View Full Version : Employees

04-02-2006, 04:26 PM
What's the best way you have found to motivate employees?

When you were or if you are an employee, what was the way you found motivated you the most?

04-02-2006, 09:56 PM
I really never found anything in particular that would have long lasting effects on employee motivation. It was only short term. Some of the stuff that I tried was
1. Managers received paid health insurance and paid cell phones

2. I tried the whole "quality bonus" thing. I graded random properties on quality, and at the end of the week, you could receive a cash bonus of $2 per property. It was usually around a possibly $30 to $40 bonus. But, each property that I looked at that had poor quality, it resulted in a -$2 from the total.

3. Business Meeting Cash Bonus: Sometimes if someone offered a great idea that would save the company money, they received a $25 cash bonus.

4. Based on your time spent working there you could have paid vacation and paid sick leave. My one manager guy that was with me for about 2 1/2 years, had approx 2 weeks of paid vacation a year, and 3 paid sick days a year.

5. Once a month I would take the employees out to breakfast on a Thursday or Friday before the start of the day.

6. I would buy there pop or water for the days work

7. This one is the best one yet that I found: Employees were given a guaranteed pay. Part time guys were guaranteed 20 hrs ad week, while full time was 40 hrs a week. If the finished work early, and only put in 38 hrs, they were still paid the 40hrs per week. Well, it motivated them to work faster for they could get home earlier, because not matter what, they still knew that they were going to get paid full even if they got done early.

8. Another thing that motivated employees was when I actually worked at the job sites with them. I will give two examples:
Example 1: I remember one particular day, I was driving around giving bids in my shirt and tie, and I decided to stop in and check up on a crew. One of the guys was having a horrible time keeping the lines straight while mowing and couldn't figure out how to straighten lines that he messed up on. So I hopped on the mower with my shirt and tie, while my employees just stood there shocked and awed that I actually was there helping them out working in my dress clothes. They talked about that for weeks.

Example 2: My employees were doing a landscaping installation project of where they have to move tile stone over to the beds. They were taking their sweet time. So I bet them, that I could move more stones than they could in the same amount of time. If I lost, they got to have the next day off, if they lost, they had to buy me lunch the next day. Well, I got treated to a very nice lunch the next day. But the impression of me working fast, and hard really motivated them to work harder.

Now, with me, when I did work a job, what motivated me was when other employees around me actually wanted to work and not stand around. I know, I know, it sounds stupid, but it's true. If they worked hard, then it motivated me to work hard as well.

04-02-2006, 11:48 PM
As an employee, I found the best motivation was a free hot lunch.

As an employer, I found the best motivation was a hot branding iron.

Funny how the two differ ever so slightly.. http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

04-03-2006, 06:20 AM
tiedeman, I can tell you spent much time thinking about this topic and have explored many avenues.

Have you or anyone you have known experimented with giving crew leaders a % of the profits from the area they served?

Is it a good idea to do this or not?

04-03-2006, 07:37 AM
Here are some motivators I have found to work.

1. Never ask your employee's something you are not willing to do yourself.

2. Work with their schedule too! They are there to make you money. If one of my employee's wants to take a Friday off and I can cover for them...then so be it. I don't mind getting my hands dirty and it keeps my staff happy.

3. We give all of our staff the option to go to pursue advanced learning seminars over the winter. It shows that you are serious about them and the company.

04-03-2006, 10:32 AM
I was just talking with Jeremiah of Green Boys Lawn Care and he gave me some great insight as to how he pays his staff.

I hope I get this right. Also Jeremiah, if you are reading this, please feel free to give us more insight into this process and how it works for you.

45% goes to company
55% of profits goes to workers
out of that 55%
- 30 to 35% goes to crew chief
- 20 to 25% goes to crew worker

04-03-2006, 03:51 PM
Quote[/b] (Team Gopher @ April 03 2006,7:20)]tiedeman, I can tell you spent much time thinking about this topic and have explored many avenues.

Have you or anyone you have known experimented with giving crew leaders a % of the profits from the area they served?

Is it a good idea to do this or not?
I did the % thing with my employees during snow removal times. *Since the snow removal season is so slow sometimes and spread out, I gave them approx 70% of the accounts money.

For example, they might have two weeks off where they don't work at all, but then a snow storm hits and in one day they could make $500 to $700.

04-03-2006, 04:04 PM
How did that work for you? Were the employees happy?

How did you file them as w-2 or 10-99?

04-03-2006, 04:09 PM
nope, still just the W-2.

It was either doing that or have them draw unemployment from me, which I did not want

04-03-2006, 04:12 PM
We know your business has the potential to grow and expand. Are you thinking about this and how you would handle employees differently this time?

04-03-2006, 04:15 PM
Well, I would definetly looking for inside work for these employees during the winter months. Perhaps get into office cleaning or something

04-03-2006, 04:21 PM
Is it possible you can pay them like teachers? Where money is withheld during the year so they get paid on their summers, when they are not working?

04-03-2006, 04:24 PM
I thought about that before. See, for the managers they were guaranteed like 35 hrs from March 1st to November 30th. From December 1st to February 28th, they were paid on the % of the snow removal, because I couldn't afford paying them any extra during the winter months do to the lack of income coming in

04-03-2006, 04:25 PM
Any thoughts on holiday lighting? Or holiday decorations?

04-03-2006, 04:27 PM
I looked into that heavy before. Talked with many companies that offer this service, but I just can't see myself doing it. Too much liability. I would probably say between all of the services, besides tree removal, that holiday lighting would be the second highest liability service that someone could do.

04-03-2006, 04:31 PM
Because of the ladder use? Or because of the electrical issue?

04-03-2006, 04:33 PM
The electrial issue mainly. All I can see is setting someones house on fire, or overloading a curcuit.

04-03-2006, 04:44 PM
Hmmm. I wonder if there is any way around this.

Maybe some sort of contract they sign where they agree to not hold you liable for such situations. Maybe you don't even connect the wiring because you could say you aren't an electrician and the liability issue. Maybe you could leave it up to them to hook the lights up?

Have you ever talked with anyone else on this? Someone must have thought about this in the past and ways to deal with the potential problems.

04-03-2006, 06:21 PM
I have talked with a lot of businesses before, and they said that just as long as you know your basics you are covered. *BUt I don't want to take that one chance. *It may be sad to say, but I would rather has a pet be poisoned by a pesticide application, compared to having someones house burn down

04-03-2006, 06:24 PM
Have you talked to your insurance provider and asked them about this? If you are covered or how much more it would cost?

04-03-2006, 06:27 PM
Also maybe you could install only l.e.d. lights which are low voltage.

04-03-2006, 06:29 PM
That is a possibility.

04-04-2006, 08:03 AM
I would hate to see someone's house catch on fire too. My thought is, we should be able to minimize the risks of the outcome. But still experiment and explore and take risks.
Maybe many other LCOs don't offer these services due to a fear of ........... (something).
Part of business I feel is stepping into an unknown sphere.
Can you imagine if you promoted holiday lighting and it really took off, then you could be able to pay your staff all year long.