Motivate Lawn Care Employees All Year Long

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Learning how to motivate lawn care employees not only creates a more enjoyable workplace, but it also creates loyalty.


Because motivated employees WANT to work for you and do a great job.

Having this much loyalty makes your business MUCH easier to grow since you won’t be losing entire crews every other week in the height of season.

So how do you motivate your team when increasing standard wages, providing PTO, and offering medical benefits is not always an option?

We’re going to show you the 8 most common, most cost-effective ways to motivate lawn care employees while NOT breaking your bank.

1. Award Gift Cards “Just Because”

Award your employees gift cards to places they can grab lunch or dinner, movie and bowling passes, or even Amazon. They don’t have to be expensive cards – $5 to $25. Even a $5 Dunkin Donuts card can motivate a team.

  • Dunkin’ Donuts
  • Amazon
  • Movie Theater passes
  • (they rent movies online or get a theater ticket!)
  • Free game of bowling
  • Free car wash
  • Restaurant gift cards

Bonus! Find a place that offers points or discounts for purchasing gift cards. Kroger often offers Bonus Fuel Points when you buy a gift card, and Costco usually has gift cards at a discounted price.

2. Offer a Commission Program for New Clients

Develop a commission program where you give your employees a $15 – $25 gift card for each new client they convert.

Or, make it a team effort and set one sales goal for the entire team. When the goal is hit, take the team out for a big celebration. The bigger the goal, the bigger the party!

3. Hold a Monthly Drawing

Tickets for the drawings are earned by doing excellent work, getting a good review, keeping equipment cleaned, etc. They can also be lost for negative reviews and showing up late. Include both big and small items in the drawings:

4. End of Year or Seasonal Bonuses

Think about issuing a Christmas Bonus or end of season bonus. You can take into account time worked, position, and length of employment when determining the amount.

5. Support Their Career Path

Provide additional training and cross-training. Show them there is a path for growth within the company that could lead to a crew leader position.

Just be sure you motivate lawn care employees with positive rewards. You want them to see the value of additional training when it comes to their career path – not complain about having additional work to do… so MAKE IT FUN!

6. Pay for Gym Memberships or Warehouse Clubs

Get a Sam’s Club or Costco membership and give your team members access to those discount clubs. Or, offer to provide a full (or discounted) membership to local gyms.

7. Give them individual attention

When an employee does something exemplary, like is the cause of a GREAT review, be sure to not only privately congratulate them, but also publicly praise them. It does wonders for employee morale.

8. Be a GREAT Leader

Lead by example. Be a positive motivator. Be a great coach. Don’t be a harsh dictator. When motivating lawn care employees remember that you get more flies with honey.

Be Sure to Address the Negatives, Too

You have to account for mess ups, too.

If you are giving out bonuses or tickets for drawings, you could create a system that takes into account both positive AND negative actions by your employees.

  • Did they get a bad review?
  • Show up late too often?
  • Not taking care of their equipment?

Just as it’s important to point out successes, it’s equally important that you address the failures on your team.

Motivate Lawn Care Employees = Better for Your Business

Keeping your team motivated throughout a long, hot season will keep them working for you.

A hard-working, loyal team means…

  • Jobs get done on time – or even quicker.
  • Customers are satisfied.
  • Clients will recommend you.
  • You take on more clients (due to the rockstars on your team).
  • Less hiring nightmares.

The bottom line is this: You need to give to get.

Motivate your teams and they’ll stay motivated for you.

Related: How to Find and Hire the Best Lawn Care Employees

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