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motivating public/municipal employees???

Discussion in 'Sports Field Management' started by tweezerbeak, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. tweezerbeak

    tweezerbeak LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    How do I do it????Iwas just hired at this job and I will give you some info and maybe you can advise..............a parks dept cleans house of some not so good leadership.They hire me from the outside as they need some one with some landscape,turf,estate,people,machine,etc experience.They told the guys that they werent hiring or moving up from within the dept. It was offered to one guy but he didnt want it but he got a promo and is my 2nd in command,as he is incharge of maintenance meaning electric plumbing and carpentry. He has his guys he deals with but they fall under me so know problem there as he keeps them busy.The grounds guys are mine,for the most part they are ok but I would like to be more productive??? we have beachs ball fields parks historic site public buildings a 100 plus mile garbage route and another thing called CPF that I will explain later...........What do you guys think???Can I get 60,70 80%????out of these guys??........We are union and so am I so I dont want to cause problems with anything???At what point are you guys happy with work output????We cant compare this with the private sector as I would have fired a few already.What do you think???
  2. upidstay

    upidstay LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,575

    Motivation? Can't dangle more money under their noses, as the useless ones make as much as the great ones. Getting them disciplined/fired for poor work performance is virtually impossible, so that's out too. I would say lead by example, and try and instill a sense of civic pride, or at least a pride in their work. That being said, you have a huge, long, uphill battle ahead of you. You are an outsider, and always will be. There will always be resentment towards you for "stealing a union guys' job" when they didn't promote from within. Lots of luck.
  3. GroundsGuy

    GroundsGuy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 68

    This is what has worked for me.

    You start out having individual meetings with each of your guys. You tell them that you were hired to increase the productivity of the department, and to raise the level of care of the sites. There have been complaints, and these issues need to be addressed. You then ask them for their input on how this can be accomplished. They all will have suggestions.

    After the individual meetings are completed, correlate all the suggestions and share them at general meeting with everyone in attendance. It would be a good idea to have this meeting somewhere where you can buy everyone lunch. This will accomplish three things.

    First: You will get to know each one individually, and they will get to know you, and know your goals, as directed by your supervisor.

    Second: Each guy will feel like they are an important part of the team when they see their suggestions in place.

    Third: By buying them lunch, you've established a friendly repore' with them that you can then use to appeal to their "better natures."

    Next, you will need to work side-by-side with them and show them how you expect the work to be done. This works best if you can show them some tricks/approaches/procedures that raises the level of the work without them having to bust their asses to do it. Doing it right actually saves time, and makes the job easier.

    Once they're doing the job the way you want them to (emphasize that it's the way your department is now required to perform) check up on them daily. Give lots of (95%) positive feed-back, but still give 5% of "We still need to do this better."

    Three incentives that work when they've done a particularly good job are 1) allowing them to take longer lunches, 2) allowing them to leave early, and 3) being generous with comp. time. These rewards tend to be successful.

    If someone has a perpetually bad attitude, you may have to take them aside and tell them that they might be reassigned to the "lousy jobs" on their own, because they are bringing the other guys' performance down, and you are starting to get complaints.

    These methods should get you up to around an 85% efficiency rate, which is a level you should be pleased with.

    Good Luck.
  4. tweezerbeak

    tweezerbeak LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    wow..........I think I am on the right track..95% positive reinforcement 5%.whatevers left.........thanks for input.........
  5. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    I'm in your boat as well. all union employee's, I was hired from outside, as no one internal was capable of taking over.

    If I can get 6 good hours of work out of my guys. I'm happy.

    I had several non-performers that were bringing the rest of teh crews down. They figured if XYZ can f-off and nothing happens, then I can f-off.

    so After about 6-8 months of getting my feet under me and watching people and getting to know people. I started expressing my displeasure with the productivity and some of the "tudes" and I began progressive discipline. After 12 months I was able to let my non-producers go with out much fight from the Union. I am fair and I enforce the rules across the board. I had to wright up my best guy for doing some damage to the backhoe.

    Once the semi-produces saw that i was serious about making the department something to beproud of and not someone who was a ball buster It has gotten a lot better. You will always have a bottom 1/3, you just need to keep on them like stink on sht.

    Do not try to make any wholesale changes for at least 6 months, otherwise you are doomed to fail. and if you do make wholesale changes, do it gradually and keep your crew leaders/foremen in the loop and get their opinions. If you can get them to "buy into" your changes and your desires, it will go along way.

    Read the Union Contract. Know the union contract. By all means do not stray from the contract. The Union Contract can be your freind. Youjust need to know the contract better than your employees, and as good as the shop stewards.

    Do you annual reviews on time, and document even your verbal counselings with wayward employee's....
  6. parkeeee

    parkeeee LawnSite Member
    Messages: 227


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