Editor-in-Chief Corinne Zudonyi

Seventy-five percent of facility cleaning managers struggle to find adequate employees to fill their departmental roster. For those that identify these individuals, retention then becomes a challenge — 54 percent of managers have difficulty retaining quality staff.

Turnover and a depleting workforce have plagued the cleaning industry for years, which is why it’s so important for managers to retain the quality employees they have. Doing so can be challenging, but there are some very simple methods that support the cause. One such method can be summed up in two words: recognition matters.

Employment engagement experts report that more than 65 percent of workers feel they are under-recognized at work. And this lack of recognition is the main reason employees leave organizations.

These stats, although not surprising, puzzle me. Recognizing staff seems like a no-brainer. Employee recognition creates engagement. Engaged staffs are happier, perform better and are less likely to leave an organization.

Don’t believe me? According to a Gallop poll, 80 percent of employees said recognition is a strong motivator of work performance and 70 percent said they would work harder with continuous recognition.

So where do managers go from here? The first step is to decide what you want to recognize.  International Housekeepers Week is a great way to start. This week-long celebration of cleaning staffs takes place every September and is a simple way to thank the staff with small gifts of gratitude for a job well done — candy and notes can go a long way.

Recognize and celebrate milestone anniversaries as a team. Pass a card for everyone to sign for team members that stay a year. At five years, get the team together for a pizza party. I know a company that gives iPads to 10-year veterans and additional vacation days for other milestones.

No matter how big or small, the point is to recognize and show a little gratitude for the hard work your staff does each and every day. Being genuine with employees can be extremely fulfilling for both parties.

Someone once told me, “Leadership is not about being the best. Leadership is about making everyone else better.” Recognition is a small act that reaps big rewards for everyone.