Broken stuff

I understand. Employees don’t care about stuff as much as owners. But I’m losing my patience on stuff getting broken. Every week there’s something and I only have 2 FT employees. Today a guy left the power washer too close to a composite swing and burned a hole thru it while he was PWing the deck above. There’s been 7 or 8 broken storm windows between the 2 this year.
What is your policy and crap like this. They know I’m not happy about crap like this but it’s not reaching inner cranium well enough…

Can them and go solo.


Legally can’t make them pay for it if they are employees.

Frustrating for sure, it’s like babysitting some days.

Really need to let them go if there is repeat carelessness. I’d document any event and add to their employee file and 2-3 incidents fire them. Have it in your employee handbook too. Employees is really about covering yourself in any event unfortunately.


No straight answer to this obviously. @anon46335951 is definitely right, document everything, and make sure clear policy is in your handbook.

Sometimes it is a matter of numbers, once an employee is causing more damage than the revenue they are bringing in… time to get rid of them (long before this point obviously). But keep in mind that this sort of thing is cost of doing business in some sense.

We try to coach our technicians when things like this happen. We flat out explain that it is unacceptable; to the customer, to the company, and to the employee. We try to help them understand that if they are to accomplish anything in life, whether that be with our company, in their personal life, or whatever then they need to take things seriously. If they do not improve and are constantly making the same mistakes then they are not looking to better themselves and we tell them that and get rid of them.


Good feedback. I do believe they mean well but stupid mistakes keep piling up. I have been keeping a record for each guy this year in case I do need to present it to them someday.
They do a good job cleaning windows and customers enjoy them. They could be faster but the careless accidents drive me crazy. Whenever I get a phone call from the lead tech I hold my breath.

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Sounds like good employees overall. Maybe implement a system to reward for less accidents/mistakes. Keep a record of accidents and give an “allowance” like 1 accident per quarter. If you have 0 that quarter, you get $X bonus.

Gamification… in reverse sort of… lol.

I think what people my age see as common sense, people 20 years younger don’t see they have to be told how if they have not grown up in a place they never had to do stuff other than sit around playing video games.

This is where you need basic training on hot stuff melts and things that seem to stupid not to understand, here we have a white card course for such, basically its the construction induction. If you want to work on a building site or for many commercial properties you are required to have a white card. Its about an 8 hour boring ass day listening to a lecturer and watching various videos of what not to do and how to correctly do everything.

The main thing about it is there is no such things as ignorance if you have a white card and you do not follow the instruction you are meant to and someone gets injured or killed as a result of your negligence, you can be held criminally liable.

Take it out of their paychecks, that will make them open their eyes. Let them know that if they start breaking stuff consistently they are going to pay. One mistake every now and then is ok but if they are just not caring at all consistently then that is not good. May not be correct but it’s what I do and knock on wood, nothing has been broken or implicated in over two years at my company.

Its like reading my own thoughts when i read this. We have a crew of 5 including myself, whenever i get a call I feel like ok what happened? For me it was broken ladders from not getting tied down and 1 broken window this year. Although i add a system to prevent it from happening again when something like this happens. We have a company meeting at the beginning of each month and discuss why things happened and what we can do to make sure they dont happen again. We also have a write up system that we have a list of things that they know they will be written up for if it happens. Things like being more than 10 minutes late to the shop. Not calling customers ahead if they are running late. Leaving key tools on a job and not getting them before the day ends. Things like that, not huge problems but still things that cause trouble for the company. If they get 3 write ups in a month they are fired. this has fixed our issues with guys being late as well as leaving things on jobs. Then a $25 bonus if they have no write ups for the month. Make sure you write up a list of what is allowed and not allowed and have them sign it if you were going to do something like this. This is just my opinion and what works for us though.


Its important to view these things as ‘incidents’ and not ‘accidents’. There is a difference. Accident implies that something unavoidable happened. The majority of problems are incidents tho - the root cause can be determined and alternative decisions could have been made.

Creating a culture, even in our own heads if we are solo, is important in limiting loss.


Without knowing actually what happened I think saying it’s an incident is just giving him a pass. There were multiple items broken.

It happens but typically how often do you really break something in a given year, equipment property what not. If somebody’s breaking that many things in a year more likely carelessness and someone is at fault.