a full time guy with experience, and I recently hired a part time kid with no experience but is eager to learn

First issue, he doesn't work Saturdays. When I took him on it wasn't an issue since I didn't have the work nor was it ever brought up until a few months later under casual discussion. I have work piling up and could work Saturday's. I have a new/PT guy who doesn't mind working Saturdays and I have him scheduled every other Saturday, he has also asked me why the other guy isn't working Saturdays.

Second issue, he doesn't like getting wet. I don't expect to be mowing when its down pouring, however a light rain is a different story. One time during a rock install he got in the truck while it was raining while me and another kid worked in the rain. We didn't get the work done and had to continue the next day, because I knew rain was coming I told him to stay home and I had the other kid work who didn't care if it rained; he also works on weekends if I need help and he is not working his other job. Today we were wrapping up a sod job and I had him blowing off the sidewalk and the customer turned on sprinklers and he ran away from the sprinklers. I told him to just blow between the streams and he just stood there, so I asked the new/PT guy if he would grab the blower and he said no problem, because I knew he would be ok with it.

At the moment I do not have an employee handbook/company policy and I know I need one, so how do I incorporate that this job will require Saturday's and sometimes working in rain with this kid that doesn't work under any of those? I don't want to work every Saturday however I do believe every other Saturday should be acceptable

My full time guy has already mentioned if he is being replaced with this new guy because he says I seem to be giving him attention. I told him no, I want my business to grow so I am teaching him to properly do the job.
 

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At the moment I do not have an employee handbook/company policy and I know I need one, so how do I incorporate that this job will require Saturday's and sometimes working in rain
Well, you need to get a handbook written at some point, or at least have some rules written down somewhere
You need to tell the kid, this is an outside job, there are days we will be working in the rain, is this acceptable? And when he says no then it's grounds for dismissal.
Also explain that there will be some Saturday work and it's not all the time, but it would be ot, and the help would be appreciated.
 

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Steve, I’ll preface this with I’m a boomer (66) with a strong work ethic.

All that aside, you are enabling the behavior by taking over or letting him sit it out. Your other guy is picking up on “why doesn’t he have to do this”.

maybe something simple like a few rules written down and acknowledged. You can get a boilerplate employee handbook online for @$200, specific to your state. Anyways, your letting the employees dictate work assignments. To me your the captain of the ship, run it as such. Easy for me to say, harder to put into practice. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
and the help would be appreciated.
Are you saying give him the option or say I'm scheduling you to work Saturdays? Cause giving him the option is pretty much where I'm at, as with the new guy/part timer he's ok with working Saturdays. I'm down with working every other Saturday with a 2 week notice that work is planned.

I'm all about grounds for dismissal if he doesn't work, but I can't let him go just yet
 

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A lot of people don't want to work Saturdays. Can you really blame them. There needs to be an incentive for Saturdays double time pay, work 3 get a bonus. And it should generally be optional even if that means telling customers no.
As for the rain thing something like that hazing seems to be the best solution. You two need to really ride him about his fear of getting wet.
 

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This is very common and the OP is (commendably) trying to solve the issue and not alienate anyone. I’m old and the fact is a lot of people these days just want to do things the easy way with the least effort and personal discomfort. They have a lack of understanding hard work, the responsibility the owner/supervisor has and why it’s important. It just is what it is these days. My opinion is you need to look out for your business and yourself. Regardless of him being a good guy, his heart isn’t in this line of work and the fact that it’s sometimes uncomfortable. You’re better off dealing with it now before it degrades you and your other part timer further. I’d talk very frankly and honestly with him and be direct. Make your needs and expectations very clear and if he is open to it, revisit the issue I’m a few weeks. If he cannot rise to your needs, nicely/professionally tell him you need to look elsewhere for help. You just gotta do what’s best for you and that can suck at times. If you part ways, whether respectfully or with hard feelings, you will get over it fast.
 

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Sometimes it's just not a good fit.

Also, if work is piling up so much you're frequently working Saturdays then even with your employees then you're not operating efficiently. A motor is design to operate at red-line on occasion, but if you keep it there it'll expire sooner than later.

Besides replacing him (which you may want to do), what would solve your scheduling issues?
 

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Nothing like threatening their job right....
Cause that's totally legal and within your right...:rolleyes:
It is most certainly within my right to line out the expectations of the job, and if they don't like it they can leave. See who else will hire you, my attitude.

So like I said, follow my advice and you'll most likely end up solo.
Thought I'd spare the discussion since I didn't think the OP wanted that.
 

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If they start coming to work looking like they have a modeling career on the side,and dont want to get dirty no matter what you say. It will become a problem. Phones will be a problem. Going through all your stuff in the truck is a problem(addicts do this and i was right the first time). Two weeks latter busted for heroin. Cant work in the sun. Leaving more then one worker unattended. My friend is a landscaper and came back to the job only to find his two workers fighting.One had a shovel the other with a edger. Looking into customers windows,Telling you how to do your jobs.(Drama). All of them lasted the summer. The 90's up until 2005 i had really top notch workers no Drama.
 

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It comes down to parenting. The way people grow up in this country now they have few life skills. Parents personally pick up their kids at school so their baby doesn't have to ride the bus. Guess what they don't learn the social skills to deal with people of other personalities.
Kids enroll in an activity where the parents have to take them here and there an hour or more away every weekend where the parents lives revolve around what the kiddo is doing. World revolves around the kid that's the life they know.
Junior reaches 20 years old and mommy still has to go to the doctor with him because he can't fill out the paperwork, wouldn't know what to write down. Never had to learn.
It'll only get worse until we start raising kids to think, plan, respond, act, be accountable on their own.
 

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The only time we work Saturday is if we get rained out and something has to get done. Why would you expect him to work Saturdays if it wasn’t part of the deal? I’d rather not pay that kind of overtime anyway. Landscaping is hard work and I like my guys to enjoy their families and relax on the weekend. One of my friends manages a good sized company in my area, they work 4 days a week. He finds its easier to hire.
 
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