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The Great Employee Debate

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by CP Paul, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. CP Paul

    CP Paul Member
    Messages: 99

    What are you guys doing about "Standby Wages" for an employee?

    This is the first I've heard about this, paying someone to sit at home. I get the idea that they are (supposed to be) making a commitment not to party like rock stars, when there's a chance of snow. That they're supposed to be ready to go at a moments notice.

    Personally, I would be happy to pay them what I understand to be 20 hrs of standby money if it were more of a guarantee of income...that they were showing up to do some work for the money. Something like maintenance on the equipment, cleaning the equipment....something!

    And I've only got the truck and Kubota c/w blower, so I need to be sure this guy shows up. So I need to treat them well but, in this year of expansion I can't give the farm away.

    What are you guys doing? What did you guys (Canadian or US) do when you only had one employee? ....Because when you don't have 8 machines/employees so if one guy doesn't show, you can spread the work around to the other 7? I don't have that luxury.

    Thanks,
    Paul tymusic :yow!:
     
  2. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 5,987

    The biggest question is what are you paying him hourly rate?

    But then again, from my experience it dosent matter what I paid, they still didn't show up last year... Its more in the character of thr guy and finding someone you know will stick it out and wount leave you hanging...
     
  3. cold_and_tired

    cold_and_tired PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,246

    Have you local Labor Ready or other such business on standby in case your guy doesn't show.
     
  4. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 5,987

    You don't just put anybody in a tractor....... JMO
     
  5. CP Paul

    CP Paul Member
    Messages: 99

    Triple L...your right. I wouldn't be putting anyone on the truck or especially the tractor without lots of experience and excellent references. Even then, it comes down to what kind of character they have. I'm going to need back up guys, retired guys who want something to do rather than work at Walmart.

    Main guy though, has to be as rock solid as I can find.

    L, are you paying your guys 'standby wages' or just a decent pay like you said?

     
  6. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Years ago,I was paid some much a wk/mo for standby. So when It snowed I worked off the advance to so call pay it back.
     
  7. CP Paul

    CP Paul Member
    Messages: 99

    Well, if it went against future work then that would make sense. I just didn't see paying money per week if it didn't snow. Then when you get nailed and plow a bunch, he gets all that too.

    Now this way makes more sense to me.

     
  8. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,699

    Our stand by wage is the same rate as their normal pay. "Stand by" to me is when you dispatch prior to an event.....the event doesn't happen and you call them off.

    Sounds as though you want to pay a second stringer to stand by just in case you need him because your first stringer fails to show? Seems an odd backup plan.
     
  9. Matson Snow

    Matson Snow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,985



    Doe's The second "Stringer" deserve the same rate of Pay as a "First" stringer......:rolleyes:
     
  10. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,162

    Why not a salary? If you claim to pay well, then a good salary would keep them (most good employees) around and you would know your employee burden before you even start to plow snow.

    No......You put them in a rented skid. JK
     
  11. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,045

    All of our guys get a weekly standby pay for 20 weeks and then it's hourly when they work. It's very common around here as it gauruntees the person to be available at a moments notice and we don't want any excuses. The same guys have worked for us for years.
     
  12. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,045

    I got a good laugh out of that. :drinkup:
     
  13. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,699

    Probably not.

    I guess I don't know what a second stringer is. Everyone I know is critical.
     
  14. CP Paul

    CP Paul Member
    Messages: 99

    I've been hearing that they are getting 20 hours of standby pay if they don't work that week, which is why I'm freaking out.

    So whats your standby pay for each of the 20 weeks? And what kind of wages are your guys getting on what machines...if you don't mind me asking?

     
  15. CP Paul

    CP Paul Member
    Messages: 99

    So is that what you do then is pay them a salary?

    I don't pay them well because this will be my first employee but, I expect I will pay the right guy the right money to keep him from running off to the big guys or to make sure he shows up.

    ...love the rented skid comment...

     
  16. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    So if you have 0 events.....guys get 0 pay?

    So your guys get paid something, even if there is no snow at all? This is great if you have mostly seasonal accounts....it can be figured/budgeted in. I wish seasonals were more common here. I have a few accounts that I am going to offer seasonal prices to next season (multi yr contracts expire then). If I'm successful in doing so, I will offer my employees something similar.


    I have a few guys that I always try and keep little things going on here & there through the winter.....But for me, you only get paid if you are moving snow.
     
  17. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,162

    I'm a one man operation. Most would say my employee is overpaid. I considered myself a good employee when I worked for others, you might get someone temporary who can tolerate the job for a good price, when they can make a good living at it and feed their family and pay their bills they exel... and so does your business.JMO
     
  18. CP Paul

    CP Paul Member
    Messages: 99

    I'm planning on paying my guy a great wage, so he's happy to be at work, takes care of the equipment and for sure...shows up!

    Just trying to get an idea of what guys are doing with this standby wage. To pay or not to pay? If you pay then how much do you adjust the wages by?

    ...Think it was Grandview above that said he used to get pay for weeks when there wasn't work but that it was deducted from plow days or weeks. That way he had money coming in no matter what. That seems fair and balanced.
     
  19. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    Sure it does, for him. What if you pay him more money that what he puts in for hrs plowing (light winter)? Do you have guaranteed income for the winter (seasonal accounts)?
     
  20. CP Paul

    CP Paul Member
    Messages: 99

    Ya, almost all my accounts are seasonal. Its pretty common here because of the winters we have. Customers can either bet on the light winter side and pay per push but, if we have a big winter they pay way more. Or most go for seasonal and not have to worry.

    And your right, I'm leaning towards paying a good wage only. But like I said earlier, don't want to lose a great guy to the big companies that are paying standby money.