Question For Larger Companies, With High Employee Turnover

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by White Gardens, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    What would a better way to train new employees be worth to you????

    I've had two employees this year at separate times and now going on a third. I'm trying to come up with a better way to train as the time and effort pur into training gets lost as soon as they quit or get fired.

    So, if there was an easier and faster way to train someone, would you take advantage of it???

    Trying not to get into too many details until I figure out how to make it work.


  2. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983


    We're not teaching people to do brain surgury.

    Better to figure why people are quiting.

    Retention, that's the question that needs to be asked.
  3. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    That was my thought as well. I have had plenty of turn over in my early days. Some did not bother me much but some was painful.
  4. BPS##

    BPS## LawnSite Senior Member
    from WY
    Messages: 828

    If you don't realize that there needs to be training then you are probably working by yourself.

    I've had guys tell me they've got all this experience and yet when handed a weed eater or mower its obvious they were lying about it. No clue how to trim, no clue how to mow and not leave huge skips etc.

    Even the guys that might come from ABC Lawncare company across the street are going to need trained on YOUR way of doing it. The way that your customers expect your company to do it.

    As for retention one thing I tried this year is to give a $1 per hour bonus for the hours worked from May 1 thru Sept 30. Payable on the first pay check after Sept 30. If they quit or get fired................ no bonus. I needed guys that were going to stay around thru the busy season.
  5. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    Trying to do something similar but I am working out of an equipment pool too. Meaning, I include cost of repairs and stuff broken in the bonus plan. I also break it up in two so they get one before christmas.
  6. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Messages: 4,350

    I'm working on some of the same issues. Things I'm trying to do to help retention/training.

    1. Setting expectations with a employee handbook that they sign when becoming a employee. I don't have one now but need one due to growth and number of employee's.

    2. Try to maintain a more regular/set schedule (start/end time/weekly routine). When I first had one employee then two I would work Mon/Tues on my own. Then on Wed-Fri we all worked 12 to 14hrs per day. They liked this as they got 36 to 40 hrs with 4 days off. But this schedule worked for younger guys without families, etc. I'm now doing the 8 hr day as much as possible which seems to keep the family type happier.

    3. I personally work with the new hire one on one for a couple days. Showing them how to work the trimmer/mower (yes there is teaching going on even on a trimmer). Go over equipment trouble shooting. Safety stuff.

    I think most employee's want to know what is desired for them to do and teaching them the little tricks that saves time.
  7. BPS##

    BPS## LawnSite Senior Member
    from WY
    Messages: 828

    Same here. Looking at tying the bonus to a profit sharing some how so that mishandling the equipment or breaking windows hurts them too, not just me.
    I've got a lot of work with the accountant before that gets implemented. Gotta get the % right or they'll feel like they aren't getting any thing. Or they'll get too much and leave too little profit for the owner.
    For next year I may keep the hourly bonus around but deduct a full day's bonus when windows are broken. I've gotta do some thing as this year the broken windows have amounted to around $1300. This was all done by the trimmer crew. I coulda bought an AR for that money.

    Also working on a employee handbook that'll be online in '13.
  8. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    The philosophy of retention isn't what I am posting about.

    What I'm looking at is the companies that add extra people each season to handle work load, or just to train new hires.

    How much time do you guys think you waste on training a new hire? This is probably a better question to ask.

  9. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    Did someone say AR?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    First mistake would be telling them how you do your Bonus system in exact terms. :nono:

    The occasional lunch out, one on one or as a group too.

    Do not put too much faith in a CPA as they have no guts and can only tell you where you have been, not where you are going. :waving:

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