should I fire?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by candrserviceco, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. Fvstringpicker

    Fvstringpicker LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,670

    If this is once in a blue moon thing, I agree with 32. If its without pay and you can work around it, you may can give him and extra week or two off as an incentive to get his priorities in order. If he's that concerned about out of state family members, he may need to move closer to them.
  2. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,088

    Let me take a devils advocate position here.

    You pay him hourly.
    What happens if you dont have enough work for him?
    What happens if it rains?
    You talk about 'end of the season' and laying off other workers.
    How "Steady" can he depend on YOU to get a paycheck?

    You relationship is based on an hour to hour tie, that to be honest, you can't claim any credit for, the department of labor invented it.

    So basically, he owes you nothing, and you owe him nothing. You HAVE no relationship.
    He's an hourly employee who is free to go as he wills.
    Just like you are under no obligation to keep him employed.
    What do you do for him in off the off season? Lay him off?
    If you fire him he will collect unemployment anyway and go to work for one of your competitors next year
    and you will be stuck sinking time and money into training a new crew leader, going through growing pains
    and learning curve all over again.

    My advice:
    1) never pay the employee, PAY the POSITION.
    2) create a fool proof system that leads to success of that position
    3) supply that position with the best equipment you can afford
    4) hire for attitude and work ethic, not skill
    5) have a relationship with your employees through things like company picnics and occasional off the books cash bonuses, during private meetings where you tell your guy how much you appreciate him (whether hes a dumb ass or not)
    6) when it comes time to let people go, you DONT fire them, because IF they abandon their position, you have a LINE of workers trying to get the job. and HE just opened the door by LEAVING for more than a week end.

    Do this and every will be jealous of the people who work for you, and you wont have to FIND new people...
    If he leaves he leaves, if he comes back, act genuinely sorry and say 'dude! you were gone! I didnt think you were coming back! man, the position is FILLED... why didn't you come back SOONER?'

    How many guys will take extended holidays because they think YOU need THEM?
    you're the best boss in the world.

    NEVER pay your employees, pay the position the best rate you can. REAL PEOPLE will show up to
    work the position.
    If the guy doesn't live up to his position, you have 6 dudes calling you every other week hoping you have an opening.
    Then you bring in the new guy, introduce him to the old guy and say "Bob, this is Jim, Jim he's your replacement,
    if you'd like to stick around I have several hands n knees weeding positions open, that I think you'd be great for, the pay rates are printed in the employee handbook for your review, report to work tomorrow if you would like to work in that position"

    When the labor department calls you can tell them "Bob didn't show up to work, when I offered him to a new position, I assumed he quit."

    It's really the only time you have to make a move like, is when the guy isnt cutting the mustard.

    If you treat them right, guys will be AFRAID to take time off in the middle of the season, especially when others see how easily a few of them are replaced.
  3. Armsden&Son

    Armsden&Son LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,358

    I am a new business owner..... I worked for my old Boss for 15 years before I struck out on my own.... And I have to admit... I had used the "I'm busting my arse for you" line. After reading this thread, I feel really stupid for ever saying that to him but let me explain why I said it.... I said it from more of the perspective of "Look, I treat this company like it's my own, I work whatever hours you need, I treat all of our clients with the utmost respect, I make sure all the guys are not only in line but not abusing equipment, I'm busting my arse for you." Yes, a worker works, and gets paid. But we all have to admit that some guys just get it and those are the guys that we can really count on to be there for us now and when we grow bigger as well. (Until they start their own company that is... hahahahaha)
  4. JuneBug06

    JuneBug06 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    Perhaps you should put him on Suspension. Let him and everyone else know that you are in charge and that even though they "bust their asses", there are rules that apply to everyone. I'd do a week or two of no pay and no work and use one of the guys you laid off temporarily until he gets back into gear and recognizes who is really in charge. You cannot run a successful business with employees who ditch when they feel like it.

    Best of luck to you!
  5. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,290

    You've answered your own question a couple times.

    One time pulling this kind of stunt is too many.

    Twice is way overboard.

    You laid off other employees, call one or two back and move on.

    This idiot is walking all over you and it will affect the others and spread.
  6. CrystalCreek

    CrystalCreek LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,805

    This is some of the best advise I have read on LAwnsite. I worked for a guy when I was younger that had this exact mentality. The position was the position and I made damn sure no one was going to have that position but me. I worked my a** off so no one could take that position away from me. In a way, the position was mine to be owned. The owner was very fair, never raised his voice or showed emotion. If you didnt perform, he filled the position with someone new (only saw that happen once). If you did perform, you earned a paycheck, and his good graces, which there were many to be had. The company had 25 employees that worked their a**es of for those positions. We all became a team to protect ourselves from losing thoes positions. Most of the employees were 10 years plus with his company.

    The owner was a former Navy SEAL and knew how to motivate people. He was fair, caring, and tough all in one. He instilled teamwork, and made us a family. (picnics, christmas parties, halloween parties, bonuses, help with personal life problems) He listened to our thoughts and concerns and ideas. And for this he was rewarded with a very successful business.

    I model my life after him.
  7. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,759

    My $0.02:
    IFF in your GUT you find/feel his situation is true......then this is a time for his family to come together. Only you know his tract your decision re: his future employment should mostly be based on this, imo.
    Assuming the above is solid, AND he is a good worker AND leader, then I'd cut him some slack, as well as put him on a probationary period that he NEEDS to live up to...even if this extends into next season.
    Otherwise, his situation will bleed and infiltrate into the rest of your business affecting YOUR relationships w/ your other employees. They NEED to know you mean business with this particular employee.

    IFF this is his 'last straw time'...then consider just getting rid of him NOW. It is time to measure his salt to you ~> and YOUR business. Keep in mind how he interacts with his team...and if the slack given to him will possibly enable future situations re: his team and their life situations...AND HOW THIS WILL AFFECT YOU and your business.

    My goal here is to help you decide if his head is really on the chopping block...because IFF it is, then he probably needs to be let go.

    I'm a solo LCO, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. :waving:
  8. 123hotdog

    123hotdog LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    Here is the problem. I know this is cruel and hard to hear but you need somebody to be honest with you and give an honest opinion. He is not the problem. You are. You said it yourself, " this is not the first time he has done this". He is only doing what you will allow. We as employers have to make that hard call sometimes. I'm not slamming you by any means. I'm certain you are much more successful than I am. I am only an owner operator with one employee but I retired as a Restaurant General Manager previously and I can tell you every employee I ever had in 14 years tested the limits of what they could get away with one way or another. Best of luck.

Share This Page