One of our coaching clients told me recently that his crews are working four 10-hour days but his production numbers are off.

He said the guys show up at 7 am, stand around drinking coffee and talking for 20 to 30 minutes, then load their trucks and drive to the job site. If he is lucky, they start work by 8:30. Then they knock off an hour early to clean up and drive back to the office. He said they are always in the office before quitting time, which is 5:30 pm.

He is paying for 10 hours work and only gets 7 or 7-1/2 hours of production. What is wrong with this picture?

He needs to explain to them the rules of employment. If you work for me for 10 hours, I’ll pay you for 10 hours. Now we are even. I don’t owe you, you don’t owe me. That’s fair.

I told him to inform the crews that they get a ten-minute break in the morning and the afternoon, with 30 minutes for lunch. No talking to friends or family on their cell phone, and no “shooting the bull” with other trades, the customer or anyone else. Get to work and give 10 hours work for 10 hours pay. That makes it even. If his employees don’t want to do that, then it’s time to find new employees. There are still people who understand that you get 10 hours of pay when you give 10 hours of work.

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Michael Spotowski
Michael Spotowski
November 1, 2008 6:07 pm

We are noticing that with some employees there is a sense of entitlement to their pay. Even when it comes to their hours worked vs hours paid. We currently use a manuel time card system that is totally dependant upon the employees honesty and accuracy in filling out the cards. Of course the foremen are to enforce the recording of when workers start and finish work and time card accuracy but unfortunately some foremen are the biggest offenders. We have tried the JobClock on a trial basis on some sites this past summer but have to look at establishing proper… Read more »

Eric Meyers
Eric Meyers
November 1, 2008 12:59 pm

We discovered that the guys (a 4 man crew) were not taking the time that they spent going to lunch off of their time sheets. We went back a few months, and stated to deduct that time in 15 minute increments each week. When they asked why we were ‘shorting’ their hours, we explained adn all but one had no issue. Sometimes it is just a matter of setting the correct expectations.

Paul Choate
Paul Choate
October 16, 2008 2:34 am

One of the few things that really gets to me is when guys show up 5 or 10 minutes late then spend 5 or 10 minutes drinking their coffee or eating their breakfasts…it amazes me that people think this is okay to do. I have three guys working for me and I pay them by the hour and those minutes on the phone, drinking coffee, showing up late, cutting out early do not fly with me. If they show up at 7:15 and leave at 3:45 I pay them for showing up at 7:15 and leaving at 3:45…not for 7… Read more »

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