Do You Fire for Slowness?

I’ve been having issues with a couple people being very slow. One guy has been here for a month but is slow as molasis and we are losing money because of his slowness. I’ve already warned him and my lead trainer has worked with him side by side but he is just very slow and I"m afraid he will always be slow. Anyone else see this a lot? Do you guys usually continue to work with these types of people or let them go? Can you tell me how often you fire employees for being slow? Also, please let me know how many employees you have right now? I would greatly appreciate it.

Which specific behaviors are causing the slowness? For example: can’t follow directions, moves too deliberately, forgets to put things back in place and repeats steps, etc.

What characteristics led you to hire this person? For example: good appearance, responsible, trainable, etc.

i think it depends… how is his work? have you talked to him about getting faster? i dont ask my guys to be crazy fast… i ask that they work steady, and are quality conscious…

if hes slow bc of trying to do good work, the speed will come just help him along…
if hes slow bc hes on the phone texting tell him leave the phone in the truck…
if hes slow, doesnt have a good work ethic and his work sucks let him go

He is presentable and seemed to be a pretty nice guy during the interview. I called his last employment (hardees) and they said that for the limited time he worked there he worked fine. He just moved here from out of state which is why he only worked there for 2 months. As to why he’s slow, he just moves very slow. He takes his time walking, takes his time doing everything. He doesn’t move at a fast pace. Also I’ve given several directions that he hasn’t followed very well. Sometimes he just doesn’t do what I say at all and gives some lame excuse.

take a video :slight_smile:

how is his work?

tell him to move it or lose it :smiley:

Is this a formal training period? If so, who’s the trainer? What does the trainer excel at? What are the trainer’s weaknesses? How could the trainer improve?

BTW, have you discussed your slowness observations with the employee as a means for improvement? Have all expectations been discussed in a clear and concise manner, with relevant examples?

I have had slow employees: If they are doing the window how I trained them to and not adding unneccessary steps I will give them a little time to get the speed.I’m not the most patient person in the world but I want quality first, then work on speed. I think after a month there should be an increase tho. If not, maybe they’re just not cut out for this job. I can appreciate that they want to do a good job, but speed has to be there at some point along w/quality

im just re-watching chris’ chat from last night… he got fired for being too slow… you might want to give the guy a little more time :smiley:

Pay him per job versus hourly, and watch his speed increase! Then again, some people just mozy along throughout their day, and throughout their lives. They lack any “hop in their step”. These types of people are usually somewhat lazy too - like if the boss is on the phone, they decide they will take a break also. Or if you are talking with a customer after a job, instead of packing up the truck, they stand close by, listen, smile and nod their head. I’d say let him go, there are so many people willing to work right now…

I would expect to be fired if I was slow and not following direction. And yes… I would fire someone for being slow. I don’t have any employees (still in the infancy stage of my biz), but when I do, quality and speed are going to be the two things I stress.

Yes I’ve spoken with him several times. Me and a lot of the video’s that I bought here on WCR have trained him. I know I’m not the greatest trainer and I’m sure I can train him better. I’m not necessarily going to fire him right now. I’m just wondering how most people do it. I was listening to Chris last night on the meet up and he says he fires 4 out of 5 people within a month because they are not fast enough. I’m wondering how many others of you do this?


If one person is slow but does excellent work, then he’s my inside guy. He will get faster with a little 1 on 1 training. If hes slow and does a halfass job, to the point that the rest of the guys have to pick up his slack, then he isn’t cuttin it.:eek:

Just from what you have written so far about this guy, he doesnt sound like a good worker at all. Usually you will see this kind of lazy behavior after they have been on with a company for a while. They get settled into a company and become slackers. If he’s dragging around all day, this behavior can spread to other workers especially if you dont do anything about it or improve it. This business is a trade and has to be learned and taken seriously or you will get complaint after complaint after complaint.

When you wrote that he was walking around liike a turtle, that right there would get me upset. I cant stand that type of behavior.

Great points here guys! Thanks for your information. I think it all comes down to the fact that no one (well mostly no one) is going to pick up the squeegie and be perfect right off the bat. Everyone will start out slower and get better with time. If they are generally a good worker other than being a little slow at first, give them a nudge and they will get there. If they are not following directions, slow, texts all day, takes 15 smoke breaks, is generally lazy…etc…let them go…

This is one of the reasons a lot of guys pay on a percentage basis. If they can’t earn minimum wage they are terminated. You could even raise the bar higher after a 30 day training period.

Yep! Well put. Commission is where its at.

On a side note, it doesnt matter to me if im paying commission or hourly. If an employee cant perform at a steady consistant pace most of the time, IM LOSING GOOD MONEY and I address it. When I was paying hourly, the guys knew they were under a microscope when I did the math at the end of each week. I would address it to let them know that labor was way off (sometimes near 45-47%) some weeks! It was like a 180 degree turnaround when we had production meetings. Funny thing was that it didnt matter if I was checking on them in person or working along side of them, you cant hide from the numbers! Once they figured out how I was figuring things out with percentages, they knew they were busted. Some employees think that slacking will go unnoticed with a business. When you run a small operation, things come out of the wash really quick. They know that now.

If an employee is not making you money than they are costing YOU money. Fire him. Someone else will do the work faster for you. Some people just aren’t window cleaners plain and simple. Free the guy up for more suitable employment and find someone who can do the job your way!

What I used to do was always try and give the benifit of the doubt. I used to try and be that “cool” boss that people love.

After losing customers, and losing money- I dont do that anymore.

I am by no means a jerk, but its all business. If someone just dont follow directions, its a write up. On the third write up they are out.

I would suggest creating a system if you dont already have one, that your guys will know exactly what is expected of them, down on paper. Do you have that in thier manual? Just let the system work for your business!!! If he dont follow your system, have him hit the bricks.

There are plenty of people who WANT to work, and want to impress the boss so they can keep a job. This guy has all the signs. Why waste time and money on training when you could be training someone who WANTS to work your system?

We get a few slow guys a year and we let a few off due to slow speed/slow quality. Doing [U]production commision[/U], creating a [U]training regime[/U], scheduling short [U]company rallies[/U], and [U]clear standards [/U]on how fast they need to be has helped us.

We have a two week training period where they get paid minimum wage and if they pick up to a certain speed we can switch them over to production commission. If not we let them go. In those two week they have training excersises on method and speed while they are on the job.

The company rallies really motivate them to speed up even more. They are short(10-20min) and we sometimes offer biscuits.

Clear Standards on how fast they should be has help us a lot. For example:
1min to clean each double hung window, 15 sec for average sill, 20sec or less between each window, Crew of two must do $600 a day minimum.

Having Clear Tasks for each crew member in unloading and reloading the truck and the beginning and end of the job has reduce our time between jobs by 15-20min.

Hope this helps.