My BEST & Only employee quit today

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Fresh_Cut, Mar 22, 2014.

  1. Armsden&Son

    Armsden&Son LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,358

    Well shoot.... Gotta be more than 11/12 right?

    Especially if HIS RESPONSIBILITIES are Driving, Crew Leading, Operating a zero turn, operating string trimmers, hedge trimmers, client liaison, light paperwork, spring/fall clean-up knowledge, etc.

    With that little scenario that I posted... "I have a guy that's been working for me rain or shine for 5 years and hasn't missed a day" I was trying to get the point across that this is the type of employee I would be making difficult decisions over. This is the type of employee I would come on L.S and question my peers whether to try and keep him or not and what to offer him...

    Not some 40 something year old guy with no drivers license, an attitude, and a list of attributes that equals where most of us were at by the end of our first week in the industry.

    I mean, come on! "he picks weeds by hand!" Whoopy Dee! The guy can't even operate a freakin Z turn....
  2. JMK26

    JMK26 LawnSite Gold Member
    Male, from Missouri
    Messages: 3,285

    This was 4 years ago, so maybe things have changed in 4 years, BUT........

    I was fresh out of the Army and looking for a job I got a job working with my old boss and my mentor for $10 an hour trimming and mowing. I busted my a$$, I asked him questions, I asked about his paperwork, how to trim more efficiently, learned everything I could from the guy, I still call him for questions that pop up from time to time....... I trimmed 20 to 30 properties a day in 2009, I never ever thought what I did was worth more than the 10 an hour I was making. Minus the Army years, I was a carpenter, but that knowledge is irrelevant mowing and trimming lawns......I was a plumber's helper, again, irrelevant as a mower/trimmer. I can swap out an AC and heater on my own in one day, again........irrelevant to mowing.............. Coming out of the Army I had average knowledge about trimming, mowing I got the appropriate wage. It's holding a stick with a piece of string that whirls around and cuts grass. How in the hell is that a $15 an hour a job? Maybe 3 years in.........Sitting or walking a mower across a lawn, squeezing your left or right hand to turn the mower is that $15 an hour?.................

    Oh, don't get me wrong..........after a couple years where the guy learns what you want.........and you learn the value of his position and the lack of hassle for him knowing your company.......sure he's worth more the longer they are with the company, but that wage coincides with the knowledge he has with your company, the knowledge of what you expect, the customer service he supplies, the questions he asks to know more......the advice he gives to better your company.

    If the guy just wants to trim or mow and never asks any questions to better himself.........if the guy just wants to trim and mow and not help grow the company...........then he gets the $10-$12 an hour.

    Person A makes $12 an hour in his first month running a mower.......he never does anything more, never asks questions, never tries to do more........but after 3 years with the company he wants to make more......what has he done to prove his $15 an hour? He does the exact same thing for 3 years, nothing more, nothing is he worth more if he does nothing more or nothing less that what he started out as?

    If you start out as $13 an hour mowing.......and did it great starting out.........and 3 years later you're doing the exact same job with no more repsonsibilities, how is it worth more money?

    I cannot fathom paying someone $16 an hour walking with a trimmer and mowing, unless the guy has shown interest in expanding his knowledge, growing my company, which helps himself.
  3. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 27,060

    Its definatly worthless.. Irrigation tech experienced. Mine makes $23 and takes home a company truck , along with paid vaca.
  4. CreativeLawncareSolutions

    CreativeLawncareSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,017

    Y'all are overpaying your employees IMO.

    Again, EGO is getting in the way. It's mowing grass; not splitting atoms.
  5. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,764

    Would you work for the wages on that chart?

    I've interviewed guys who worked for larger companies making those wages, they weren't someone who fit into our company. I'd rather pay the higher wages for motivated self reliant yes it's just cutting grass but if the mower goes down I want a guy who'll jump in and try to diagnose it jmho.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,116

    IF the guy will work for 9-11 I don't really WANT him in the first place. because that means there is a REASON why he can't or won't work easy peasy jobs at the mall or walmart…so he thinks he's going to stroll into my place and it will be EASIER?

    He's got you pegged as a mark… someone he can steal from, one way or another, either five finger discount or time thief.

    Some dumb kid? yea maybe $12…anyone with any moxie $14…. I've had guys upwards of $20…BUT they produce work of greater quality and at twice the speed than the $14/hr guy with no broken or missing things.

    It's all relative… a hard working rhino can't be had for $14/hr…. a new turf tiger can't be had for the price of a toro time cutter either.

    Guys on here all the time talking about top of the line high end equipment and how they simply can't be bothered with a fixed deck walk behind or a belt drive, they simply 'must' have the best for productivity…..
    But want to hire someone to run it at $11?

    I got news, my $17/hr guy with a fixed deck belt drive WB will make your $11/hr monkey with the turf tracer look like a chump and finish earlier.

    if he doesn't he wouldn't be worth $17
  7. CreativeLawncareSolutions

    CreativeLawncareSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,017

    You're out of touch with reality. There are millions upon millions of people out of work right now that want to work. There simply are no jobs available. There are no jobs at Walmart or the mall. They're already filled. And, believe it or not, some people would prefer to work outside.

    $10-$11 an hour is all you're going to get when first started out in a manual labor job of today. It's all you deserve too. That is if you're lucky to find one.
  8. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,764

    Have you tried hiring lately?

    We're looking to add 2-3 entry level positions, if you could point me in the direction of these millions of ambitious workers I'd appreciate it :)
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. CreativeLawncareSolutions

    CreativeLawncareSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,017

    Put an ad on craigslist.
  10. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,764

    I have four, you should see some of the replies ;)

    So far 0 interviews.......
    Posted via Mobile Device

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