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Mowing crew incentives

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by grassmasterswilson, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,968

    I've finally reached a point where I have hired a full time guy to help with mowing. I have a tight service area and every property is within 15 minutes. I can't handle all the mowing, weed control, fertilization, estimates, up sells etc by myself.

    I'm going to let my guy do a lot of the mowing solo and could very well add a second guy to make it a 2 man crew. I will also help if needed with mowing when I'm not doing applications or paper work.

    So I'm curious about incentives or bonuses? I pay my guy weekly and he gets an hourly wage. So is it better to pay a good wage or lower wage with a bonus?

    From a Bonus standpoint are we talking about $50 cash if all work is completed without overtime and no complaints? Curious how you came to your bonus number?

    What has worked best for you to keep guys but at the same time expecting a lot at a high quality.
  2. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,360

    I would go with higher hourly and a quarterly bonus. Provided he had few callbacks and kept up quality. My personal pet peeve is attendence and tardiness, really screws up the whole op. My concern is heel dragging if you don't keep him focused. The actual amount is based off my profit numbers. The company does well, they do well.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. Blade Runners

    Blade Runners LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,021

    I'm curious about this also. I've considered percentages because it is directly linked to the amount of work accomplished and could also encourage them to pick up more customers. I don't need more customers but it doesn't hurt to have a worker thinking about growth also.
  4. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,465

    Never understand these kind of questions. If he has so much work and can't get done in time ,would that be the owners fault? same as if there isn't enough work for the guy ,wouldn't that be the owner fault?
  5. trock

    trock LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 431

    If i worked for you I would work slower to make sure i get enough overtime to make more than the $50 bonus!! Lol
  6. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,968

    So for some of you bonuses are a bad idea. So what do you do? Making the transition is difficult for me. With the guy am me mowing we do t have 5 full days unless some side jobs come up. If I send him out on his own I can't afford to pay a 10-12/hour guy overtime on $35-40 lawns.

    My weekly goal for this guy would be to get the lawns mowed in 40 hrs. There is usually always a side job on the list for rainy or days he/we would finish early.

    For those who made the transition how did you best fill the time until you had plenty of lawns? Any good up sells you marketed towards customers?
  7. Blade Runners

    Blade Runners LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,021

    How do you pay employees Grandview?
  8. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    We're getting away from paying hourly, and going to a pay for performance system, we haven't worked out all the details yet but we have figured out the hourly system doesn't work in this line of work.
  9. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,968

    Hope you will keep us posted on how this works.

    I have thought about trying this for mowings. Maybe have a few levels for different experience and duties.
  10. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    Bonus not going to motivate me. Employer's antique line trimmer breaks down, again. There goes this weeks bonus as did last weeks bonus. Then the week we had all that rain, bonus down the drain again. Boss' mower that belongs in a museum............... no bonus again.

    Plus you want to go from one full timer, you to two full time employees when you do not have enough work for 2 full time workers.

    Hire a part timer.

    What are you going to pay this guy a week? $500? Can your business afford to carry him full time leaving you free to do estimates, fert, hedges, bed maintenance, up sell work, etc. Or will he break the bank?

    You remind me of another recent poster that just let 3 people go and is going solo this year. Why did he hire 3 people when he can handle the work load on his own?


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