pull-together-with-piecework-part-1

If you’re like most landscape companies, especially this year, labor is hard to find. And motivating your employees to do that labor is even harder sometimes.

Piecework can help make motivation a non-issue.

We wrote a book on piecework and all of this information and a lot more it’s in there, including how to implement it.

What is piecework and why would you be interested?

Well, piecework is the difference between paying your people by the hour or paying them by the job.

If you pay your folks by the hour, think about what you’re doing.

When you hand them the paycheck, you’re essentially telling them “Hey, the longer you take, the more money I’ll pay you. And, if you can stretch out the work that I’ve given you for this week into more than 40 hours, I’m going to pay you time and a half! That’s right; I’m gonna bonus you for taking longer! Isn’t that nice?”

Well, I’ve been on a couple of walks, and I see other landscape companies and I know which ones pay by the hour.

The one company that I saw just a couple of months ago, the guy was sitting behind a tree texting on his phone while the lawn mower was idling away. I can guess that he’s an hourly guy because he’s making the same money texting on his phone and working.

Don’t you think there’s a problem with that?

You may think that this is the way it always is. It’s the way everybody pays. But, it doesn’t have to be.

That’s what this blog is all about — is to try to improve and try to do things a little bit differently.

In CLIP it’s very easy to pay using Piecework.

You have a man-hour rating for every single job. The crew members do the work. They accumulate man-hours throughout the whole day. If there are two on a crew, you split whatever man-hours they produce in half, and each one of them gets half of that.

Let’s say there are two people out there and let’s say they bust their butts, and they get it all done, and they get 20 hours at the end of the day. That means each one of them is going to be owed 10 of those man-hours. Some people call them credits, and it might be easier to refer to that way.

Therefore, each of them gets 10 of these credits.

The foreman might be paid $14 per credit and helper might be paid $12 per credit, so that means that the foreman gets $140 and the helper gets $120.

It doesn’t matter how long it took or what time they left the shop. How long they took to load the truck or drive to their first job is irrelevant. It doesn’t even matter if they had a breakdown.

All that matters is the quickness and quality of the work.

That’s exactly the way you are charging your customers.

Your customer doesn’t watch you and knows how long it took you or how far your shop is away or anything. They don’t care about any of that. All they care about is the quickness and quality of the work.

Did the grass get cut, was it trimmed right, did you edge the beds, or whatever it is that you do. And once that job is done the customer then owes you the money and pays you.

You’re offering the same deal to your employees by saying “As long as you get these jobs done I am going to pay you for them and I’m gonna pay you for each job.”

What that does to your company immediately is; everybody changes their attitude as to how they approach work.

Your crew starts to approach the work in the same way you do. They want to take care of the equipment better than you do and make good decisions so that they don’t lose money. With Piecework in place, every time they go out there and they make a terrible decision or have a breakdown, it just costs them money.

And what are they able to do with that?

Nothing.

When you start paying the same way that you get paid, everything changes in your company.