Motivating employees when you are the business owner can be difficult. A good leader can get most of his team members to follow him or her. Each employee is different and some will require different methods. If none work, you may have to send the unmotivated to the unemployment line. You cannot run a good business if your people won't follow you. This, of course, means either your people are not good employees or you are not a good leader.
This is our final week of year two on our farm. The year has gone by fast. We have gotten a lot done during the second year of our experience in the farm. We have gained and lost a lot of employees and made many improvements to the farm and business. We have made new friends in the country. Come on out and visit our store. Take a tour. We are getting better every day.
Good Monday morning! Today has already been a busy day on the farm and it is only 10:30am. We had a feed delivery from Morales Feed in Devine which I ordered on Saturday. Contractors are here taking care of the holes in the siding of the Farm Store where we had window air conditioning units removed. It is very noisy in the store this morning! The dry wall was fixed last week.
We have gone through a bunch of orders and several things that were supposed to be deleted got transferred over to the new website when it was being put together so I have had to remove those from the new website and refund orders.
The double doors of the farm store were coated in tiny spiders and bugs this morning. I took several antibacterial wipes and cleaned them off. I didn't even want to touch the doorknob. But problem solved.
I added six gallons of water to the grow tower. So far, nothing has sprouted over the weekend. I should have added water over the weekend. All the outdoor plants on the store porch had fainted from lack of water on Sunday. Unfortunately, I forgot about watering those. Most have come back after I watered them.
Now I can do my own job. We are missing some people this morning so that is why I have had to do so many things.
This week, we will talk about motivating employees. Motivating employees can be difficult. Money and job security can work, depending on the person. Monthly treats such as our birthday lunches can work on some. The promise of receiving $100 on their birthday works on some, but not all. Honestly, in order for anything to really work well, the employees must have a good work ethic and not that many have it. There is nothing we have found that will work on every person.
The chicken A/C unit blew a fuse during last Thursday's monsoon event so I cannot get it to reset. David says we need some new parts. I bring all of this up to say the hens are putting out more eggs than ever in the horrible heat. Several weeks ago, when they had the air conditioning, they were giving me two to five eggs per day. At the time, I was told by some of our employees that they don't put out in the heat. It wasn't really that hot then because of the air conditioner but now that it is horribly hot and humid, they are giving out a ton of eggs. If you need farm fresh, delicious eggs, come to the Farm Store and pick some up, just $4 a dozen.
Late this afternoon, a bucket of snake repellent was delivered by Amazon so that is good news. I am not sure that we need it now that we have the solar snake repellent sticks but it is always good to have on hand.
Sometime this afternoon, an electrician came to fix the air conditioner for the chickens. Sure enough, when I went out there, the A/C was going and it felt pretty good in the coop. The chickens put out 17 eggs including some tiny dark brown ones again.
Good morning. Someone in San Antonio is a smart man. Late last night, I received an order not only for our Texas Fall Seed Set with 34 varieties, but also for our Texas Spring Seed Set that has 38 varieties. I just mailed them out. If you would like to check these out, you can see our Texas Spring and Fall Collections here. It takes all of the difficult choices out of what grows well in Texas during both of our gardening seasons. All of the varieties are hand picked by David.
We have to go into San Antonio for another covid test for David so he can have an outpatient procedure tomorrow. We will be leaving shortly. The last time he had one, last month, I thought the nurse would go all the way up to his brain. The people who do these tests are mean. It is ridiculous.
After that pleasantry is done, we are going to eat lunch at Luby's so I am excited about that. We just don't have much good food out in the country.
We got the test done with no waiting, although the guy who came out looked like an astronaut going on a space walk with a mask, a shield, and a suit in the miserable heat. Then a nurse came out, did the test, and we went next door to Luby's for a decent lunch with cherry cheesecake at the end.
Then it was back to the farm. Two tractors were next door cutting hay so that was exciting for me.
The plants on the farm store deck fainted again because of the heat so I watered them. They came back to life...
Motivating employees really depends on each individual. I always like to tell them what a good job they are doing, either on a particular task or in general. If they are not doing a good job, I do not tell them that they are. I am talking about if the person is doing a good job. I don't do the "everyone gets a medal" garbage. That is not motivating employees. That is lying to them.
If you are not doing a good job, I will say something if David has not. We are paying these people good money and I expect them to do a good job. I always try to be nice with them but some make it hard to be nice. Those are the ones who don't normally last too long. Motivating employees should not be difficult. I was always motivated by money. I had bills to pay and three kids to support. I was a good employee even when motivating employees was not on management's minds.
This morning, we took off for San Antonio so David could have a procedure at Methodist Hospital. We got there a bit late due to several slow ups on the road. We had to go down to the bottom to check in, sub level 2. When we got there, the place was packed out with people, completely different than it was 22 years ago when David worked there, running the film library. As we stood there, a man walked up to David and said, "Don't you remember me? I am Efren and you hired me 22 years ago."
Yes, David remembered him. David used to run the film library at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio. Motivating employees was easy then and he chose the right one. Efren is a good employee. David is a good business owner so I am glad he did not stay with the hospital. Motivating employees is a gift. They had a nice talk and he checked David in. After a while, someone took us up to the sixth floor and a nurse put us in a room. David got into a gown and they did an EKG, an IV, and some lab work.
David has been in atrial fibrillation for quite some time. This
cardiologist was called in over a month ago when David had his hernia
repaired. After that surgery, his heart went crazy and would not slow
down. David's first cardiologist in 2018 never thought that atrial
fibrillation was a big deal. Apparently, he was wrong. This new cardiologist tried the cardioversion, where they try to shock the heart into a normal sinus rhythm, three times in June. It did not work.
A few hours later, the cardiologist got there for a fourth cardioversion and I was asked to leave the room.
Eight minutes later, the cardiologist came out and said the procedure did not work and next up would be an ablation. I was so disappointed. I went back inside the room and David was asleep. The nurse shouted at him and he shook his head to indicate he was awake, but he kept on sleeping. After about 20 minutes, he woke up and the nurse brought him a processed turkey sandwich, some cut up pears, and sugar free chocolate chip cookies with water. He ate most of it and then he had another EKG.
After that, David got dressed and they discharged him. Join us on August 12 for the next step. For now, David will remain on six medications costing over $600 for a one month supply. That is insane.
This afternoon, two tractors were working in the beautiful hay field next door. One was gathering up hay in rows. The second one rolled the hay into bales and they got the whole field done quickly.
We had three sets of customers today. I took care of the final couple around 4:30pm. As soon as we arrived at the hospital this morning, the first couple arrived at our farm store. I know this because my phone rang and our manager said David's friend, Thu and her husband were there and they wanted to buy some pickles. They also brought a thank you card for the generous donation of garden seeds that David gave to Thu and her fifth grade class so they could plant and grow a garden during the school year.
I noticed this afternoon that the chicken air conditioner is no longer working. The fuse was blown and I could not get it to go back on. So either something is now wrong with the air conditioner or the electrician has no idea what is going on.
I found the riding lawn mower that the guy left here on Saturday behind our fence in the back forty. He said he would pick it up on Sunday and here it is Wednesday night and it is still here. David has contacted the man several times and he will not answer David. Why not? Is it stolen? Did something happen to the man? We don't even know this man so why would he leave his lawn mower with us?
When I printed out the orders this morning, another person ordered both the spring and fall Texas seed collections plus three more people ordered the Texas fall collection. These Texas seeds are going fast. I ordered Jay to make up a bunch more because they are going like hotcakes! The link is above if you would like to get some of our Texas seed collections.
I am sorry...this page is supposed to be about motivating employees, but I have had a lot more going on personally and business wise so there is very little on motivating employees. David and I like to think that keeping your job is a big motivator or maybe just paying our team members a decent wage is good for motivating employees. Turns out a decent wage is not good for motivating employees. We have, from the start, paid our starting employees more than we should have, from $10 an hour for teens up to $16 an hour for seasoned employees.
Today has been a very busy day. So far, since David's surgery on June 21, 2021, we have received six bills from six different providers. None of them has sent a complete itemized bill. If you don't know, we don't have regular health insurance. We use Christian Healthcare Ministries. They do a fine job of paying bills once your provider understands that you have to submit the bill to them, not them. That is hard for providers to get so we are having trouble.
I know Christian Healthcare Ministries pays well because they did for 2018 bills, 2019 bills, and 2020 bills, all involving hospital bills, four of which were over $100,000.00, plus all doctor and lab fees. The caveat is you, the member, must get and submit bills, preferably with a self pay discount. If you are going to a doctor or surgeon's office, expect to pay the bill up front because they demand payment before you see a doctor or get surgery.
I have been on the phone all morning with providers who will not give me the itemized bills that Christian Healthcare Ministries needs in order to pay. I finally called Christian Healthcare Ministries. I was told to send in what I have for David and they will figure it out from there. I have done this in the past without a diagnosis code and they bounced them back to me. So we will see. I will begin the paperwork today and get them all mailed out tomorrow. Right now, I have customers...
This has been such a crazy day. The humidity is thick outside here at 98° Fahrenheit and I feel drained from all of the calls and people in today. It just doesn't make sense that they want us to pay over $174,000 when we have coverage but they won't provide a diagnosis code to get the money. Isn't that the stupidest thing you have heard all day long?
David told me that one of the men who mowed our property last Saturday and left his mower for some unknown reason was coming this afternoon to get it. I went out at 8:30pm to put the chickens away. I decided to go all the way up to the fence and guess what? The mower is still there, hidden. Why?
Today was an unusual day. It is now 7:35pm and I am just finding the time to get on here. First, the mower man did not come again today. So it has been here for seven days and originally, he was going to pick it up last Saturday.
I spent most of the day working in the house, mainly trying to get all of David's medical claims that I have so far, figured out and submitted to Christian Healthcare Ministries. I called the surgeon's office twice today to get medical bills. I still don't have them but the financial counselor told me at 4:30pm today that she requested them and they should be emailed to me on Monday. We shall see. The good news is that I did not get any new bills in the mail.
Orders were printed, filled, and mailed by Linda and me as our Fulfillment team all had today off again. But the mailman put our mail in the mailbox and did not come in to collect the USPS box of mail I had for him. So Matthew had to drive all the way into Poteet to mail it all.
The chicken's air conditioner is working again. We tried plugging it into an outlet in the feed shed and it works fine. So it is the actual outlet in the chicken coop that is no good, not the A/C unit. The chickens have been giving me 21 eggs a day for at least a week now, including some tiny dark brown eggs in two different shades.
We tried a local place for lunch today. I had the chalupa plate. It was good but I burped it up all afternoon and into this evening, even after taking a lot of antacids. I made simple sandwiches for dinner tonight.
The Texas flag caught on our gate has been freed. We have a welder coming to move the flag poles down a bit so our flags don't get caught on the letters again. Hopefully, he can make it soon.
Tonight when I put the chickens away, the most amazing cotton candy pink clouds were in the sky. I did not have my phone with me. When I was through, I got this photo, but the really good ones had already faded.
I think we pay our employees too much when they start with the company. This makes motivating employees hard because they want money, not a candy bar. The budget does not allow for bonuses most of the time, especially during the summer slow down. I think we should gradually let them earn raises over time, instead of "oh, you're breathing so have $16 an hour".
I think it should be, "you are starting a new job so here is $10 an hour instead of $7.50 minimum. After 90 days, if it works out, you will get $11 and if you really push yourself and do a lot of work, here is $12" and so on. Motivating employees with money would be a lot easier if we did it this way instead of trusting them to work and finding out later on that they didn't do anything they were supposed to.
Two years ago today, David and I paid money and signed papers to purchase our current property. Happy Anniversary, David! At the time we bought it, it was four acres of waist high weeds and one lone mesquite tree. Today, it is a bit different. We have done a lot in two short years but there is still room for improvement and upgrades. And so it continues...
Late this evening, Nacho texted us photos of his son, Seth, who worked for us earlier this year. Nacho and his family went out to San Diego to see Seth graduate from Marines Basic Training and Seth graduated with honors. We are so proud of you, Seth!
Good Saturday morning. We got up early and got the farm chores done. David made a nice omelet. Then we headed for Walmart to get some much needed supplies and groceries. I got to carry them all in and put them away as David still can't lift anything because of his hernia surgery. Then we had sandwiches for lunch.
I have laundry and dishes going and fell asleep at my desk moments ago because I did not go to bed until 1:15am this morning. We were up watching some Denzel Washington movie about drugs. We don't normally stay up that late. I did fall asleep during some of it but woke up before the end.
I went in the pool and got constantly bombarded by wasps, three at a time. Then I started noticing nine wasp nests on the house, the porch cover and the sheds nearby. No wonder.
I fell asleep during Svengoolie so I am not sure how it ended. Then at 9pm my phone said my package was here after I had been waiting all day long. I went out in the dark and found five boxes outside the gate. I had to grab them all quickly, worried about snakes and such, and get back in the gate before it hit me on the behind.
I made it back inside safely.
Happy Sunday. It was so hot today. I went out to take down wasp nests with the hose. Some came down and others didn't. I am surprised I did not get stung. Wasp poison will come in the morning. These things are dangerous.
I got a lot of social media posting done. David made a delicious dinner tonight. Chicken breasts and vegetable shish kabobs.
Motivating employees takes a lot of creativity and drive. You also need to have the right employees. Those who care about working and want the money are the right ones. Don't hire kids who don't want to work but daddy said I have to get a job...They will not work out. Don't hire older people who can barely move or who can barely see because they won't get their eyes fixed. We have done all of this and they all make lousy employees.
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