Lawn care employees and the requests they have.

Having ground rules set before you hire any lawn care employees can go a long way in preventing issues from popping up later. If you aren’t sure what kind of ground rules you should set, do a quick internet search for lawn care employee handbooks to find some ideas from others who have dealt with similar issues and consider the problems this member of the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum ran into.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I am having an issue with a lawn care employee. It’s not a big one but I am trying to work through it. What happened is this lawn care employee generally gets to the shop before I do in the morning. He unlocks the door, pulls his truck and trailer out, then stands around waiting for me to arrive.

He is a very good worker, does excellent work and I am always getting good remarks from customers about him. Such remarks as ‘great attitude, did a great job, better then expected.’ So here’s the issue. He wants to be paid from the time he unlocks the door, until the time he arrives back at the shop and closes up. Now that’s fine with me but, when I arrive he’s just standing around in the shop, or on his phone, or something else. There is always things to do, sweep the floor, organize hand tools, clean the trash out of the trucks, wash a truck, empty trash cans, clean up a bathroom and so on.

What should I do? Should I start paying him when he arrives, or when he arrives at the first job of the day? Then at the end of the day? During the day as well? Should I be paying for drive time between jobs? Should I make them take a lunch, or just let them work through it? I know kind of lengthy but, we are early enough in the year where I feel I can get this handled and move on.

I have always felt you take care of those that take care of you. Once a week he is allowed to take home a truck and trailer with equipment to take care of his place. If he wanted to go do his grandparents or his wife’s grandparents property, he’d ask and I never told him no. If he wanted to borrow a set of trimmers to go do a side job of trimming someone’s shrubs or trees, it was always ’sure go ahead’ but with that being said, I have 5 houses in my neighborhood I service. He has to drive by my house to get to them, and back by them to leave the neighborhood. I have just over a half acre on my property, now do you think he would stop and mow my lawn while he’s in the area? NO! Not without me asking, then he’d write it down on his time sheet.

I asked one day last year ‘hey while your trimming trees and shrubs in my neighborhood would you stop and trim mine for me? It took him just under two hours, and he wrote it down. ‘Trimmed your shrubs’ I paid him, no questions asked, but here’s the issue. Whose putting gas in the $25k dollar truck he is taking home with the $12k dollar mower on the trailer and whose putting gas in that mower, the trimmers, or the blower you are using at your house? Do you think he’d take it on his own maybe once a month to stay late some night, or come in on a Sat when we’re not working and wash the truck he is borrowing without being asked? Just a little appreciation is all I ask for.

Well this year I am thinking about making some changes. If an employee wants to take a truck and trailer home with equipment to take care of their own property it will cost them. I am just not sure what, yet.”

A second lawn care business owner said “that is messed up! All I can say is speak up. You are the owner. I would definitely put a price tag on letting them use the equipment or just stop it period. That’s just totally being unappreciative, rude, and taking advantage of a good thing. They are using good equipment at your cost and have the balls to charge you for maintenance on your house! Let him know the deal fast before this gets worse! This can cause animosity, stress, and everything else that comes with holding things in.

I believe in paying good lawn care employees, good pay. If he wants to get paid when he arrives, he must understand that it ain’t gonna be for free. Assign him some duties to do before you arrive. I pay trip time. If I’m on the clock at work, then they are too. Take care of your crew and they will take care of you. I know what its like to have a crappy supervisor who only looks out for himself. But on the other hand, if your lawn care employees gets to pushy, I would put them in their place. Not in a mean way, but in a way for him to know that you are calling the shots. If you want to get paid to wait until I get there in the morning, your in the wrong business! Pick up a broom!”

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Lawn Care Business Books And Software.
How To Get Lawn Care Customers Vol. 2
The landscaping and lawn care business plan startup guide
A rebellious teenagers guide to starting a landscaping & lawn care business
The GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show Episode Guide.
Stop Lowballing! A Lawn Care Business Owner\'s Guide To Success