It’s often said that money isn’t everything. And in the workplace, surprisingly that is true. Employees report the ultimate prize in the work world isn’t always a lucrative paycheck; more often than not it’s having an employer that treats them well, recognizes and appreciates their efforts, and rewards them for a job well done.

On the second floor of a historic office building in the heart of downtown Milwaukee lies the corporate offices of MahlerClean, the commercial cleaning division of Mahler Enterprises, a company that began in 1989 and, through hard work, has grown to more than 500 employees today.

The company’s secret to success rests with its employees, says Patrick Sullivan, president of MahlerClean.

“The cleaning business and the jobs themselves are largely part time; and they are not always the most glamorous jobs in the world,” he says. “We know that we cannot pay everyone $13 an hour and offer paid vacations, and remain competitive. That’s not what this industry allows. Our focus is on how we treat people and what their work experience is like with our company.”

Besides having an employee turnover rate that ranks far lower than the industry norm, which can be as high as 200 percent, MahlerClean retains its employees for a long time. The length of service per employee averages 2.5 years, with many workers spending more than 10 to 15 years with the company.
“A few have been with us for more than 20 years, shortly after the company was formed,” says Sullivan.

Angela Jackson, account executive, is one employee with a long history with MahlerClean. She’s been with the company for eight years, during which time she has worked her way up from general cleaner to account executive.

“I stay here because I feel like what I do matters,” she says. “Mahler has a team environment, where your opinion matters and you feel well respected.”

This premier commercial cleaning company is making a name for itself as a top employer in the Milwaukee area. For three years running, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has named MahlerClean one of Milwaukee’s Top 100 Workplaces. It is the only commercial cleaner in the Milwaukee area to receive this recognition. And in 2013, the firm earned Best in Class-Mid-sized Companies in this award program, an honor bestowed only to top workplaces with up to 500 employees.

“The fact that we won Best in Class is affirmation that there are many things we are doing right,” says Sullivan. “Our people are key to our success and we’re going to continue with our efforts to provide our employees with a top workplace.”

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