The company also instituted the Mahler Dollar program a few years ago, and gives managers an allowance of Mahler Dollars every month to distribute to high-performing employees. Employees who accumulate Mahler Dollars can use them to purchase added benefits, such as a gas or retail store gift card, or paid days off, which Sullivan says are like gold to their employees.

“In this business, part-time cleaners don’t often get paid days off,” he says. “For the employee who has Mahler dollars, it means the world to them to get paid time-off from their part-time job. Managers have always had the ability to say, ‘You’re doing a great job, I’m going to give you a $20 bonus,’ but it was often an afterthought. This is a personal touch that ensures they don’t forget the people who are doing their job well.”

Account executives perform Quality Assurance Program inspections, which measure an employee’s ability to perform their jobs. Those reports are shared with employees and are used as a tool for continuous improvement, says Jackson.

“I try to find out how far they want to go in the company and what their ambitions are, and then I show them how to get an ‘A’ on their survey,” she says.

Bonus programs continue with the field management staff, and several times a year the upper management team assembles these individuals in a casual setting to discuss the things that keep them up at night.

“Our management team may think we know what our field manager’s challenges are, but we are not out there every single night,” says Sullivan.

These meetings might reveal shared concerns about issues with cleaning products, equipment, personnel, or employee policies/procedures that may need to be revisited.

“Feedback like this from our frontline personnel is valuable, and we use it and adapt accordingly to put our employees in the best position to succeed,” says Sullivan.

Annually, MahlerClean invites all of its managers to an awards banquet, where several managers are recognized for their efforts.
Jackson appreciates these incentive programs, as it gives employees a reason to challenge themselves each and every day.

“This is a great place to work,” she says. “And they give me all the tools I need to succeed.”

Ronnie Garrett is a freelance writer based in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. She is a frequent contributor to Contracting Profits.

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