Unmotivated Laborers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by michael bucher, Feb 27, 2000.

  1. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    Thats the good thing about kids, they don't expect to make $10.00 an hour yet. They are happy having a little spending money though. They are not too out of shape yet so they tend to be able to keep up without getting winded. Dependability..........That can be a minor problem when they play sports or whatever, spring break, but overall they are there for you in the summer when you need them the most. I got em knocking at the door, they (some of them anyway) think it's cool to ride the mowers and make a little money.........beats McDonalds!
  2. michael bucher

    michael bucher LawnSite Member
    Messages: 37

    A couple of you who responded to this post have said postive things about migrant workers. My question to anyone is; can you point me in the right direction as to where I could specificaly seek out migrant workers in northwest indiana ??
  3. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    When reading all of these replies the only answer that comes to my mind is &quot;how true&quot;. It is extremely hard to find good employees and the truth is, as a few of you have mentioned, the only person who will work as hard as you want them too is YOU. I don't know when it happened, or if it has been this way through out time, but i feel that people have just become to dam greedy and self centered in this whole dam world. If you look around, nobody wants to help each other out (well, except for this place, which may be one of the only places on the planet that I have found so far). Its always about &quot;me&quot; and about how much or what honor will i receive if I do this. People have lost the understanding of why people are on this planet. We were put here to help each other out. If we were suppose to do everything by ourselves, god would of put 1 person on this planet by himself, and said &quot;here, do it all&quot;<br>This is not the case.<p>Theres a word I love to use and that word is &quot;synergy&quot;. What synergy is is when 2 people get together and create something greater than the whole . Its like adding 1 plus 1 and getting 3,4, and so on (unlike cooperation where you take 1 plus 1` and just get 2) . When people can 'synergize', so much more can happen. <p>An example of what i mean is this. Last year<br> i went on an interview to do some design work for a landscape company. The interview went very well and we both had a good feeling for each other and were both on the same track. Then the train derailed. When talking about prices, I told him the price that i charge for my plans is 300 to 400 dollars for the size jobs he wants. After hearing this, he responded back with saying that he wanted to pay me hourly instead. I said OK, no problem, but then asked him what he had in mind. He said in the range of 13 to 15 per hour. Now, for me, considering i can do a plan in about 10 hours, this means I'd be making 130 to 150 dollars working for him. See something wrong here.....?<p>Well, i sure did. So i responded back to him and asked where he came up with that number. He responded with, &quot;well i have a business to run and overhead, and bills, and trucks to run,....&quot; and so and so on. I said &quot;I see, and i can understand that your have costs to bear and so and so on..., but the difference is very substantial, and i I have a very good knowlegde of your costs, and can see no reason for this. I know for a fact (for I live in the area and know his prices for plans) that you charge the same price i do, and surely would be crazy to work for such a low rate.&quot; I also then followed with , &quot;I have always been impressed with your work and think that it would be a honor to work with you. You have a lot to offer me and I too have a lot to offer you. Together, I feel, as I think you do, we could accomplish many things and take both our businesses to the next level and beyond. I would hate for price to be a issue here&quot;<p>Well, after that he sat there and just said, Ill think about it and get back to you. Sure enough, a week later, he called back and said that things just won't work out. Now, a year later, as heard through the grapevine...., he still is looking for a designer, and get this, the excuse he uses is, &quot;Well, there's just no body out there&quot;<p>You know what i think... I think thats a crock of (&#%... <p>What he did not want to do, as i call it, is Synegize. He only saw the situation as what he could get out of it. He lost the big picture in hopes of putting a little money in his pocket. Such a shame.....<p>This, I feel, is such a huge problem in our industry, and the world for that matter. In the eyes of the employee, which i'm sure most of us have been, mangagement is always trying to get what they can out of you and give nothing in return. Also, vice versa, the employer sees its workers as just trying to do as little as possible to get as much as they can out of them.<p>This whole system needs to change......and i refuse to give in to it. Both contractors and employees need to change the attitude from &quot;ME&quot; to &quot;WE&quot;. If this were to happen, both parties could reap neverending benefits.<p>If this ever happens in my life time, well, I <br>just don't know. What I do know is this though. That contractor is still looking for a designer and I'm gonna call him again. If nothing comes out of this year, then you know what, I'll try again next year. People do change and you can't give up hope in that.<p>steveair...Pennscapes Landscape Design<br>
  4. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    OH ya, and one more thing....<p>After the part I said about not giving up hope in people changing, I forgot to ad <p>&quot;but you can lose a lot of money on them&quot;<p>LOL<br>just joking, but seriously, everyone here is great and I greatly enjoy all of the comments. thanks.<br>
  5. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    I'm sure I'm just like everyone else, and when I read these posts my blood pressure shot up thinking of poor employees. One thing I work on and have found invaluable in finding good people is interviewing skills. Last year I hired 6 employees and only ended up firing one (fired on day three). However, I interviewed about 50 to get those 6.<p>You only have 10-15 minutes to make a decision on these people, so you need to pay attention to everything. If an interviewee is two minutes late, I don't give them the job. Among other things, they have to push a wheelbarrel loaded with 400 lbs of retaining wall block about 40 feet. It's funny seeing the really cocky ones spill it and get all red-faced and sheepish.<p>For the ones that make the cut, I treat them with respect, but am not afraid to lay down the law. This doesn't mean yelling at them. I've been in corporate mgt awhile, and try to apply the things I learned there: <p>1)Give them praise for doing a good job.<br>2)Correct unwanted behaviors immediately. And target the behavior, not the person.<br>3)Make sure they understand what is expected of them and the roles they play in your organization.<p>Because I can't correct behaviors in a closed-door office, I ask the employee in need of correcting to hop in the truck with me to take a ride. I never scream. I always tell them what the behavior is that needs modifying, how the behavior impacts the company, and what the repercussions will be for not changing the behavior. They appreciate not being dressed down in front of their coworkers, and I never speak of what was discussed in the truck to anyone else. Unfortunately, the first 'truck ride' resulted in the employee being fired right then. However, it had the unexpected benefit that anytime I asked anyone else to go for a ride with me, they got very serious very quickly.<p>I apologize for the length of this. If you check out the landscaping forum, you'll see I tend toward the long-winded side. But I hope this helps someone.
  6. snowqueen

    snowqueen LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Messages: 1

    Well guy's I been sitting hear and reading all of your responces to the unmotivated laborers, and I do agree with most of you but how ever,hiring wet backs is not your answer I think this just contributes to our problem, You hire thes guy's at half the price, and you say they do more work then our locals do. Well think about this if you would pay more for a decient employee and treat them with some respect they just might stick around.

Share This Page