Welcome to today's mastermind group and what we're going to be talking about today is almost the key to growing your business. Phil would you say that this is a key key element to the growth of a very fast and often overlooked one.
We're very eager to get that first improve. Nothing feels better than hiding. Finding and hiring the right-hand man that leader that you're hopefully going to develop. Today we're going to talk about the written part of the job description.
The key things that you want to outline and we're going to make an extra emphasis we're going to put extra emphasis on your not hiring somebody to fit to accomplish tasks we want you to hire somebody for the outcomes that you want. And this is what's going to create longevity in an employee. This is what's going to provide the direction that they need and clearly outlined by the person that it is not just you have to be able to lift this much weight or accomplish these tasks. That's easy. We're going to help. This document is going to help you land the right person with the right skill set that can last for many many years within your company.
Exactly. Now this person that we're talking about the project foreman is a person you should invest heavily in because this is the person that's going to remove you from the field. That is the key is of critical because when you remove yourself from the job sites and you really like it first be like what do we do what do I do. And pretty soon you're going to find out I never want to go back and look you. I never want to show up. I would rather do anything besides show up on their job site because I can make so much more money doing other things in my business than actually accomplishing the projects that I have to do on the job sites. That's This person needs to be able to take that heart that massively important component entirely over and make it so you don't have to worry about it.
You don't want to have to go oh is he doing it right. What does he do. No you won't be able to not think at all about what this person that's like you have to invest heavily time money patience training. This is the guy that once you have him trained then you should worry that he leaves [00:04:30] Yes.
Yes absolutely. You're going to love what we have put together for you today and it is once you. Once you read this is what is going to free up all that time. That is too soon. This is answer so many questions for businesses that are operating at$50000 to$200000. So we're here to help you get that person employ and do it the right way. And this is [00:05:00] going to become a template for everything else. Every other hire that you make is going forward with salespeople and with office managers this is going to build the foundation for how you do that. This is the secret. And the key to growing your business.
Awesome. So let's get into it.
So we're talking about writing a job description for it for a project Foreman and THIS is the part that I don't want. I want to simplify it [00:05:30] and I don't want you to get hung up on this concept of title but if I do need to stress that it is important the wording that you use. So I've laid out a lot of potential titles that you'll see from Project form crew later. I have my personal favorite I like Project foreman. I'm very hesitant to use the word manager. You're not. It's not there yet. When you have a lead it doesn't mean they won't ever grow into a man. It's just a different mindset when you call [00:06:00] somebody a manager. It's more of a hands off mindset more of a supervisory role. And when you're looking for your first key employee it's important that they do a lot of things that a manager will do because eventually you want them to become there but they need to be working too.
And so this whole concept is going to be a balance of leading them to be a manager. You're there to develop them and to grow them into this manager type role. But the air ability to physically work in the field. It's also [00:06:30] a real big balance of time. So you're going to need to pick a title. There are some titles that are geared a little bit more towards maintenance companies and some titles that are getting a little bit more towards design build companies. So I've listed some of those here so just take your time and pick a title at the bottom you'll notice an operations manager don't go too big with your title.
You don't want to make it too grandiose because again you're going to end up getting somebody that might be capable of that but you're not ready for that yet. If this is your first [00:07:00] major hire or are you the first person that's going to be in this type of position. Pick a title that fits eventually and we're going to talk in an upcoming web in our about flowcharting about putting together flowcharts of you know where you're at from top down or bottom and you're going to love that webinars. I'll say for another day. But for now just pick a title that best suits that position.
But this is our make sure that the people watching right now understand how important the title is because they get the person that you're applying this title [00:07:30] to. That's what they do. They take home with them. That's what they tell their friends. That's what their whole family sees as their position. And that title leads to expectations. That title can be abused and I like the fact that Phil points out project manager I want to take. I want to dwell on this for a moment because project manager is not recommended because of the expectations that that sets up and Phil is 100 percent [00:08:00] on the DA when he says that leads to more of a hands off type of situation to the point where I had a project foreman and I mis labeled him as a project manager because this was back when I was young and dumb and you know just learning all of the ropes and I came out to one of my job sites and he was sitting in the truck warming up we were all the guys were out there working and he didn't see me walk up [00:08:30] and I knocked on the window and I said What are you doing.
This is why I'm studying plants now like your study plans out there you study plans with the guys you take the guys with you when you study plants. Everybody's on the same page. You don't get to sit in the truck and warm up because you're a project manager. And that led to abuse of the role. And that is something that is is potentially could happen no matter what you do matter what title you pick so pick wisely [00:09:00] and make sure you set those parameters.
I think we're ready for that. So it's important to always start with that description. I mean this is going to kind of be your summer. Your overview of what this job is about. Explain just briefly you don't have to get rewarded with this. Just explain why the position is important. So that's what we're doing here. Now this person is a key liaison between customers employees and management. And that's [00:09:30] the truth.
This person is so critical and so important. He's the one who's going to be the glue between the messenger and the sale that you made in the promises you made to your customer. This is the guy that you're expecting to make sure that the crew keeps those promises. And this is a guy that's going to be accountable for that. So you want to make sure that he knows how pivotal and how important it is in not in a threatening Bosie on your ass type of way. This is hey [00:10:00] I'm here to give you this information so you can develop and you can understand how crucial it is. Because that is where your real value is going to come from and you can grow with our company into a manager as we grow if you do your job right. I'm going to be able to take other people coming up through my company and turn them into your position so you can be into the next position. So that's the whole point of this.
You know they failed you. You're so key. This is the face of your company. [00:10:30] This person really you've got to pick him very carefully because I've had a number of project forment come and go from my company. And remember I said a project foreman is a major investment in time and a lot of the times you've got a project Foreman go because maybe they come into the company with an amazing set of skills. Be aware of that because when this person comes in with a set of skills they come in with [00:11:00] a set of probably a sort of an attitude that they're you know they've they've they've they've accomplished this and they've done this. And I had one gentleman come into the company and tell me how amazing of an equipment operator he was and how many projects he's ran and how many union jobs he's been out day.
I'm laughing along with you. And we were just doing a very simple pool demolition project. And at the time the person [00:11:30] was heading up the show. Now there were two problems with this whole scenario. The first problem is on this full demolition he called me and said this job can't be done by anybody. This job has to dry out. I'm leaving for the afternoon. He called his own shots. He took off. No I've left my project Foreman. Call the shots if the weather isn't right or whatever I don't micromanage that decision. But I was curious. This was new. I was curious why it was what was making the conditions so rough. I went out to the [00:12:00] job site Phil. I hopped in the skid loader and by three o'clock I had finished the project.
Didn't tell. It came back the next morning. He looked around saw the job was done something that couldn't be couldn't be done by anybody in the state where he described it. This is what did you do. I said I just finished the job. Simple as that. And so and so the second problem with this person was how he interacted with the customers. He didn't give [00:12:30] the customers a warm feeling he gave them the feeling of what a contractor should be like a little bit abrasive a little bit of a go get them type of an attitude. Don't mess with them kind of a guy but that's not what you want. You want. You want that project foreman to make the customer feel very comfortable because they're going after the job is done they're going to remember that feeling that emotion that's an important thing.
And so yeah I agree with that. I would say the model let me just put [00:13:00] out a general general statement here and opinion. The most common situation is that what you just described people hire somebody that has experience they've worked for this back in the other landscape company. They've been in the business for five or ten plus years and they have this attitude and outlook.
I don't know how to put this into exact words. It's just an attitude an air about [00:13:30] them that is abrasive. And if you set in if you pay attention you'll sense that and right away in the interview it's a know it all type of thing. And I know better than new type of attitude. Run run run in the opposite direction from that person. Under no circumstances under any condition I'll tell you why because I've hired these people my friends have hired those people. And every time it ends the exact same way that the customers don't like them. The employees [00:14:00] don't like them. They don't get along. They have this boss mentality they have I can no I know better than you mentality that there has to be a humbleness about the person. I'm not saying a timid person. You can have a strong person assume an aspect of humility and a witch which is an indicator an indicator of a willingness to learn a coachable teachable person that says I know an awful lot.
I certainly don't know at all and I would love to learn [00:14:30] from you. That's the type of person that you are.
Yeah exactly. I love the way you put that film. So let's get on.
Move on. All right so I'm going to give this to you step by step. We're going to go through this each step of the way. And if you follow this protocol you're going to end up with a killer job description.
No one that you're competing against will have this. This will be better than anything else that's out there. So I want you to start by creating a main headaches these headings [00:15:00] are going to describe this position and you're going to see like this is no like one page little thing. This is a big document because it's that important that requires that level of effort. We're going to talk about these different categories how they can manage themselves in their ranks. Look I want them to manage themselves first managing customers employees. Energy management meaning how are you going to deal with me as your boss. And we're going to talk about how having manage their time expense is quality the character skills [00:15:30] and then you always have to include a section that talks about like look if you do these things it's not going to work out.
And the reason that's so important is because in the cases where you do have to terminate employee employees look they are the first ones to come back and sue you for something that you didn't tell them you know. I didn't know this and I wasn't given this information. There's a lot of lawyers out there waiting to go after to support those people and can come after you if you put in what are some grounds for termination [00:16:00] . You will have grounds for termination so if the time comes Were you have to get rid of somebody you're going to have reasons why and you're going to have the very end and talk about a signature that is important.
It's scary but important. It happens. It really is. In fact when you start to investigate you'll find that the law protects the employee and the business are very much so. Yes. And so what about that.
We'll talk about that more in [00:16:30] an upcoming webinars. Let me just throw out one little tidbit. On a side note I make a quick. If you ever have to get let somebody go. Always do an exit interview with a sheet of paper and a signature. If they want to attend the exit interview do it anyway and give them a copy if you have to mail it to to them do it. Exit interview that that outlines here's why I'm letting you go. That way you have some documentation. It helps.
Not the end all but it helps Wow. Fill [00:17:00] that in and of itself is something that is so enlightening for a lot of these guys because they probably don't have a clue what you're talking about with an exit interview. What are the components. So I think we do need to go over an exit interview strategy down the road so that these guys know that when they bring an employee and it's important how you let them go because it's fixed. Long term what happens. So managing self. Let's get into that.
And if you are part of the reason that happens and if you support that happening you're going to create a loyalty and they're going to know like I can go nowhere else where I will get this type of support from my boss from my employer [00:18:30] that that puts this type of emphasis because a lot of owners don't put the lot of owners. I mean we think of ourselves we think of our business like out what you've got going on in your life you're expected to be here now now now and later too. And on the weekends. So keep in mind like the more you pour into that person and allow them to grow the more they're going to be able to pour back in to you.
So they're going to feel like they're going to feel like you care about they're going to feel like they're no [00:19:00] longer they're not a number they're not a faceless nameless just entity working at a big corporation but they're a person and you're fully involved fully invested in their life and that mindframe that's going to make them loyal. That just creates loyalty and that's a huge component of the overall success of the person. More so than the skills they bring in.
Yeah. And what you're seeing here on [00:19:30] on the slide is what you're going to see and I'll just quickly explain what you're seeing in this little tiny diagram. And then these bullet point items is there is a document that we have created that's already in place and written I've shrunk it down to size just so it can fit you can see like there's a huge section on managing yourself and then pulling out bullet points from that section basic So it's like saying basically what this whole giant section is saying are these bullet [00:20:00] points you take care of yourself. Be yourself. And when I say to yourself This is one key that I would like to try to work with people on. It's a skill that I'm always trying to improve upon is making sure people are being themselves because there's no one person ever ready that fits into this position.
Some people have people have different personalities you don't want them to come to work and try to pretend to be a bossy direct person if they're more of a nice guy. Let him be a nice guy. You can [00:20:30] still be very effective in this position to make sure that they are where like I want you to show up. Don't pretend to talk. You don't have to talk like me. You don't have to talk like the employees talk. Just be who you are and in your most genuine self be professional. Be responsible. So responsibility. Yeah I do expect you to show up everyday on time and do your job. You know always there are exceptions to certain things but this is just talking about how to [00:21:00] manage yourself with put it first because as I believe it's the most important section in their lives.
Exactly. So. Yeah. Yup nuff said. It's so important. I want to repeat one of the things you said. What we are looking at when we look at these slides is your summation of everything that you've got on that page to the right.
So the left is just the bullet points to the right is the actual data.
And this is going to be available to the ghauts that they [00:21:30] if they really and they should look at this because remember this is the key role in your company. This is the most important role besides yourself as far as I'm concerned. This role takes you out of the field and puts you where you're going to actually make money. And if you don't have this role nailed down you're not you don't know what you're going to be getting. So that's important.
Managing customers. [00:22:00] I've got the document when I look when I look off to the side here. I actually have this doctor with in front of me and when I talk about managing customers you know this is one of my. He let me just as an overview as a as a bird's eye view. This is this whole thing is designed to give back to first of all most people a lot of companies don't even do this. They just hire that person. They There's even if you've taken the time to interview [00:22:30] to ask the right questions to hire effectively there are so many expectations that what I'm doing is bringing those together. This document is critical. I'm letting them know what the expectations are. I go through things like answer questions.
Introduce yourself so introduce yourself in here you're going to have a section that talks about and I'll read it to you it says you will be required to introduce yourself to all customers shake hands and leave them with your contact information including cell phone and encourage them to contact you with [00:23:00] questions comments or concerns they may have. This must be done prior to or on the first day of the job.
You would think that that you don't think anything is common so don't think like I can't believe you can think of to do this. Just tell them tell them and now the expectations out there. I want you to introduce yourself. I want you to shake hands with him. I want you to. Don't let them wear sunglasses. I had a guy do this one time that we wore sunglasses I'm like oh my god do take those sunglasses off. You don't want to look like a chips Cantarella [00:23:30] .
Speaker 5: For those of you all of them I just think you've made a minor point. But I have the same conversation with guys when you're meeting a customer. Eye contact you can't make eye contact with a customer. Eye contact is the first step to trust. And I guess and get eye contact. Right. Is a little off helpful hint.
I mean I don't know. We should just do a weapon with stand in slow motion. But that alone is worth it worth a mastermind program.
I'm back. OK. My point was when you're making eye contact [00:25:00] don't just stare without breaking the gaze because now you're a creeper. Stuff that's just long enough that you can notice the color of their eyes and then you look away. You don't want to penetrate them because you are going to give them goosebumps. So that's what I was trying to do I guess it came out for me. So anyway that was my point.
Well in and in this section it's not you know this is the reason why there's so much frustration with that [00:25:30] lead employee. It's never I mean it's a no brainer like if a guy shows up on a job and loses$5000 you're going to get rid of him. But it's always these little things that earn you in either way you would not. It's not the big things. Most people won't screw up that big. Most people are going to do things like drive you nuts like people leave this cabin shake hands he didn't and a customer will call you and say like I tried to reach your guy but I don't even have his cell phone number. And then you just get angry. That's a first which [00:26:00] you believe you don't have a cell phone. Did you ever tell him that this is part of his job.
Shake hands. It is right here in the document. I want you to introduce yours. This is how a proper. I don't care if you have 20 years experience at another company at my company. We make proper or nations with our clients. We reach out Shake hands introduce trade phone numbers you know trade phone numbers. It creates a bond between you. Now you are the face transferred owner some ownership. So I think sell I can go do my office work [00:26:30] I can get my more these things done. And now you are effectively taking over not just hoping that you're going to do the right things and this document will walk you through a couple of other things that are really important here. I talk about a job journal throughout this document I talk about keeping a job journal.
There has to be some record keeping ability for this person and this is where it gets critical to balance get don't sit in a truck all day keeping records. But I do want you to note certain things and I have them all written [00:27:00] out here. Anything that comes up on the job any problem any complaints any concerns. This is not a scolding journals not something to get you into trouble. It's something to make us better. It's a tool. So record the things that go wrong. Like hey we broke three shovels today I ran them over with my truck and here's how we can not do that again. So this concept of a job journal will show up several times or office document. The other thing that I have trained this person to do right out of the gate because I don't want to do this final walkthrough is I don't need to be [00:27:30] there.
This is something so critical. You've been working on the job day after day. There's no reason I need to show up and do these final walk through. Knock on the door at the end of the job or contact your customer a few hours before the end of the job and say we're going to be finished in round three or four o'clock today. Would you please be available so we can walk through walk through the entire project you'll have there is a form and we sell this form. We have it available. It's a final walkthrough form that they sign off. They give a copy to the copied the client and they keep a copy [00:28:00] and then they collect the money. The final balance is$2000. We can make that check payable do X Y Z landscaping company and then at the very end of it I tell them when they get that check turn it over and write for deposit only on the back of that check and then turn it in at the end of the day tells them exactly what to do how to get the money how to do a final walk through when we hire somebody new.
I'll do this with them two maybe three times. And then that's it. They're on their own. And now they collect the money anyway. It's [00:28:30] it's a beautiful system but it's taken a couple years of effort to have a fine tuned.
And you've got to do that final walkthrough. Some companies miss that. That is your that's your exit strategy because you're going to always have a customer two or three days after the job is done there's going to it's going to randomly just pick up the phone and call you and say hey by the way they missed this spot or something and you [00:29:00] know if they do their final walkthrough and they sign off on it you're in the clear.
I mean you don't like reality you're not in the clear because are misunderstanding and slow and now I think what Stan was saying is in reality you're not in the clear because you're going to end up going back there any way to fix something because that's part of your character and part of your promise [00:29:30] .
I'll go back and. Just say yes in it. This is a this is part of the. This is part of the process that does protect you.
This is part of the process that allows you to have a sheet where at the back yes you're back not really OK so [00:30:30] in the Managing customer search in the you get well I'm I'm I can hear you fine.
All right we're ready to move on I think to managing employees OK all right here we go.
This is you know we're we're covering all the areas of things that are going to need to manage not as a manager but things that need to be managed. That's the key difference here. So what are the [00:31:30] things in here where we talk about being direct and earning respect and taking an interest in interacting. So the first three items here are just how you relate to the employees especially you know in the southeast we have a large Hispanic we are force and you don't just walk in and pretend you're the boss. That is not the point of this and that happens so often it's so common where people walk in and I'm [00:32:00] the boss in immediately all your guys tense up like Who is this guy I work for him or I don't. That's not the point we're I'm talking about things I eat lunch with the guys talk with them.
Work harder than they work. Give it everything you have because you need to set the example and this is where the humility portion of it comes in and you will find a lot of tenured guys people that have been in the industry a while and you hire that person if they can't come in and immediately [00:32:30] humble themselves and respect the work that everybody else is doing. They're not the right person so it's often people come in and they'll their first day or their first week back reporting back to you will say well these guys don't do the job right. These guys don't. And that is a recipe for disaster. So I talk to I talk in this document about you know big big Durer competency through indecision and insecurity. They need to be led.
But if they if they prove [00:33:00] themselves to be leaders then they will have the opportunity to grow with the company as well. I mean that's the whole point is when you're you want to train the people from within to graduate through these different levels. You don't want people just to work work work and then not have any career path. This is what you're offering. Earn their respect. I said unfortunately respect isn't free it's earned it means you need to demonstrate that you're not afraid to dig a hole with a wheelbarrow carry bricks do work that's heavy tiring and not on once they respect you. They will respond to you [00:33:30] and they will listen to you. But it has to be earned. It's not just because you are in this position. So explain things clearly delegate effectively measure performance and be accountable.
Don't blame blaming is the I can't stand it's not my fault because or I didn't have any control over it. And look it's not always about blame it should be accountable be responsible understand where you have the role and where you can do things better [00:34:00] and take accountability for this leadership role that you have.
Well I hope you can hear me OK. That was dead on. Well this is an amazing framework. Absolutely. This is Phil. The framework that you've established with this. I have never seen any where before ever I wish this was available 20 years ago because it's transformational.
Point though is [00:34:30] this sets the framework. This is the guideline. This takes training onsite training hands on training from you the boss to recruit that right person. But once you train that person what you're going to do is you're going to have that person train the next person and because you're going to start hiring within as your company grows. You're not going to take outside foremen and you're going to look at what you have within the organization and promote them up. So although it's going to [00:35:00] take a while for you to find the right person hopefully that person will be able to take over the role of training his position and to the next person down the road. But without this framework you would it would take years longer than having this guideline say no this is what you do. You give them your phone number.
You do this as a boss you've got to have hands on. You got to be able to do this. I mean it sounds simple but it's not it's not simple. It's not it's [00:35:30] all encompassing. And when you find that person you get him in that position you've got him trained. It's going to be like an entire weight is lifted off your shoulders.
It really is simple but not necessarily easy.
So if you think the whole the whole concept this is why people are running out of employees this is why the number one thing complaint among you people every landscaper in the country they're going to say not enough people nationally [00:36:00] . None of them. Do you have this. This is the goal. Part of it. Yes you are going to invest. You're going to invest far more time spinning your wheels and running through a red ball or of employees over and over again than you are if you just say I'm going to just do it for this two first two weeks I'm going to dive in there and work side by side and I'm going to make everything reference back reference back reference back remember the doc and do these things and these are characteristics [00:36:30] these are things that are going to develop the character.
Once an employee knows that you're pouring into them your competition is not doing this. I guarantee your competition is that true. Once they know that you care to this level they're not going to leave your company. You're going to have the right person that's going to grow with your company and they're not currently. There are extenuating circumstances but you're not going to be one that has to experience that very often.
Speaker 6: Your turnover rate is going to sink in your ability to retain skilled people is going to go [00:37:00] through the roof which means you can take on more projects more complex projects and not have to worry about people. And now you can worry about selling growing and being profitable.
Exactly. What's next?
Managing. you're going to have to deal with me you're going to have to deal with stand you have to deal with different people. The owner of the company and they come in all different shapes and sizes and personalities and you see there's this butting heads sometimes [00:37:30] between owners and their four men and their lead guy over things that are completely preventable. I don't want to come out there and blow up. Why did you do this why do you do that. Well you never told me to do that. I expected you knew that but I didn't know that you never said anything or I should should've said something and you should have assumed. Now let's talk about when there's something going on that you and I got to deal with. Here's how you can deal with me and I won't be a crazy fool.
Here's how our list since you now be affected with you let's be not [00:38:00] be honest with management about what you need to be successful. Keep a blog. Write down things that are causing pain throughout the day. This goes back to the job journals like you know what I'm. I'm mad because you expected me back here five o'clock. But every time I come back I'm routed through traffic and traffic on this one particular road is always very heavy so I can't get back to 5:30. You're always mad that I'm up at 5 o'clock. Well keep a lot of that like I've tracked this traffic three days in a row and it's the schools letting out it's such and such a [00:38:30] you know that. Let's pick a different way. Let's allow you to have the 530 let's do something different but keep that keep that communicate that through something in writing voice any concerns or complaints as they arise seek a resolution come armed with not just problems but solutions.
Because my first question to you when you say I have a problem with this is where do you think we should do it. Because I want to get them thinking I want to get them generating the same ideas I generate [00:39:00] because the more they think the less I have to think for them. The point of this is that they grow into a position where they know all the decision criteria for everything right at some point down the road you want them to be able to make decisions. Because isn't that what you do all day. You make decisions and sometimes you make really small little decisions for people that could make them for you if you just let them know how that decisions got me. You know I decided that were only going to have three people on our crew [00:39:30] instead of four for the next week because here's why we're doing a small job there's not enough work for four people.
You start to talk through it so they can make these decisions for you. So you're teaching them and have kind of an old capital letters with Asterix how to make a decision. It's an issue and we're going to talk to them about the math.
What's the managing management. Phil this is something that most people aren't even aware of is that you've got to be able [00:40:00] to have a plan to how you talk to the higher ups how you talk to the boss and you're actually teaching the employee your project Foreman how to communicate with you. Yes. Yes. That's beautiful. Yes.
Because you know that if you don't here's what you're going to get. You're going to get calls after dinner because that's when the crew's finishing up their jobs you're at home and eating dinner with your family and they're cleaning up a job site and blowing it off. [00:40:30] You didn't panic cause firewalls were out of dirt. We we were two yards short on March. And you're going to think you're going to the first feeling you're going to feel is anger because our tendency is to want to blame.
We are too young. I mean we're two yard short amount. Now I'm just finding out at 6:30 you know we waited all day long you couldn't look at them after noon and decide you had half a pile left and you still have three quarters of the yard to finish. And you know you think these things in your head. Now I want you to pause [00:41:00] and I want you to go back and say Did I ever teach them how to look at the pile of mulch when it's halfway done. How to evaluate this goes back to how to make a decision. Well if you're doing a job with 20 yards of mulch when you get to 10 yards you should be halfway done. If you have more than half way to go you're going to be short. If you have just 100 square feet to go you're order too much the time to make a decision is better at noon or 1:00 p.m. than it ever will be [00:41:30] at 6:00 p.m. when your phone's ringing and your family is looking at you like why you have to answer the phone I just walk and you don't want to avoid that.
It's all preventable if you put together the right plan for now.
I got a call last night at 9:15 at night. Now we're on the reverse schedule because of snow snowplowing and one of the guys was concerned about one of the pieces of equipment to get repaired. I was doing but I was in that same position where I'm just like it's 9:15 [00:42:00] at night. Why am I even answering the phone. Hours of operation exist. And we will talk about that down the road. Hours of establishing hours of operation. But you are so correct. A lot of times these guys are reactive not proactive. We had that conversation before but we're just going to going to touch base on it when they react if they run out of something and then they respond to it when they're proactive. They see the problem coming down the pipeline. And then they they head off [00:42:30] at the past and they come up with a solution before the problem even occurs.
So it when it's six o'clock at night comes they have already got the most that they need ordered and it's going to be delivered the next day. And the only phone call they should be making to you is I hope your dinner is good boss. The only phone call they should be making to you is the next morning saying hey boss managing management Hey but we had to order an extra two yards of dirt. I've got confirmation from the customer [00:43:00] that we're going to be installing additional mulch and it's a change or. And so they're already up so doing the job for you. That's the difference from our trained project manager that knows what they're doing because they follow the format that you were giving them right here and somebody that hasn't had the good fortune of having that training.
One of them calls you at 6:00 o'clock at night says we need more material [00:43:30] for tomorrow and you've got three or four guys sitting around the clock not accomplishing anything to them. Comes in and another one has sold the job and has already placed the order for the additional product.
That's right and you know what happens so often is we get to three four those calls and we get frustrated and we end up firing the person or they get frustrated and they end up quitting. And their true source the root of the problem is never addressed. And so we repeat the cycle with somebody new [00:44:00] and somebody new. And then we get to three four times this happens to us and all of a sudden we're hesitant to grow or we've decided I don't want to grow my company because it doesn't work there's no good people. And you realize like if you just take a few steps back and you go into the training portion of this in the coaching you know remember you're not a part you more of a coach if you can be more of a coach and a mentor and a leader you'll be a whole lot less of a possibly more go through the cycle any more.
So we talk about managing our time and [00:44:30] this is this is important. This is where we're going to really differentiate between you not sitting in the truck. I know I'm giving you things like documenting and not talking to the homeowners and you know working with the guys. But I mean we want you. It's important that this person does effectively manage time. And this is if there's any section out of here that is never left up to common sense it is managing time. You have to teach people how to manage time. In fact you have to do it. I mean I can tell you 16 years into the business [00:45:00] I am still learning new ways to manage my own time. I'm still not always allocating my time to the things that I really should or ought to be so.
Managing time is a kind of a lifelong process so the more you can help them learn how to do that the better. So when I talk about managing time keep a calendar and the calendar is like this is like the most basic thing. What are you doing at every point during your working hours and it could be. I mean now I make calendars had to be paper stuff back [00:45:30] when I started the business. Now Google Calendar share it. I mean you know there is a thousand different apps and different time trackers. We don't know what the next day looks like before the next day starts you should know what the next week looks like before the next week starts. So in advance you should have a calendar.
You know Bob is going to be on this job site from 8 to 12. He's got one customer he's got to go put two plants in from 12 to 1 he's going to eat lunch from 1 to 130 and then he's going to be back on this other job [00:46:00] site for the rest of the afternoon and back at the shop. Everybody needs that type of direction. So you want to have them keep a calendar document their progress record their daily activity every little minute detail I don't want them sitting all day with a notebook but I want to know like how we're looking for deviations. How was your day planner and how did it actually get finished. And we want them to match it's not a babysitting tool. You're not a watchdog [00:46:30] when you're trying to be effective with your time.
We should do the same thing. I mean managing time applies to all of us as well. I mean we should. You know I plan to do these three appointments but then I got this call and then I got you know routed over here. So we're just trying to help them be better with their time. Look for inefficiencies. I love it. This is my favorite thing. I will reward all of my guys when they find something inefficient. Hey we it you know years ago it was with them for us it was like dumping foreman came to me and he's like you know we waste a lot [00:47:00] of time. We have all this trash left over at the job and then I get to drive the truck to the dump. And we decided this was many years ago when we realized like you know it's a lot better for small container put a put a 12 yard put a 20 yard container on the job.
It costs a little bit more but the time that we save is huge there. Ter and of inefficiencies on the job and you should make everybody in your in your on your team aware to look out for them and if they bring [00:47:30] you something give them a box give them a$50 gift card buy them a dinner you know reward them for saving money and to look for them and they should always be suggesting improvements just like I said in that last part. I've got it over here somewhere. Now talk about things in this document you know determine if a smaller one or two man crew can start or prep jobs for several days. You know this is a whole nother can get in to on a later.
In fact I'm going to make a whole web are on [00:48:00] this. We've done it very successfully. We have pre-cruise and we have Arkenstone crews. When you're running a design build company you tend to like you know what kind of form crew and I only need three men to stay but I'm going to tell one guy to go home so we just four guys out there with this little bit you know keeping this one guy busy. There's opportunities for better efficiencies if you have a prep crew someone that goes out that snaps string lines spray paint the yard trenches everything out gets things that your site prepped and I can have one or two guys walk around go around to different jobs preparing [00:48:30] it for the 3 to 4 me and crew. We'll talk about that later. But that's part of this. Managing time and what this person can bring to the table that's a very interesting concept.
I don't personally do that. So that's something that you and I are not going to be seeing eye to eye on because I think that whoever starts a job has some right go through it all the way through and end the job. That's been my experience so I'd like to [00:49:00] learn more about what you're talking about with the crew. As far as managing time I don't think that's something that you'll ever master but you've got to start. I don't think you'll ever going to be able to get to the point where you're done managing time because you're always going to find a better way to do it because there's always going to be something coming up. Some of these other things managing customers managing management and those things those things can be accomplished those things can get to the point where it's almost a very fluid intuitive and there are little little [00:49:30] tweaks but with managing time.
That is one of the biggest variables and it's always changes from day to day so you're always going to find a better way to do it although you have two systems in place you're going to always find that you've got to modify those systems so they're going to be working systems. So there are going to be as the day goes by are going to have to change things and find a better way to do it for that very specific job because we're out working at McDonalds. We always have something different going on in how you manage time is going to be reflective of what's occurring and the conditions [00:50:00] of that job for that day. GREGORY All right
Project expenses and quality you know this is part of the final walkthrough before you do a final walk through with a homeowner you should do a final walkthrough as the representative of the company. You've got to go through this this job and I talk very very specifically in this when we talk about them to be a couple examples [00:50:30] of structural integrity. You know here's a few examples drainage in all situations is accounted for and all projects are properly drained to protect against water damage walls requiring Geo grid must have geo grid in the right lengths in the right locations. It goes on. New lines must be prepped in the correct manner so as not to cause high and low spots you are looking for the integrity of the project. We need to be able to it because when I'm out there when I make certain promises promises I know I Kinki.
But I know that the promises [00:51:00] I'm making are delivering more value than what my competition is doing now. I can't look like a fool. I came here my crew come in and not fulfill on these promises. So this is all true. Let me just be very clear. This document is not a Bosie document. This isn't like do this or else. This is like we're doing this together. I am your resource. We are going to communicate really effectively so you understand what is expected of you. I want and I'm going to give [00:51:30] it to you. And that's what this is all about. At the end of a job. Towards the end of the job not at the end. Actually during the middle and towards the end you're looking to make sure did we do this to the quality that my company insists on not to the just you know as a customer happy to do it the way we promised we'd do it.
How does it all look aesthetically. Know I give you a good example of this. Let's say you're installing plant material and you have a row of 12 screaming trees. I am a nut. [00:52:00] This is where I live. I don't actually don't think I'm a nut but I am not about spacing on stuff. If they are 7 feet 8 inches on center put them seven feet eight inches on center take a tape measure. I don't want you to walk in with your foot measure with the end of a shovel. Cause I don't want to fight. I can tell you that I can see when they're two inches off.
It's visually to me. I see it I show up two inches off. It looks goofy. So let's make sure that they're all on center. There's no reason to get mad when I ask [00:52:30] you to move them. We shouldn't even get to the point we have to move them a tape measure solves the problem instantly. Track the labor hours. This is going. This is critical labor hour tracking is how we're going to be able to build our estimates in the future. This is in I'm going to talk about timesheets and in doing this but start time and time lunchtime drive time. There's a few real simple ways to do this. I have great timesheets that we can make available to you and we'll talk more about that track the material expenses. [00:53:00] This is kind's kind of probably will come on Day One but this is where you're really growing this person into eventually as this person does grow from a foreman to a manager they are going to start keeping.
By the time you're a manager they are tracking all the expenses at the foreman level they're probably not doing it as intensely as you but you want to start developing them for that so that they can say like gosh you know we've got some overages on this job. We had a pallet of material leftover record downtime. Anything [00:53:30] that happens a machine breaks down you know a delivery is late. I need to know about that because we can correct it so it doesn't happen again. It's not a punishment tool it's a tool for improvement. And again it goes back to the job of journal keeping keeping all this in one concise location so at any given time on a Wednesday if I say hey you know let's have a meeting let's catch up and see where we're at.
Can you bring your job down to the job journal because you don't really. I can tell you I can barely remember what I did two days ago. It's hard. Things are moving so fast. [00:54:00] A journal keeps it in one concise location and you can reference.
Yes. Inala. Well you know I'm just so impressed because this is transformational.
This whole document that you've put together is absolutely the difference between the guy that Chuck in his truck and the guy that is actually in business for the long haul.
This really shows the level of commitment and quality [00:54:30] beyond winging it.
Yes. This is not a lick and stick document.
This is bare bones. My expectations your expectations what has to be done. What we're all accountable for on this. Absolutely love that you're taking the time to put this together for us today. So thank you for that.
You're welcome. I'm passionate about it because this is the document I use in my company. I'm passionate about it because [00:55:00] this is the document I created from scratch and I'm passionate about it because it's all of my mistakes learn from melded into this. I wrote if you see these things written now it's because at some point I hit a wall that this was the problem. And so I documented it and put it in. And this is why I know your competition isn't using it because I'm today. I think the only one that's using it and this [00:55:30] is really one of the first times it's ever become available and it's a great it's worked. I mean I can tell you this in this document grew it started off as a couple of pages and then it grew and grew and grew as my company grew and it became necessary.
Speaker 8: So talk about character skills and you'll notice so far throughout this whole document. I haven't talked about what they need to know about PVC pipe fitting and what how fast they can run down a 14 inch diamond saw and [00:56:00] how many feet they can or how many acres they can mow at a time. This isn't what this is what that stuff is easy. This stuff is the stuff where you'll get stumbled upon. So as far as that character you need somebody that is dependable trustworthy accountable. Now let me just talk about this for one second. Here's the other stick. Here's the other point that I see people make mistakes on. They spend time interviewing. They talk to the person they get a good gut feeling about the person they might introduce him to their spouse they might [00:56:30] introduce him to leave another person at the company but they don't check references that it never occurred.
They get this great person that's got all these years of experience. Ask yourself the question if you're so good why are you not still at your last company why did that end. And you might be the person that your competition is so excited to get rid of it might be that they might just be sick like go somewhere else. This guy is telling you like I worked for you [00:57:00] know Jones landscaping for seven years. They didn't appreciate me. These are cues these are trigger words. They didn't appreciate me. There's two sides to every single story. If they work for Jones landscaping company for seven years you better get on the phone with Mr. Jones himself and say hey I'm about to hire this guy.
I understand he worked for you can you tell me a little bit about his experience and what he did. If you get a brief answer that says he worked from April of 2007 [00:57:30] to July of 2002 you know 14 and that's all I'm willing to tell you. I don't like him. He's happy that you have him now. So just be cautious about that because if you have somebody that good would you let them go would you not show them appreciation you would. So sometimes you're not always so you want to hire to these character are accountable dependable and trustworthy those are the three things you're looking for. And those are not always that easy. That's what we say take your time and hiring somebody because it takes [00:58:00] a little bit of homework to really learn. People can convince you with a with a smile and the right amount of persuasion the right amount of words in the first interview that they are accountable dependable trustworthy.
It takes a little bit of homework and digging and diving in and now with social media you can do a lot of research on people. You look at their social media account. Look at the types of words they use the who they interact with. Take advantage of all of that because bigger companies do the exact same thing when they're hiring.
Fail [00:58:30] my competition hired one of my project Farman away from me. Can you hear me OK. You know and I was so happy. I was just like yes. And they never checked with me because I would have had to been honest. OK. So then my competition called me up because I know the guy pretty well my competition pretty well why cooperate with my competition. It caused me to stand I got to be honest with you. I hired away one of your guys. And I'm like [00:59:00] OK because I didn't know who had hired him away I just knew he was going somewhere else and I sure was not trying to hold on to that. And he's like that was the worst thing I ever did. Nothing like that. Tell me a little bit more later. And he says I put him in a skid loader and it was a brand new machine. And he packed it right into one of my bulldozers and smashed the whole back end of it up and out.
This was the same guy Phil.. They couldn't finish the job because it was you know to let nobody [00:59:30] in. Nobody could finish it up and I went three hours and coppers this was that exact same guy. This was the exact same guy that was abrasive to my customers. This was a guy that was marginal at best marginal at best. He had the skills to accomplish that product but he didn't have the character that I wanted to work with on a day to day basis and he didn't have the ability to interact with my customers the way that I wanted him to. I would I would have gone for on the skill set [01:00:00] to get the interaction the ability to communicate with my customers and stay since my competition never checked with me.
They never asked how he was and they got him and he he called me up said Hey can I come back to work for you. I had a call whenever I felt I got the message. Just like returning that phone call. Grounds of turbinates [01:00:30] . Oh man.
You know this is often the most assumed category. I mean I assume if you're disrespectful to my customers that I'm going to fire this and also all the reasons why you will get dragged into court by an ex-employee that says he didn't fire me because of that either. You know it's discrimination and it's you know poor employing practices. [01:01:00] Anybody can sue anybody for anything whether you win or not. But it is a different story. But they can make your life very painful. In fact they can make it more painful after their employment excuse me after their employment than during their employment. If you can even imagine that. So don't set yourself up for a problem and I'm not saying this is the end all it's going to eliminate every problem. But if you have a document that has their signature on it when they're hired and you've given them at least the basic [01:01:30] overview of all the grounds for termination then you're going to have some leg to stand on if you the time comes when you have to get rid of.
And some of these are going to seem very obvious. But I will tell you that the majority of companies don't ever give a document like this to two unemployed. So you should give it to. This should be in every employee every employee that you have working for you should have some sort of job description and a section that's grounds for termination. So obvious the [01:02:00] obvious ones are here. Cell phone misuse. I will tell you that is often one of the most common aggravations to a boss a guy you show up and you use. You see it coming down the street you've just turned the corner.
The house is about four houses down. You see the guy right there. And then you pull up and then it's like a quick phone goes away like that he sees you out of the corner of his eye. Look at these cell phones.
I mean they've they they capture our hearts news feed Facebook updates everybody wants to check them all the time [01:02:30] . This is why in another document that's actually available on that we put out a few weeks ago on the Facebook mastermind group was that was the employee handbook within that document. There is a cellphone policy. So here you're saying cell phone misuse. Now another document that you've given them a separate thing is that is the company handbook that has a cell phone policy. And I say right there with the exception of emergency phone calls Look if you got an emergency take the phone call [01:03:00] or if you've got an urgent if your grandmother is sick and she wants to say hello would you take the phone call. I'm not even going to blow up if you know you're calling your wife. You know once they enter you send a text message but chill like I you are not going to sit on my jobs and just scroll through your phone and just talk endlessly and call it work time.
It's not going to happen. So the mystery company vehicles this is another huge thing. I had an employee years ago he was in the middle of a divorce and his family his wife had [01:03:30] moved to a town that was about 65 miles away and every night when he got off work he would drive 65 miles to go see his child. And 65 miles back at the end of the day and he had a company fuel cart and it was just blew up. I mean horrendous amounts of fuel consumption and at that time it didn't have a. This is why that situation is why I have a company vehicle policy all again available in the Hamba [01:04:00] which you got to have these things documented.
We're doing a lot of the work for you in this that you got to have that side jobs. I explain to everybody about side jobs was one of the first conversations I will have with a new employee on the first day of work I may not say so much during an interview but by the time you get to work the first ever say look you're going to be tempted there's going to be times customers going to come. A neighbor is going to come across the street and say hey you guys mine taken out four or five bushes for me and you're going to be really tempted to say Sure do it [01:04:30] for 75 bucks on the side. The reason this is an absolute never you cannot do it is because if anything happens it's on you.
Your the one that's liable to your turns that your company name it's your company T-shirts and stuff happens. So you must make it clear that they are not allowed to take side jobs. What you want to encourage them and reward them for selling additional works if a neighbor walks over. Teach them how to make the sale and pay them a little bit of a commission on that sale make sure that they get rewarded for it [01:05:00] . But don't take my chainsaw and go do the work for this guy and having pay a the firebox it will never be worth it and I will be found out. So that goes right into stealing jobs. And overall just being irresponsible and dependable. That sounds basic but you really want to watch out for this most.
After the 60 or 90 day period when they start showing up a little bit later and this is not going to be blatant things it's going to start off as being five minutes late. Twenty five minutes will turn [01:05:30] into seven minutes late would turn into seven minutes late and then they left the job eight minutes early. And this is going to graduate over time. Want to stop it right away. Here's the start. Here's the time. And let's have a conversation.
First time it goes a couple of minutes over and feel. I've heard every single one of these but the ones that really stand out the most company vehicle misuse is rampant. OK. That is one of those things where I was on I was driving down the road on a Sunday and here [01:06:00] comes one of my trucks facing me and he's parked across from me at a stop sign and I call him up and going How's work going today. We don't work on Sunday. So you know and he's like oh I'll just move in the truck I'm like yeah I know you were.
And then I gone up to my trucks at the other time and looked in the backseat and seen a baby carrier in the back. Mean this is over the course of years I have literally had had the entire brand of vehicles decimated and destroyed by being abused [01:06:30] for personal use. So the company that is one of the things they will always try if you assign a company truck to him that is one of the things that will get abused almost almost guaranteed if you don't have a policy in place. Second thing. Job. Your customers are going to actually go up and go to your employees and ask them to do side jobs because they think they're going to get a better deal. And sometimes your plays are going to do that. I've had [01:07:00] plenty of employees take an inside job to the point Phil where I've had employees take on site jobs and use my tools and equipment just like you describe.
And I'd call them up so what do you do it. Well I'm doing a side job. OK well you've got my saw I mean if it's a side job on a weekend and it's not anything to do with my work I can't stop them from doing that. That's the personal free time right.
But I've had them actually say to me yeah you get your saw back [01:07:30] when I'm done with this job.
No no no. Jack Black and that's not happening. No not happening. So it's it's very common Absolutely very common.
All right. Lastly I don't mean to say much about this but you've got to get a signature. They've got to sign this document. It is this [01:08:00] is critical if what you do you have these employees that work for you. You get a file folder expandable file folder or something cheap at the office at OfficeMax or staples and you put their name on it. And these are your employees and you keep those record for ever not three years and get rid of. You keep these employee records for ever. Everything has a document. It sounds like a lot of work. It's not it's it's actually. This is what a different this is what we say when we say it's simple [01:08:30] but it's not easy. It's simple and it's so simple I go here and get a signed document. Genomic companies out there have no records of their employees no sign documents no cell phone policy sign no company came back signed this.
And if you do these things you will be in the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent of companies and you will set yourself up for insane amounts of success because of all these little tiny details that are paying attention to [01:09:00] and you're not going to have that revolving door of employees and they're going to value that value because they've been other companies they've worked for other people they're like I never got anything like this. Thank you. This is really a cool thing that you're doing and you're going to feel proud and you're in THE PEOPLE THAT WORK FOR YOU ARE GOING. They know now your company is different than every other company. They know not to leave because this is the best thing to come around in landscaping.
Yeah. This is [01:09:30] the separation from truck in the truck. There's no note. No worries about being truck in a truck. But you good you're going to graduate up and this is what you need is something like this to get the next step. Absolutely. Now this is available at university right now.
Yes. This is six or six page document.
It has a place to receive and it is backwards. Put your logo here put your contact information here [01:10:00] . These documents ready to go. Logo contact information and if you want to we've given you all the steps to create this on your own so there's no problem with that. If you have the time and the energy in the draft you get a word document out and we can type all this on your own you've got the basic main highlights of every section of this if you want to make it super simple and super easy. You can download it. It's not very much money. Put your logo on contact information stack and it's ready to go. Tomorrow you can start having people sign [01:10:30] . You can make a few minor tweaks change the title and call it crew leader or change the title and call it Labor. You know the labor just in you can change some of the descriptions because a lot of the keys and the fundamentals are going to be the same across the board.
It doesn't matter what size your company is. Because this document is fully functional to grow as your company grows because this will work for you if you have just one employer two employees coming in and this sets the stage of your expectations [01:11:00] .
This sets the stage of with that you are an official company and you're going to the next level or if you're already an established company and you're doing a half a million to a million dollars in business I'll tell you straight up companies that are half million to a million dollars two million dollars. They don't deserve five million dollars that don't have this kind of documentation in place.
And if you are growing to that stage if you're getting three four five or even 10 guys on board you're going to need something like this to [01:11:30] protect yourself to set the standards for what you expect from your people that are coming in to set the entire framework the entire guideline. This document is going to pay for itself probably in the first week when you start to see that the the grounds of termination cell phone misuse the grounds of termination don't drive in my freakin truck to go pick up your kids at daycare after school.
I mean seriously [01:12:00] this is something that I have never seen before.
And you have made this available film. Kudos to you. Kudos to you. Good thanks.
If you have questions about it posted to the Facebook group send us a message and let us know what your questions are. But otherwise it's pretty straightforward and self-explanatory.
So that document Plus the employee handbook [01:12:30] is available at dirt monkey University dot com.
And those those two those two documents set yourself apart and having documentation is the difference from just going at it and looking at stick in it and winging it and going at it with a solid game plan and a future and something that everybody get on board and ride together you know exactly where they're headed and not be scattered all over.
That's right. That's right. [01:13:00] And our handbook I think is maybe right.
I want to say$49 if I'm not mistaken another. And it's there's a mountain of information in that handbook. It covers just about everything. So take a look at that.
And again let us know if you have questions what that employee handbook felt that covers every employee that's not just a project foreman that that is every single employee that comes into your company should have an employee [01:13:30] handbook because it protects you the owner if it takes you the boss it sets up the expectations just like this document sets them up for a project for him and it sets it up for every single person within the company and when they're whenever there's an issue you go back to the employee handbook and look at look who's protected you are because there's enough liars out there protecting employees already. There's no there's no problem against protecting employees. But it goes. It's weighted against the employer [01:14:00] . And so we've done it the exact opposite. We've set something up to help everybody be.
And you know the guys that are running big companies successfully with great profits and they're doing everything right have created culture here that talked about a lot. Company culture. These are culture creating documents. Their monkey is loaded up with these. We have hundreds of documents we have every form under the sun and we've got [01:14:30] books we've got quote formed proposal forms all kinds of templates we're going to start you know getting this stuff out to you over the course of the next month or so you're going to start seeing more and more and more of this but it is all available. This is what creates the culture of your company and it starts early. I mean some of you guys have a great advantage over Stan and I because I didn't have this until years after my my company went and experienced a lot of the problems and had to create some of the stuff. [01:15:00] It's it's here and this is what will create the culture and your turnover rate. This is to eliminate high turnover rates so you can do it.
That's going to to add on to that fellow. I didn't have this till you came into my university. I'm going to be very straightforward honest with you. We had documentation but it was very minimal. It wasn't as encompassing as these documents are. It wasn't as clear. It didn't give that sense of purpose it didn't give everybody. That is reading [01:15:30] this document exactly what they need to know where they need to be how things operate that stuff. And so this is the absolute most thorough documentation that I have ever seen anywhere in any outdoor service profession ever. I mean hands down period. But I knew about how adamant you were with documentation.
When we first started talking almost a year ago I seen some of your documents [01:16:00] and I was just like holy crap this is like document 2.0. Oh this is like Documenta on steroids. I. Told Kallio I was just like this guy is amazing this documentation is worth gold worth Fritzing gold.
And so you're making it available to everybody now. Well I think that's all I got to say. Guys check it out. You're not going to get it anywhere else. You're [01:16:30] not going to get it anywhere else. And this is what's going to get you to that next level. Plain and simple.