Pay raise

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by seabee24, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. seabee24

    seabee24 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    Ok, I have an employee that I like, I don't want to loose, and don't want disgruntled.

    Prior to 2009 he worked for a large company, they did large commercial projects, we claims to have made 18 per hour, and they let him go. That company has shrunk alot and is on its way out.

    2010 he worked for me, full season, did a little of everything . Got paid $12.00

    2011 he didn't come back, he helped his brother, as he was injured with a side business

    2012- last season , he asked me for 18. I said no, we settled at 14.

    This year he started at 14 and wants a raise. He wants 16. Problem I have with it, he does great work, shows up 99%of the time. But 15 per hour is crew leader pay. He doesn't act like a crew leader. He is Spanish, has a hard time writing English, we have had communication problems, he doesn't fill out paper work when asked, he was hired and told me lie had a c-class DL. Turns out its a standard D. He has backed me into the corner on a few things in front of other guys, this raised was asked on a job site, with other workers around and he said well then I have to quit. I called his bluff already on the quitting.

    I would love to give him a raise, and want him happy. But at the moment, profits are tight. Last years, his numbers where bad, he made no money, broke even. He never seems to kick the guys in the butt. He just does a nice job at what he is doing.

    So what do I do? If I step back and think about all the skills and character traits a $15 per hour crew leader makes, I think he only has half of them.
  2. seabee24

    seabee24 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    I also would prefer to do some type of weekly or bi-weekly bonus based on productivity or profitability ? Just not sure how to create a program that is simple for our small business
  3. GrassGuerilla

    GrassGuerilla LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,440

    Your sending a guy that lied to you about his license out in your truck? Language barriers and communication skills are teachable. At least to a degree. Character at best may mature with time, but you get what you get. And a liar is a liar. How did he regain your trust? Would your insurance cover you if he was in an accident and had no license?

    Threatening to quit in front of the crew is cause for dismissal. If he straight lied about the class c, again, gone. What are you clinging to exactly? You say his numbers last season were a bust? I'm confused about what you see?
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  4. seabee24

    seabee24 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    He has a regular DL. 95% of the time, that's good enough for what he does. But I wasn't happy when I found out.

    He is 53 years old, does things the right way, shows up early everyday, works hard, quality work. As for being a normal employee- he's as near perfect as you could get.

    But he's not asking for regular laboring pay. For me anything over 13 is crew leader pay. He is at 14 and wants 16.

    It say as a crew leader he is 50% at best.
  5. Vanderhoff Landscaping

    Vanderhoff Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 396

    If profits are tight then I think you just answered your own question without answering it. Laborers are a dime a dozen. Personally I would not tolerate getting backed into a corner and threatening to quit in front of other employees. To me that is insubordination and grounds for termination. You're the boss. Put your foot down. Just my 2 cents.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    I recently fired my crew leader for threatening to quit in front of the rest of the crew while asking for more money, among other things but that was the last straw, I have one piece of advice here, FIRE HIM! and do it quick!
  7. J & D Greens

    J & D Greens LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 765

    Very Good advice. Never tolerate this kind of behavior.You should have used him to show other crew members as an example how not to relate to you. (let them know what you expect from them right when they are hired and if they have anything to discuss with you it is to be done in private at the close of the day. Then they will know what is coming when you have to act on this situation and won't be taken back by your action's).

    No employee is worth keeping when they challenge your authority, you work to hard for this.
  8. Tim4

    Tim4 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Pay him what he wants ($16).

    Tell him that just as soon as you find someone that will do the job for your price ($14), he is gone.

    Game over.

    If you can't replace him for your price, maybe you are underpaying him. . .

    The mouth in front of crew? Gone, as in instantly.
  9. seabee24

    seabee24 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    So here is a question- Forget about the mouth in front of the crew thing. - that seems to be what most are focused on.

    for $13.00 per hour I can find a good employee that does the same job as him, most likely. But training would be involved, and its always a roll of the dice if the guy you hire is good or not. The guy I have now is good.

    Almost every season, I give a $.50 -$1.00 to my guys provided they don't give me too many problems, and do their job

    In terms of doing his job, - As an employee he does it great. As a crew leader - 50/50

    As fare as I'm concerned in my area, once a guy goes above 13-14 per hour, he has to be a crew leader. I cant pay basic labor or skilled labor 14 plus and make the numbers work. So he has to be paid as a crew leader, but I he still does kick his crew in the butt, and still doesn't fill out paperwork.

    Then the other kicker in that is, last year he had crap guys, and he showed zero profit. we got him really good guys this year, he picked them, and i had to pay them more money to get them. The season just started and its really slow at the moment, so its too early to tell if he will make money with these guys or not.

    I think the Main issue is that he is at the top of a skill labor pay scale, and hes even starting to get into the mid to upper level of crew leader pay scale. I have 1 crew leader that makes $12.50 per hour, and his crew makes 10.50

    This guy does 50% enhancement and 50% installs. We don't really do many large projects, most are small one day jobs, sometimes we get ones that are 7-10 days.
  10. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,296

    Nice approach. I think this guy needs to go. Get someone that speaks English better.
    For reference, I pay my right hand guy $11.50 this season and that is with a raise.

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