Editor in Chief Corinne Zudonyi

Earlier this year, both my parents entered an exciting stage of their lives — retirement. Although their decision to stop working (and focus all their time and attention on myself and my siblings — Yippie!) seemed abrupt to me, it was the culmination of years of planning and mentoring those who would eventually replace them in their respective roles.

As a result of their foresight, the transitions have gone relatively smoothly. But I've come to learn that the same is not true for many Baby Boomers nearing retirement. In fact, our "2019 Management Survey" revealed that 61 percent of departments have no succession plan in place for aging managers. Meanwhile, their pool of potential prospects (long-time staff) are aging closer to retirement themselves, and record-low unemployment rates are making recruitment that much more difficult.

Whether managers are looking to add front-line custodians, tech-savvy equipment specialists, middle management or the next-in-line executive, finding quality staff has been a roadblock. In fact, 65 percent of managers listed hiring adequate staff as their top management challenge in 2019. I'm hoping this month's issue provides some assistance in overcoming these staffing struggles.

In our cover story, we presented some of the biggest staffing challenges managers face to our advisory board of experts and asked for their recommendations on successful solutions. They provided best practices for recruiting, improving front-line staff accountability and building a case for a larger team. The management article outlines tips to attracting and securing strong hires. Then best practices for improved staff engagement and retention are broken down in the staffing article.

Information shared in these articles should help managers satisfy current staffing woes and help lay the groundwork for the future of the department. Meanwhile, Facility Cleaning Decisions is growing, too.

Please join me in welcoming two new editors to the Facility Cleaning Decisions team — Associate Editors Jake Meister and James DeGraff. Jake has been learning the industry over the last year while working on our sister publications, Sanitary Maintenance and Contracting Profits. James got a crash course in cleaning after starting with the group just a few weeks ago.