After the training is complete, it helps if the company checks in on the new hire during scheduled chats spread out during the first couple of weeks or months of employment. If a company has a human resources staff, it’s important that staff has a good relationship with management and is very “hands on” with these new employees, so they might be the ones best suited to conduct the checkup.

To help prevent turnover, Lorianne Bauer, human resources and safety director at ESS Clean, Inc., Urbana, Illinois, says ESS’ HR department recently began to call its janitorial staff after they’ve been working three weeks, two months and six months just to touch base and make sure no preventable issues are occurring. Even if there isn’t a issue, it might be good for the company to probe for any type of feedback that lets it know what is working — all feedback should be welcomed.

Though the process is less than a year old, it is still rather impressive that Bauer says turnover has decreased five percent in that span in just a few months.

The turnover rate for janitorial workers at ESS clean is 70 percent. Bauer has heard averages in the area of 100 to 150 percent while attending BSCAI events.

“Although we realize it’s lower than the industry average we do believe we have room to grow in this area and there are improvements we can make to move the needle even more,” says Bauer.

While turnover is certainly an issue for those hiring janitors, it is apparent that things can be done to mitigate its prevalence. However, this cannot occur if companies don’t become and remain committed to the cause. They must be proactive in solving potential issues and also be willing to fight through short but difficult bouts of being understaffed, even if it means rejecting an applicant because it’s better to struggle for a bit than it is to force a hire likely to soon leave. 

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