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Trade secrets

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by (wi) Roots, Oct 23, 2007.

  1. (wi) Roots

    (wi) Roots LawnSite Member
    from 9
    Messages: 152

    One of the problem I had with former employers was their lack of information to my job. That information, if give in a timely matter might have saved me a lot of stress on the job. They would keep this information as though I was going to use it against them. I was not alone. While working in the public sector during my employment before working on my own, I've notice other industry fields had the same mentalitiy. This has alway frustrated me. Why hold on to necessary information that is vital to an employees job! So my questions to you is. When do you disclose information to new hires concerning there work related issues?
  2. MStine315

    MStine315 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 789

    I empower my people as much as I can. This takes pressure off me when it comes to customer relations. I don't have to answer every question, the employee feels better because he is learning and I am investing in him, and the customer is happy because it isn't some robot out there applying "what his boss told him to". I understand the whole "trade secret" thing, and can appreciate it, but who am I kidding, nothing I do will ruin me if someone else gets ahold of it. A lot of guys are tight with their customer lists, but if my customers are that fleeting that they'll run to someone else over a buck, I'm not doing my job anyway.
  3. bug-guy

    bug-guy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,029

    i agree with the above post!
    some people want their employees to be certified so they are more knowledgable and also they can never say gee i didn't know i couldn't do that. others do not want their employees cert. as they are insecure and afraid they will leave and take all their secrets with them ( these are the same people who feel they own anything you come up with because you work for them )

    i will give some of my secrets here and now

    good fert is not cheap
    cheap fert is not good
    you should only cut corners
    you want a round building
  4. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,727

    It is all a matter of finesse. Ask questions, "Gee, boss I don't understand, you are so smart, why are we doing it this way?"

    And be patient, keep your ears open--you will gradually get more information. Your employer has a right to keep cost ratios, and certain information confidential--if you leave--he does not want you or his competitors to know what he pays for fertilizer, rent, fuel, or the lease on the trucks. I knew all of these things before I left my previous employer.
  5. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,954

    Back in my "original" ChemLawn days, every branch had weekly meetings. Each meeting would disclose the branch's profit & loss margin, etc. They would actually go into detail regarding production, chemical costs, truck expenses, etc. I appreciated this information so I knew the reasons why we did what we did.

    We pattern our company after the 'original' ChemLawn, cuz we have nothing to hide, and we respect all employees. I tell my guys that they are like a knight in King Arthur's "round table" ..... nobody is better than anyone else. It's a team effort, and the 'cream always rises to the top'.

    We have no secrets, and unless one of my employees has big money and wants to work 80 or 90 hours a week, they will not (cannot) quit & compete with what we do.
  6. (wi) Roots

    (wi) Roots LawnSite Member
    from 9
    Messages: 152

    Bravo gentlemen, each one has an insight how you view your work ethics. While I was still green behind the ears during my initial education on the fertilization and spray side of business. I educated myself so much I was given the position to educate, train, offer support and give feed back to new hires. There was no temptlet to follow that gave me insight to do this. So, I basically wrote my own training course. For new hires I had the best understanding what was going on on the front line between what you should know to fuctionally do your job. To addressing many issues concerning customer questions and complaints. Out of all the education, training, support and feedback I gave, the most beneficial of them all was feedback. If there was problems with there work, it was easily trace without constent monitoring.
    Because of the lack of information that was given to me, I in turn was to be sure not to do the same for my employee's. Like you I felt the more educated my technician were the more I'll was left to Supervise less. Which freed me to market ourselves better in a wider areas.

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