Let’s talk about how developing your lawn maintenance business success systems will empower your employees and help grow your business.
Hey Clippers! Dave Tucker here to continue our chat about the beauty of systems.
As you’ll recall, systems are the secret to a business that runs without you. With the right systems in place, you can escape to the mountains, the cabin, or the beach—my preferred destination.
Last week, we emphasized that you must provide systems for your customers to use. Today, we’re talking about another group of individuals who need to have systems: your employees.
We talk about employees and workers a lot here at CLIP. The best system in the world won’t do you any good if you don’t have people to execute them.
On the flip side, your people can’t perform at their best without good systems. Well, maybe they can, but they’re going to be awfully reliant on you.
And if you’re supporting everyone, when will you have time to hit the beach?
The answer is simple: Never.
Employee systems are key to empowering your people without having to babysit them.
Employee systems ensure lawn maintenance business success.
Scheduling: Write up your strategy and approach to scheduling projects and people. How do you assign people to particular jobs? How do you assemble your crews? Is there a minimum or maximum number of hours or jobs a person can work each week? Do you prefer consistent schedules or shift work?
Anyone should be able to pick up your document and understand your philosophy.
Be sure to include a cancellation policy for different types of weather. Who is responsible for communicating with the customer about a cancellation? How do you handle rescheduling an appointment?
Pay and bonuses: Keep a record of how you determine pay rate and how you pay, be it hourly, salary, or piecework. Include criteria for giving raises and bonuses. When you’re consistent with pay, it’s easier for your employees to make plans. This predictability means they’re more likely to stick around.
Another benefit to consistency in pay: It can prevent resentment between employees.
Remember, it’s illegal in many states to forbid your employees from discussing their pay with each other. If someone finds out they’re earning a lot less than their crewmate, they’re going to have some questions. If you don’t have a good answer, you might have a problem on your hands.
Clear and consistent payment policies can protect you and your team from this type of resentment.
Company policies: Clear expectations make for a smoother working environment. Keep a written record of company policies on vacation time, sick days, and breaks. Also keep a record of how issues like tardiness or customer service complaints are handled.
The result is fair and consistent treatment across the board. Eliminate gray areas and you eliminate—or at least reduce—complaints about unfair treatment.
Job descriptions: Job descriptions should not be ambiguous. Write down the tasks, responsibilities, and necessary qualifications associated with each role. That’ll make it much easier for someone else to handle hiring.
You might also consider a written plan for cross training so it’s easier to cover when someone is out sick. If managers know exactly which team members have certain extra skills, they can handle unexpected changes to the schedule.
Lawn maintenance business success systems need accessible data.
If your system is just a pile of disorganized papers, no one can use it. And you can’t get to the beach.
Once you’ve recorded all your systems and philosophies, save them to a searchable database. Make sure you’re using obvious and intuitive keywords for everyone. That way, your employees can search for what they need rather than having to chase you down for answers.
You can choose between a few different options for storing your system documents. Personally, I recommend KnowItAll business software. It was designed for this exact purpose. I should know: I invented it!
But you can also use Google Docs, ShareFile, or something similar.
Next week, we’ll dive into vendor systems.