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Thread: How to keep employees

  1. #1
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    How to keep employees

    What are some good ideas to keep employees especially in the north where we have a couple months with no business coming in? I have been thinking of giving some company shares to some guys after staying for a couple years they can get some. If they leave then they sell them back. Of course I would get a lot of shares so the company has say 10,000 and you give 10-100 to them worth a certain amount. Makes them feel like they are part of the company.

    Just trying to think of some good ideas.
    Rolling Suds Inc.
    Brian Wendling
    Power washing in Pa.
    Roof Cleaning in Pa.
    http://Rollingsudsinc.com

  2. #2
    Brian,

    The stock idea is an incentive, though some may not understand or value it. I would look into the legal and accounting costs, there may be some strict requirements. In a corporation can you force a shareholder to sell their shares back to the company?

    A profit sharing incentive may be easier and more effective, but am not sure if you can legally restrict the benefit to selected employees.
    - Rick Petry
    Windsor WoodCare
    Ringoes, NJ
    (609) 468-7965 cell
    www.windsorwoodcare.com
    rick@windsorwoodcare.com

  3. #3
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    Money!! Pay them well, keep them very busy for at least 8-9 months & have bonus incentives to hit thru out the season.
    John Tornabene
    Clean County Powerwashing
    www.cleancounty.com
    PWNA/PWRA member

  4. #4
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    Walk in their shoes, what would it take to get you to stick around and or come back for the next season?

    Have a meeting with them and ask what they want

  5. #5
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    Before this year started I took all the guys out to lunch seperatly and asked then 10 questions about how the company can help them and what they can do to help the company. They all wanted more money, stay busier in fall and most important was to have the equipment working better and not breaking down.

    I had a mechanic for most of the year take care of equipment and it was in the best shape this year but also the guys did not take care of anything and just came back and said this is broke Fix It. The main guys made over 1,000 a week for most of weeks this year. My new operations manager did not do a great job at managing the guys and did not demand much from them. I think he had there back before the companies back. After paying him a salary of 40,000 for 36 weeks and benifits he is gone after 8 years with us as of 11/7. This is why I am not sure of what to do. I guess we are just in a business that we can not make enough money to pay them a lot more?
    Rolling Suds Inc.
    Brian Wendling
    Power washing in Pa.
    Roof Cleaning in Pa.
    http://Rollingsudsinc.com

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Rsuds View Post
    Before this year started I took all the guys out to lunch seperatly and asked then 10 questions about how the company can help them and what they can do to help the company. They all wanted more money, stay busier in fall and most important was to have the equipment working better and not breaking down.

    I had a mechanic for most of the year take care of equipment and it was in the best shape this year but also the guys did not take care of anything and just came back and said this is broke Fix It. The main guys made over 1,000 a week for most of weeks this year. My new operations manager did not do a great job at managing the guys and did not demand much from them. I think he had there back before the companies back. After paying him a salary of 40,000 for 36 weeks and benifits he is gone after 8 years with us as of 11/7. This is why I am not sure of what to do. I guess we are just in a business that we can not make enough money to pay them a lot more?
    I've had two ops managers over the last 8 years or so when I turned things over. The first one I undertrained and moved him into the position too quickly. My current guy is bonused on performance plus a nice base. he's hungry, aggressive and he knows how to manage. He is my only full time guy I worry about. I made the decision awhile back that a primarily resi based PW business in the northeast will not be able to keep guys for the long haul. So, I worked on improving my training, set up more performance based incentive, focused on the guy that is basically running the company and my right hand man to make sure he is happy. I am breeding him to buy this thing in a few years. Everyone else is transient. Crew leaders cap at $18 +bonus and their helpers are capped at $12. I encourage them to share bonuses if a helper is a performer but they don't have to. Everyone is basically part time.. Firemen, cops, teachers, just about all the crew leaders already have careers. Just about all helpers I get from a local halfway house and they are skilled construction guys that I know will leave once they are back on their feet. That takes the stress off me chasing gutter cleaning, snow plowing, etc to keep guys busy in the colder months. Every crew leader has been with me at least three years and some for 10+.

    Bri, you have been at this longer than I have and I know you are a smart guy that chases success and I saw your operation so I know you have your sh-t together. Take a step back and make sure you aren't chasing your tail. Have you thought about having a dedicated subdivision for commercial?

  7. #7
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    ^^Excellent post that has me thinking as well.
    John Tornabene
    Clean County Powerwashing
    www.cleancounty.com
    PWNA/PWRA member

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rsuds View Post
    Before this year started I took all the guys out to lunch seperatly and asked then 10 questions about how the company can help them and what they can do to help the company. They all wanted more money, stay busier in fall and most important was to have the equipment working better and not breaking down.

    I had a mechanic for most of the year take care of equipment and it was in the best shape this year but also the guys did not take care of anything and just came back and said this is broke Fix It. The main guys made over 1,000 a week for most of weeks this year. My new operations manager did not do a great job at managing the guys and did not demand much from them. I think he had there back before the companies back. After paying him a salary of 40,000 for 36 weeks and benifits he is gone after 8 years with us as of 11/7. This is why I am not sure of what to do. I guess we are just in a business that we can not make enough money to pay them a lot more?
    This is not an attack on you Brian, I am using you as an example since you opened this can of worms

    Taking a turn, or better put, returning back to my military training, leadership and training start at the top and end at the top (its been a crazy and educational year for me!!)

    If your ops manager did not demand much from the crews, that is because you did not make it clear to him what his responsibilities are. Also, "demanding" anything from the crews will eventually fail, they need to "want" to do things the right way the first time because it is the right thing to do for the company

    If the crews are not taking care of equipment, that is your fault (the business owner) for not making it clear what their responsibilities are.

    All failures lead back to you (the business owner) and all successes lead back to everyone else. If your leadership style is about finding blame for everything that goes wrong, everyone under you will do the same because that is the example you are setting.

    If you take responsibility for failures while at the same time explaining what went wrong and how to prevent it in the future, they will learn how to do that.

    There is no blaming, only solutions to issues that may arise in the future. At the end of the week, you should have a meeting going over the issues, solutions and praise everyone for their hard work to make the company (their company) the best there is. It may also be a good way to start off on Monday mornings, with coffee and donuts and get everyone pumped up for the new week. But whatever is said, must be spoken from the heart, not read from a script.

    Granted, not everyone will follow your lead, but the bad ones can and should be replaced. And some currently poor employees may improve dramatically when given vision, goals, a successful path to follow and a leader to learn from.

  9. #9
    Wow... I don't think it's possible to spell that out any better!!!!!!!!!!!
    Michael Heward
    Coastal Cleaning Service
    Serving Central and Southern Anne Arundel County
    Millersville,MD.
    www.coastalcleaningmd.com

  10. #10
    I find that employees need incentives. Something to motivate them. I have a incentive program that they get 10% of everything they up sell and I have also taught them how to fix all the equipment should a problem arise. I have also added snow removal last year to help keep them working in the winter. I also give them a bonus right before Christmas as a end of the year bonus based off of how well we do.

    I have placed alot of responsibility on them and they are compensated for it. If they screw up they get a non paid day off. They don't like that so they do their job.
    Diamond Roof Cleaning and Powerwashing
    320 E Collings Dr
    Williamstown NJ 08094
    Owner-Michael DeRose Sr.
    www.diamondroofcleaning.com

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