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Payroll Options for employees

Discussion in 'Employment' started by BrianD24, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. BrianD24

    BrianD24 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Hello, I'm looking for new ways to pay my employees mainly for mowing crew, (not just per hour) to get the most out of them and for ways they can make more. Does a weekly salary work? Incentives? Have you paid per lawn if so can you give me examples? For landscape jobs I give them their goal and tell them that if they hit the goal I give them a bonus. Lets say they have a 4 hour job and if they get it done in 4 hours or less the foreman will get an extra $20 or $5 per hour. It helps them stay busy.. But now I want to do something for the mowing crew to get the max out of them as well... Thanks for feedback & Ideas
  2. Rockchoplawn

    Rockchoplawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 532

    I'd be careful about piecework payment... Guy around here was paying a couple bucks per lawn but got in trouble when it was said he dodged a few minimum wage guidelines...... I would look at doing something similar to how your landscape is done. Maybe set up a weekly productivity bonus. Such as a target time for each day's route (with no call backs) that will pay a bonus ONLY if they hit it for the entire week. That way you can encourage a productive week instead of just one job or day. Welcome to LawnSite I'm sure others will have better insight.
  3. BrianD24

    BrianD24 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Thank you for your feedback! I get what you are saying... but how would you do that in the event you had a mower go down or or something like that?
  4. Matthews Lawn Care

    Matthews Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    That’s where you have a base pay and then bonuses for completed goals. The base pay is guaranteed but they can make X amount more if they achieve the goals you have laid out.
    Rockchoplawn and BrianD24 like this.
  5. snomaha

    snomaha LawnSite Bronze Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 1,303

    We pay our managers and key people bonus dollars for hitting quarterly stretch goals. That being said, I’m not a fan of trying to bonus/incentive people into being efficient - especially per job or such a short time frame. In my experience, trying to substitute bonus dollars instead of fair wage, leadership and management doesn’t work. Kicking someone on a crew, who has gone above and beyond for the day or week a gift card seems to work just as well.
    BrianD24 likes this.
  6. Griffinlawn

    Griffinlawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    This year we are trying a bonus for maintenance issues. Each crew will have a budget based on last years repair costs. An whatever is remaining from the budget the crew will get a percentage of that. I am hoping that it will go well. Interested to see what others do as well.
  7. grassmonkey0311

    grassmonkey0311 LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD/NC
    Messages: 3,126

    Sorry in advance for the long post, this is based on my experiences with only mowing...

    When I started hiring, I paid by the hour. Big mistake. Jobs that normally took me 15 or 20 minutes by myself took a 2 man crew 40 to 45 minutes. I GPS'd the truck and caught them taking long breaks, equipment was being left so they had to drive alllll the way back to get it. It was normal to get a phone call "oh hey, we um.....we mowed the wrong house by accident". Were they paid cash or just wasting time? Who knows.

    Next was incentive. Some call it piece work or by the lawn. I paid a percentage based on the weekly route revenue. So it didn't matter if it took them 5 hours or 10 hours....the pay was the same. Production shot through the roof. Jobs were always completed on time. To minimize complaints, I had a rule that if they screwed up the lawn, they had to go back first thing the next day and fix it. It usually took 1 screw up to realize how much their mistake throws off their week and sets them behind. A normal 35-40 hour work week they would earn $700+ in 4 days (we only mowed M-Th). Here is where things get complicated- the law states they MUST make at least minimum wage. At the time, my counties minimum wage was $11.50 an hour, so a 40 hour work week means they would have to make at least $460. Anything under is illegal. Feedback from employees was they loved the pay. They can work at their own pace. Most would show up 10 to 15 minutes early everyday so they could load up and be ready to pull off by their start times. The downfall to this is the pay is great, but they get laid off in the winter. 99% of the time, they would quit near the end of the year. They would rather opt to find another job rather than collect unemployment.

    This year I'm switching everyone to salary. The pay will be consistent and more importantly, they will be getting paid in the off season. I'm hoping this will entice them to stick around and not quit so unexpectedly like they did with incentive.

    I'm not a firm believer in a bonus program or other incentives to get their work done. I hire them to do a job and I expect that job to get done. They get paid weekly, they are left largely unsupervised, I'm not a micromanager, and I try to provide a good working environment. "You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours"...I'll do what I can if they ask for a favor, but they also know I expect the jobs to be done on time and exactly how I want them done or they won't work for me.

    Hopefully this helps a little.
  8. Griffinlawn

    Griffinlawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    Very helpful not sure if that would work in our case.

    Maintenance jobs were part of the percentage as well or figured differently

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