No-Damage to equipment incentive for employees

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Trueblue108, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. Trueblue108

    Trueblue108 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    I know you have all had horror stories about how employees treat equipment and property. I could go on for days, myself, but want to run an idea past you. Through the years we have tried everything from retraining, all forms of reprimands, lectures, termination, repayment for repairs, etc. Nothing seems to work! Employees who see the mistreatment and abuse often ignore it, seemingly believing that if someone else breaks it, it's not their problem.

    Here is my proposed solution and why I want your thoughts. I will start out each month offering to pay my four main employees a monthly bonus, say $400 for arguments sake, for avoiding damage to equipment, vehicles, lawns, customers property, etc. For every damage occurrence, money is deducted from the pot. What is left over at the end of the month, if anything, is divided proportionally by hours worked between the four.

    This policy would only be for cases of neglect and abuse. Any damage from normal wear and tear would be exempt. Failure to report any obvious damage will result in forfeiture of the entire monthly bonus. It is my hope that employees will start policing each others practices and avoid damage themselves in exchange for a bonus and to avoid being to blame for other employees loosing out on a bonus.

    Give it to me honestly. I'm still in the 'brainstorming' phase of this thought. I have not yet determined how to 'score' damage deductions from the pot. Any ideas on this would be helpful too in addition to any other methods that you may have tried.


  2. Trueblue108

    Trueblue108 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    Come on, guys. Anything would help, here.

  3. Frontier-Lawn

    Frontier-Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,955

    in theory good in practical execution don't know.
  4. RJR7110

    RJR7110 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 183

    Sounds like a great idea. I think most guys don't have a love for landscaping so they don't treat the equipment with the respect that someone from this site would. But everyone loves money so I think they would learn to treat the equipment properly really fast.
  5. jc1

    jc1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,154

    I basically gave my guys a bonus plan similar to what you are talking about. Each guy would receive $100 cash at the end of each month less specific amounts for basic infractions and deductions for actual cost to repair any neglected equipment. Infractions were things like if I inspect a mower and the oil level is low or air filter is clogged. Everything that was expected of them was on paper and I had each sign a copy. I wanted the bonus to be obtainable and the expectations clear. Basically They were expected to daily check oil levels, air filters, tire pressures, grease any fittings. The bonus was really for them to do work that was already expected of them but rarely done by them. I figured the bonus would ensure that it got done. The meeting was April first of this year. I have yet to pay any one a bonus. It is difficult to motivate some people to do anymore than just the basic stuff.
  6. WheatBookkeeping

    WheatBookkeeping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 108

    If your “No Damage” program takes on the characteristics of an employee incentive program it can get complicated in the eyes of our wonderful taxing agencies. Even though we all understand it as a very simple process.

    If it gets thorny, talk it over with your bookkeeper so you can get a feel for any deductions you have coming your way and, if the monies the employee gets, is considered reportable compensation.

    Your bookkeeper can set it up so the IRS doesn’t have a heartbun.
  7. tyler_mott85

    tyler_mott85 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 582

    Our raises are based off of basically 3 categories that the each employee that works in the field is graded on at the end of the year.

    1: Work performance: Showing up on time, in proper attire, no complaints from customers, staying within the allowed # of personal days taken, being on time for safety meetings etc.

    2: Safety: No preventable injuries, no property damage, no equipment damage, etc.

    3: Overall company performance: Company stays under allotted $$ budgeted for property repair, equipment misuse, etc.

    And there's a fourth for crew leads/foremen and thats to have the crew continue to increase their efficiency throughout the year.

    So when their review comes up and say they're up for a 4% raise or whatever it may be. 33% of a general laborers raise is based off of each of the 3 areas reviewed.

    Also we have BBQ's and Ice Cream Sundaes for the company when the whole company goes without any property damage for a set period of time.

    We find its more positive to have something for the employees to work towards then to set up a discipline program that the employees have to try to keep away from.

    Of course if there is gross neglect of equipment the employee may be up for termination at that time.

    Also if an employee is found to be responsible for any preventable accident they are put on probation for 18 months and if within that 18 months they have another preventable accident they are terminated.

    Very simple. Be safe, use your head: fun times/ +$$ Don't be safe, have complete disreguard for company or customer property: Try another place.
  8. familylawncare

    familylawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 177

    We too have struggled with this issue. Damage to equipment,lost equipment, damaged customer property all adds up to major costs. Personally I would like to develop a program "point system" to award crew with minimal problems of this sort. Maybe include loss of "points" for valid customer complaints and poor performance. Would not want to reward bonus for people essientially doing their job, but maybe reward crews with prizes or a monetary bonus at end of season. Just have not taken time to develop.
  9. Daily Lawn/Landscape

    Daily Lawn/Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 695

    My only comment is, if an employee damages a customers property and does not report it, equals immediate termination.


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