Are you still busy?
Are you still getting calls about new work and quote requests?
Are you booked up solid for the next 30, 60 or 90 days?
I’m asking to get you thinking…
We know the late summer months can be a challenge.
First, the heat takes its toll on lawns, landscapes and our team. Productivity tends to suffer late summer. It’s hot and our teams are tired. The landscapes can look tired, and customers prefer healthy, green lawns.
Next, equipment gets a pounding with daily commercial use. Deferred and neglected maintenance shows up in the form of equipment breakdowns and a frustrated labor force. Repair costs and parts availability are still a challenge…so production gets interrupted. It’s frustrating.
Piled on top of these challenges is the ongoing, seemingly non-stop pressure to raise employee wages. If we don’t boost that pay, there’s another job opportunity right down the road.
I get it. Everything is more expensive these days. Higher pay is required to maintain an expected lifestyle. We must adjust pay rates to keep good people.
Here’s the challenge that has me puzzled. I was reminded of the issue with this week’s news story regarding Amazon workers who are quitting their jobs rather than return to work in the office. Let’s call call it “Work Withdrawal”. Rather than go back to the office…”you can take this job and shove it!”
I’ve been tracking this phenomenon within my own labor force…but not quite the same way as Amazon reports. Let me explain.
Wages have risen tremendously in the past 3 years. In fact, when you look at the figures, established production workers are getting paid 30% to 50% more than just 36 months ago!
Now…at least in my personal experience, the 40 to 42 hour workweek is being replaced with a 30 to 35 hour workweek.
From this employer’s perspective, workers seem to be content with their earnings from 4 days of work (or so).
Asking for 40 hours seems to be an unreasonable request these days. So we have been forced to add 20% more people to keep up with our production goals.
So what’s a good plan moving forward?
Watch what’s going on inside of labor unions these days.
More fat wage hikes for one. Fewer working hours are a trend. Higher benefits and worker perks are another.
And coming soon…an economic correction.
At least that’s what I’m thinking could be headed our way in 2024…just in time for the country-dividing-news-poisoning presidential election cycle.
With all of this going on, how can you push forward and prioritize implementation of your slowdown prevention plan?
We have written three articles recently on this topic… I hope they will help you. Links below…
Let me know how things are going for you and your company in this late summer season…
Tony Bass, founder
Super Lawn Technologies
PS – if you’re feeling burned out right now yourself, take a look at this article I wrote on owner burnout. I think it will encourage you. You’re not alone.