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How do you retain employees when there is no snow...?

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by Exact Services, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. Exact Services

    Exact Services Senior Member
    Messages: 198

    I've read many post on here and I've been wondering what type of person do you hire that is willing to work literally around the clock. I don't have a plow just blowers and frankly the pace that I work at is fairly grueling. I really can't see any employee sticking around for this type of work. All I need is another 4x4 truck and a few other items and I can equip an employee with their own route.

    During the growing season I run the same way. Very few breaks - get the work done - go home. However snow is different than mowing grass - the hazards are greater with driving in poor conditions, exposure to the weather and the big clincher is a standby employee having to miss that family Christmas party or even Christmas itself, Super Bowl, thanksgiving, wife's B- day, kids Christmas play [I almost didn't make to my kids last night] and as you know......the list goes on.

    Who in there right mind would want to work as an employee under these conditions when they could just deliver pizzas for around $15+ an hour with tips?
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2009
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Someone who hates their life and hopes to have a heart attack and die?
  3. Grassman09

    Grassman09 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,808

    Thats not bad. I didn't think they got that much. I'd rather do that for sure. Only way to retain them is with $$. Good money not pizza money.
  4. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    Great pay, attendance bonus at the end of the year, and treat them as well as possible.
  5. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    Our main guys are salaried. Most others get a monthly minimum-guaranteed, Some get a very good hourly rate without guarantees. Bottom line is equipment doesnt run itself, and you have to take care of those who take care of you. We only do walkways at one property-so that helps our situation too. When we did alot of handwork, we tried to minimize the labour, and made sure they were paid well also, with monthly performance bonuses. Its a tough gig sometimes, you have to try different things till you find what works best for your guys.
  6. Two Seasons

    Two Seasons Junior Member
    Messages: 23

  7. Mattsautobody

    Mattsautobody Member
    Messages: 89

    if pizza guys make that much, sign me up!
  8. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    you first and foremost. if they like working for you and with you, you'd be surprised how loyal some guys might be but a lot starts with you, how you pay them, how you treat them, etc.
  9. overtime

    overtime Senior Member
    Messages: 153

    i am in the wrong field then i need to go to pizza hut, or happy Joes....
  10. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    i also take them out to dinner/lunch every now and then, specially when it's been an extra long shift and i know they're sacrificng family time for me
  11. iceyman

    iceyman 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,925

    get mexicanos:cool:
  12. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    haha i need them plowing, not in the sh*tter
  13. Tubby's Snow Plowing

    Tubby's Snow Plowing Senior Member
    Messages: 199

    I was a pizza jockey in a small town for 4 years. Average hourly with tips was $18/hr. Pizza jockeys make more money than you'd think.
  14. Exact Services

    Exact Services Senior Member
    Messages: 198

    Funny you mention this...last summer I was planing on selling off my snow throwers and delivering pizzas myself instead of doing residential snow.

    But.....the reason I do snow is to promote my lawn and garden services.

    The more I find out about workman's comp etc. the more I like the idea of setting up a 1099 sub-contractor with some sort of equipment rental fee if possible.
  15. ff610

    ff610 Senior Member
    Messages: 320

    I pay my guys well, but I try to help them out too. Between plows I try to get them some extra hours around the shop, maintaining equipment, etc. I also buy them lunch or breakfast almost every time I get the chance which is often. They all have privileges to take trucks home, on my gas too. The key to keeping a good employee is to take care of them. I have found that my guys are willing to do almost anything to help me out, and I do the same for them. Bonuses and perks help too.
  16. Tubby's Snow Plowing

    Tubby's Snow Plowing Senior Member
    Messages: 199

    Weigh up the difference between collecting rental fees (remember you have to claim it as income) versus the 1099 wages. Fees will increase your tax liability as reportable income, but deducting more money for 1099s might save you on taxes. Also factor time in collecting fees or additional paperwork. It's easier and less costly overall for overhead to just 1099 someone using their own equipment.

    Let's say you are going to 1099 someone but they have their own gear. You will have to pay them a bit more as they will expect their wages to cover labor plus wear on equipment versus straight labor. So a 1099 with their own equipment is worth $15/hr. Contrast that with a 1099 that doesn't have their equipment. They're labor only so they get paid $12/hr. You are responsible for regular maintenance but any negligent damage done to your equipment will be paid by the 1099, not you. Stipulate that in your contract with them. Generally you will pay more for a 1099 with their own equipment but they will do a better job since it's their stuff they're using, not someone else's.

    If I were 1099ing anyone, it would be a 1099 with their own equipment.
  17. Tubby's Snow Plowing

    Tubby's Snow Plowing Senior Member
    Messages: 199

    This is good advice. Loyalty is only as good as the next paycheck. Treat your employees as good as your customers, you will have a loyal workforce.
  18. bob00

    bob00 Senior Member
    Messages: 143

    down here a lot of snow guy are garbage man full time in the summer and part time in winter and that make sanse ther is less garbage in winter so lees work for them the driver know hydrolics and mecanics alredy got ther hevy truck licnece and the helper are rell tuff guy no matter wind tempreture snow or rain they are running behind the truck so relly good shovler

    and as said before thake care of them help them they wil help you make them feel like your parthener