I'm not a barn owner, but what you are describing is typical in any labor / service industry.
And, you can allow people to work off their board. You just need more structure.
You can go hourly or per diem with this recommendation. I recommend per diem.
First, create a checklist of things that must be done when cleaning a stall. Don't forget to describe/define the quality standard. A clear photo of a properly cleaned stall may be a good idea.
At the top of your checklist, include the spots to write in the following information:
Stall number (or other identifying detail)
Date and Time Started
Date and Time Ended
Quality Checked by Name
Date and Time Quality Checked
Score: Satisfactory, Needs Work, Unacceptable.
Then, you and one or two other people (preferably inexperienced people) perform the checklist, each on a single stall. Time each person.
This is your baseline. If you took 30 minutes but the newbies took 60, then you should know that a person should originally take 60 minutes, but with time and practice may be able to knock it down to 30.
Now, place a value on that stall. Is it worth $5.00? $10.00? What is it worth it to you to not do that task.
Now, implement it. Let's say it's $10.00. A squosh over minimum wage, but a nice round number.
Sally wants to work off board. You tell her for every stall she cleans you will deduct $10.00 from her board. You tell her she can work on Wednesdays from 1pm to 4pm.
When she arrives to work, you hand her the first stall checklist and date and time it. She completes the work. You inspect it. Passes? Move on. Doesn't pass, communicate the errors and let her fix them. You don't sign off a form until it meets the photo (and you have to be fair here).
At the end of the day, you tally up the number of forms she has that are "satisfactory.". That is the amount deducted from her board.
Your problem is nothing unique to you; it is a people management issue.
You can't expect to tell someone to clean a stall and they will clean it to your expectations. You know your expectations and you are willing to modify them based on circumstances. An employee can't know these things. They can be taught these things.
Even if you did say, "do this, do this, do this" a lot of people have problems remembering those details. Technology has ruined us from having to learn and retain.
Adults, especially teens, should have no more than 2 details or instructions provided to them verbally during the learning phase.
Also, cleaning is a subjective opinion and very biased. I have a level of clean that may differ from your level of clean. Are these people really trying to screw you or do they just have different ideas on what a cleaned stall really is? The latter is my first guess. As word gets around that you were not happy with Sally's work, Greg will spend more time doing unnecessary things to try and please you.
Take this for what it is worth. Your problem is a people management issue. Add structure, feedback, and a way for the person to measure themselves and you will find your workers will stop and review the objectives before asking for a critique. The form helps your bookkeeping and let's them know you are being fair and honest.
Thanks, AQHSam. We do know that the "people management" on our part is a portion of the issue.
I really like the checklist idea, perhaps that sort of thing will work in the future. We sat down with our most recent help on day one and said "We don't usually allow people to work off board because they start to get lax and don't clean the stalls we need them cleaned. That being said, we will show you and explain what we need to have done..." We then went through and demo'd several stalls for them, explained what we were doing, and for the first month, we'd check every stall. Always around to answer questions, showed them what we wanted them to do, etc.
We would periodically figure out (one) particular thing that was consistently being incorrectly done, and we'd take the people out to the barn, show them (in the stall that they just cleaned) what wasn't done properly. We'd then show them, in that stall, what to do to correct it, then show them again on a "needs cleaning" stall. They'd act like they understood, do it the way we asked for a few days, then get lazy about it again. If we'd show them more than once, they'd act like they had no clue what we were talking about (as though they hadn't been shown/explained this before). The best was when, if we'd show them the SAME THING more than once every two weeks, the people would get a chip on their shoulder, and acted like they were doing us a favor and we should just keep our mouths shut! (P.S. that is when people get told "Sorry, we no longer need your services...")
So, I think the checklist would help solve that problem, and the "employee" would know up front that they aren't being credited for a shoddy, crappy job. However, I thought we were being fair before, and certainly more than generous.
I'm still curious... what is stall cleaning worth?
Sonador: We are not located in Florida, or anywhere the border for that matter!