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How to keep employee's motivated

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by nobagger, Jul 15, 2007.

  1. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 3,065

    I have one guy that just doesn't seem to be too interested in doing as I ask. We did a neat little job where we dug out a culvert at the end of a driveway and surrounded the sleuth pipe with a natural rock wall. The plans were for it to be 2ft deep and 4ft wide, well, it came out quite smaller due to this guy kinda freelancing and using all of the face rocks for back fill AFTER I told him to use the concrete chunks we broke up. But by the time I saw what he was doing it was too late, the mortar had already set up (we were doing a large prune job there as well so I had to check on the other guys). Its just very frustrating having guys who think they know loads more than you and they think they know whats best. Luckily the customer liked it but if he wanted it to our plans we would still be there! This guy also likes to complain about lazy people who cant mow their own lawns.....:confused: That pays your age dips*%t!
  2. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,219

    we cant motivate them they need to want to work we give them a job and a check they need to want to work show up and do what is asked of them ive been through a couple and may weed out one more of the 9 we have now and the next to go may be the mowing foreman
  3. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 3,065

    I hate to get rid of this guy, he is very knowledgeable but if he costs me a customer I have no choice but to broom him. I just cant understand why no one communicates any more. I've asked him several times if everything is ok. If this guy is this unhappy then quit! and do me a favor instead of complaining every day. I think were gonna have a little talk tomorrow. Ya know, you find decent guys, pay them well!, buy nice equipment to make the work easier and their still not happy.
  4. bigtex

    bigtex LawnSite Member
    from ma
    Messages: 151

    welcome to the landscape ownership!
  5. TNT LawnCare Inc.

    TNT LawnCare Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,157

    Do him and yourself a favour and let him go. There not worth the headache and aggravation ,it wont be long he'll be telling you how operate and do things !
  6. swingset

    swingset LawnSite Member
    Messages: 231

    I'm a solo in this biz, but in my other life I managed and hired many employees...there's an old axiom I used to hear myself say daily...

    "You hire their skills, but you fire their personality"

    Sounds like he knows how to do it, but is a pain in the butt. Which is worse? I'll gladly hire someone, and keep them, if they're lacking in experience but have a good attitude and follow orders.
  7. Mr Landscaper

    Mr Landscaper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    No Bagger - I wish my former boss was like you, we had it the other way around...I was a good worker, showed up everyday 20 mins before shift, loaded all the trucks by myself....He wouldnt allow us to maintain the equipment the right way, if something was wrong with the mowers, he would say "run it till it quits", and that aint the way to do it. most of the time we wo uld run it till it stops but would do more damage and he would complain about it. I got so fed up that I gave him a notice, now hes mad because he just lost his best employee. the other guys miss work all the time, are late, and abuse equipment. my hats off to yoU!
  8. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    One of the ways to help limit - notice I didn't say eliminate - potential mis communication is to have the employee repeat back to you want you have just explained to him/her.
    Keep at it until they are repeating what you want them to say.
    Even if they repeat exactly what you want the first time, to facilitate better communication I still suggest having the laborer repeat it at least two more times.
    Only you can decide to keep or dump this dude, you could try taking him aside and counseling him but this often makes the employee worse, not better.
    If he had been working okay for you then after a couple of months started slacking, well then ask him what is going on.
  9. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,954

    The "original" ChemLawn had I.P.A.S. (Integrated Personal Asessment System) >> used to judge the performance of employees. Much of this system was in regard to 2 issues: 1) Lack of training, 2) Lack of effort. I'll take a guy with no experience any day if he has a good attitude and is honest, over a knowledgeable employee who has a bad attitude.
  10. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 3,065

    Well, I had my talk with him and he says everything is "ok", "no problems" and "why do you ask". That was last week. This week its FINALLY raining but not enough to cancel the day and today he calls me to see if I saw the latest radar, I said no whats the big deal? Long story short, he goes on and on how this big storm is moving right for us. I said well its not here yet, hurry up and get over here so we can go. He acts like he didnt even hear me, just keeps going on about these "big storms". I finally said fine ya know what, I'll just do it myself! The "big storms" blew over as fast as they came in. I need him for Fri and Sat. after that I think he's done.

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