Paying employees on a per lawn basis...

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by adrianvbarrera, Mar 26, 2003.

  1. adrianvbarrera

    adrianvbarrera LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163

    Has anyone tried this method of compensating employees.
    One of my businesses (not related to lawnservice) does this and it works out perfect.

    What would be the advantages or disadvantages?

  2. lawnMaster5000

    lawnMaster5000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 591

    The employees would spend less time on each lawn knowing they will get paid same amount no matter how long they are there. In my mind this lowers quality as emplyees rush through projects so they can go home. With hourly wages the more time they spend on a project the more they will get paid.

    however, if you feel that your employees are taking an excessive amount of time to complete a project than this may be worth while for you. As long as you are providing the equipment it should not be classified as subcontracted labor, but you should double check that as well.
  3. adrianvbarrera

    adrianvbarrera LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163

    Let me think about that for a while.

    Thanks for the input.
  4. dforbes

    dforbes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 195

    This can work well with the right employees. First you need to set some ground rules, such as if its not done right and we have to go back, you go back on your own time. I once set up a credit system. I figured out how many $ was budgeted for each property the set it up where the forman would get $9.00 per credit and laborers would get $7.00 per credit. This works well if you have employees that want to make more money and are willing to work a little harder for more money. Quality was also good with few problems. Then I got some people who thought they coulln't make any money this way so a whole crew quit. Put me in a bind but I got through it. Them quiting was best because they didn't want to work anyway. I am still working the bugs out and intend to implement this again in the future.
  5. roscioli

    roscioli LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 749

    I am also interested in this method, would love to see the responses. I was thinking a mix of traditional hourly pay and piece work would probably be the way to go, but I can't figure out a good mix.
  6. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    You may have to weigh it out in light of wage laws?

    Will it be commission, salary or hourly? Do you have to stick to one method of pay?

    Lawns take longer some months, and almost no time later.

    So employee shifts would be small on the pay per lawn system in November (Oregon), but very long during March to May when grass grows viciously when its wet with rain.

    What happens when the work shifts exceed 40 hours in a week?

    Do you have to pay overtime?

    Or do you have to go pure commission status to get around that?

    What if you need them to do a barkdust project on Tuesdsay, and how does that relate to the whole picture?

    If they go slower due to failure on the owners part to maintain equipment or whatever, what check-and-balance will be included to keep the playing field fair for them, and still allow the employer to take consequences for poor management decisions?
  7. Clay

    Clay LawnSite Member
    Messages: 236

    This is a very good thought process as it lends itself to two of J.Paul Gettys principals for success (own your own business and pay your associates based on productivity instead of a time clock)...

    They are in a way subcontracting for you (business ownership) and they are getting paid based on "performance"....

    Sounds like you are heading in a good direction.... It could also be set up as "profit sharing" so they are actually part owner and then would be more inclined to cut costs and improve quality... :)

    Good Thread... Clay
  8. Fvstringpicker

    Fvstringpicker LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,670

    My understanding that the FLSA apply. If so, You'll have to pay at least minimum wage and overtime for over 40 hrs/7 day period.
  9. dforbes

    dforbes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 195

    These are all good points. I coded these jobs piece work. Any extra work has its own set of credits. also the best thing for the employee and you is that they get the same pay each week, for each job. They realize it will take a little more time in the spring and fall but in the summer, when its hot they can skate through it.
    Also if you go to the federal labor website and do a search, we do not legaly have to pay overtime unless we do at least $500,000 in business. As I said before, with the right employees this is a win win situation. Time for equiptment maintenance is figured into the formula so there are few major breakdowns, If there is a problem because of a breakdown we can work it out. The guys spend a lot less time at quick stops because its their time
  10. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    It works really really well. Employee makes more money, get more work done, and the quality went WAY up. Win-win situation.

    Employee is invested in the job. You lose the job, they lose the pay. Pretty simple theory. Since they will be making more money based entirely on performance they take pride in the job. Not everyone is up to this type of thing, but most are. Especially if you can explain it to them.

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