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  • Commission employees

    Last year I had recently had a lot of trouble with my employees. Seeing as they were being paid hourly, they would take their sweet time while working throughout the day. Since I am not able be with them all the time, it makes it difficult to monitor their work activities. What do you guys think about paying per job? I have calculated all my costs and I'm willing to pay half the job price to 2 employees to perform the job. So if I charge $40, I would pay the guy mowing $10, the guy weedeating $5, and to blow and clean property $3.

    Do you guys think this will be a good incentive?

  • #2
    Replace the loafers. Plenty of guys out there willing to give you an honest days work.
    http://www.lunchesruslawncare.com

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    • #3
      you run the risk of them flying through doing a poor job .

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      • #4
        Can you time how long the job(s) take to perform when you are onsite and then you would have a good idea how long it would take them when you are not there?
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        • #5
          what you want to do with the clowns you have is only gonna work if they make more money and if they have to work harder to make the same amount as they do now you can forget about it working out.

          even if they make more money it will only act as a band aid because when they get used to that paycheck they will resort to what they are, lazy azz cow milkers.

          it's your business and you call the shots. you either got to make the time and baby sit them or you need to let them go and find people you can trust who will do what they were hired to do.

          as a business owner in the landscape industry you have to realize that anyone you hire is going to be for the lack of a better word a ship passing through the night.
          workers come and workers go and until they prove otherwise thats the way they will be viewed.

          there are things that can be done that cost a few bucks but in the end it can pay off.
          they have gps tracking for the trucks where you can monitor which route they are taking to and from jobs and where they are stopping in between as well as how long they were there right down to how fast they are driving.
          i even seen a carpet cleaning company that had the same system but it also was hooked up to the machine in the back of the truck so when they were on the job they could not only see if they were working but how long the machine was running.
          that helped them determine if the guys were cleaning other rooms in the house for side money.
          if they went to clean a 10 x 10 carpet and the machine was running for 2 hours and that size carpet would normally take 15 minutes a foreman would be dispatched to the house to see what was going on.

          bottom line, there are ways with technology to determine if your workers are screwing you and if you don't want to do that then you need to find the right people and send them packing or baby sit them.

          as a business owner the last thing i am going to do is let my workers dictate when things get done or how much they will make.
          the competition and profit margin are too tight in this business to be giving the money away.

          and if you don't want to do any of what was mentioned above then you will have to sleep in the bed you made.

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          • #6
            I agree to replace the loafers, I know that can be hard as I have a hard time firing employees. But the good thing with this poor economy is I have guys calling all the time wanting work. Get some guys with a good work ethic and the rest will come around or quit.
            Now is the time to have a face to face with current employess and tell them how it will be. I have found many times attaboys worth more than $$$.

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            • #7
              I agree with bruce if you pay piece rate then the quality of work goes way down and besides if your splitting it with them then you might as well just make them a partner in the business and make them split the gas trucks equipment trailers etc cause thats pretty much what your doing is your covering everything but then splitting the cost of the profits. I think everyone can agree that everyone has issues with employees and takes a couple of years to find the right guys. to help with knowing how long it takes on each job on our rout sheet it has a time in and time out on each property my office manager looks at that very closely because if you left one house at 10:00 and then started the next one at 10:35 but you know that the house is only 5 minutes from the last house they stopped at the store or cutting someone else on the way, so after a couple of weeks monitor to see if its a every week event if so then you go in your wifes car park down the street and follow to see whats up. Or as dpld suggest get a gps unit. hope that helped
              Justin

              http://www.localedgelawncare.com

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              • #8
                Although I am on every job, I use schedules and I can assign each schedule to different crews. On the schedule it has address and lot sq ft and owner name. It has a place to put time start time end. If payment was received or whatever.

                I think you should start making your own schedule with this info to be input. The guy not driving can take 2 secs to fill it in.

                You can compare sheets on a week to week basis. See how long yards are taking and what your really making per working hour. If one week a yard takes 20 mins and the next it takes 45 there is a problem. You can not only keep track of mowing times but drive time between jobs. A lot less slacking off.

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                • #9
                  Another option is truck GPS and theres even one for smartphones. This will track where they are, how long there, etc. The best way to catch your guys doing side work.

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                  • #10
                    last year I had an employee thinking he could line up work , and charge my wages and not tell me about the job he lined up, then ask to borrow my tools. when i found out what was going on i made him pay a pretty penny to use the tools.

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                    • #11
                      last year I had an employee thinking he could line up work ,
                      For those who may be in the same position, what were the warning signs that told you something was wrong? What finally gave it away? Was it the borrowing of the tools? Do you do anything differently now to keep your eyes on the look out for such behavior?
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                      • #12
                        it was the borrowing of tools if it wasnt for that he probly would of done the whole thing behind my back, he even asked to use my trailor, i told him no on that, thats when i suspected it, then asked to borrow my hedge trimmers, thats when i told him to pay me 50 bucks and he could use em, but if he would of been honest i woulda helped him out for a good deal since it was his grandma

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                        • #13
                          Do you find that you have changed your operational methods at all to keep more of a watchful eye on employees? Are you more weary of what they might be up to after going through this?
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