For a lot of employees, their dreams are to have a good job or make more money. Candella alerts them of opportunities that exist at JANCOA, but at the same time, he doesn’t shy away from helping them find a career outside of janitorial. The trade-off is that they’ll work hard and do a good job while still at JANCOA.

While there are employees who’ve been with the company for 10 years or more, the goal is to retain employees for at least three to five years while they pursue their dream and then head out for something different.

For BSCs who struggle with turnover, this may seem oxymoronic, but not to Mary.

“Nobody holds on to a career anymore,” she says. “The job for a lifetime doesn’t exist, especially in our industry.”

When an average janitor makes $10 an hour, the odds of him staying at the company for his entire career are slim to none. While it’s true that some janitors can ascend the company ladder and become technicians, supervisors or even upper management, that’s not the case of every employee.
“So instead of fighting [turnover], let’s embrace it,” says Mary.

Mary realized that if they can improve the quality of life for an employee while they work for JANCOA, that person would be even more committed to perform the best job possible. He’ll show up for work, be on time and clean accurately and consistently. There will be fewer mistakes, fewer customer complaints and as a result, longer customer retention. It’s a win-win situation for both the employee and JANCOA.

“When people are working toward a dream, they come to work with a different attitude,” says Candella. “They’re more motivated.”

Along with this motivation, when janitors stay a minimum of three years — as opposed to three months — they accumulate the experience and knowledge to clean efficiently. These two factors will naturally improve productivity. As a result, janitors at JANCOA clean an average of 7,000 square feet per hour. That’s twice the square footage per hour than the competition and most likely the rest of the country.

In the end, it could be said that the consultant did put Mary and Tony on a path to better cleaning efficiencies.

Boosting productivity and reducing turnover go a long way in keeping costs down, which helps keep the Dream Manager program affordable. While customers appreciate the benefits given to janitors, that doesn’t mean they’re willing to pay extra for it. Bids still need to be competitive in the marketplace.

But while clients aren’t interested in paying for the Dream Manager, they are willing to award contracts for great service, which the program achieves. As a result, business has doubled in the past 10 years.

“The return on investment has really changed our business,” says Mary. “We are one of the top three cleaning companies in the greater Cincinnati area.”

The company has also received accolades from the business community. In addition to the aforementioned Best in Biz award, JANCOA was nominated for the 2011 Enquirer Media Top Workplaces Award and 12th Annual Tri-State Family and Private Business Awards.

Mary herself has received the 2010 Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s Fifth-annual WE Celebrate award and the 2013 YWCA Career Women of Achievement award. She was also a finalist for the 2010 and 2011 Ernst & Young South Central Ohio and Kentucky Entrepreneur of the Year. 

Eventually — and by design — employees will leave JANCOA to pursue bigger and better opportunities. But with such recognition as a great place to work, the company has no problem filling vacancies. Through customer and employee referrals there are always worthy candidates waiting for the chance to apply. In fact, for six straight years JANCOA didn’t run a job posting. Pretty impressive for a company with a staff that has grown to nearly 400 employees.

previous page of this article:
Making Dreams A Reality
next page of this article:
Mary Miller Is On A Mission To Inspire