5 Solutions to the Biggest Janitorial Staffing Challenges
Contributed by Janitorial Manager
Don’t let janitorial staffing problems limit your growth. Find out how you can stay fully staffed at all times.
One of the trickiest parts of janitorial staffing is finding the right balance between retaining the correct number of people on staff while not compromising your budget. On the surface, that seems simple enough, but in reality, it’s not simple at all. Turnover rates are high and it’s not out of the ordinary to have an employee call in sick or request time off at the same time that a new client signs on or an additional service is requested.
While there’s no way to make every staffing issue disappear, you can take on some of the biggest retention challenges and figure out how to limit their impact. Here are some ideas you can implement within your own team to help keep up morale.
5 Ways to Start Solving Your Staffing Challenges
1. Focus on Safety
Janitorial work isn’t without hazards. From the use of cleaning solutions and chemicals to the back bending work of heavy lifting, it’s important to consider the safety of your employees. Take steps to ensure both workers and the areas that are being cleaned are safe and secure. Commercial cleaners regularly work after hours or in largely isolated spaces, which can create an additional set of safety concerns to take into consideration. The more you can do to protect your staff and lay out a safety protocol to follow, the more confident your employees will feel out in the field.
2. Hire Part-Time/As-Needed Staff
If you have a few part-time employees or cleaners who can work on an as-needed basis, you can fill a lot of the scheduling holes when someone is sick or leaves unexpectedly. It’s important to point out that any arrangement like this should come with exceptional clarity on the expectations for both you and this part of your team. Individuals may not always be able to work when you need them to, and you may not be able to guarantee hours, but this can be a great arrangement for anyone in need of a little additional income.
3. Don’t Overwork Your Team
If your team is consistently overworked, they will leave, making the cycle worse. It’s understandable that if you’re experiencing staffing shortages that more work will fall to the remaining employees. Unfortunately, this leads to burnout and to feeling taken advantage of. Of course, you can’t leave jobs undone, so what can you do in these situations? To begin, try to hire qualified people to fill the gaps as soon as you can. Secondly, pay your current employees extra for taking on additional tasks and responsibilities.
4. Take Advantage of Technology
There’s a lot of technology in the commercial cleaning industry that can make cleaning much easier. In some cases, it’s “on-the-ground” tech, such as robotic vacuums. In others, it’s electrostatic spray technology. Still, one of the most helpful tools you can use that will allow you to take your business to the next level and better connect with your employees is through the use of janitorial software. Using a management tool to streamline your processes will give you the data and knowledge you need to take control over your day-to-day activities from bidding and scheduling, to inventory management, time-keeping, and inspections. Improving efficiency and increasing productivity will be yours for the taking.
5. Increase Wages and Benefits.
Of all the solutions to janitorial staffing challenges, this one might be the most helpful and also the one most likely to be ignored. Yes, profit margins can be thin and payroll and benefits add up quickly, but when you offer benefits and better pay to your workers, you’re showing your team that you value them and appreciate the work they do. Higher wages equate to better employee retention and lower turnover. With this being said, there is a good chance you’ll need to increase your rates, and you may lose some contracts because of it. However, many of those contracts are clients looking for the lowest price no matter what. When you have happier, better-paid employees, the results speak for themselves in the work they do. Clients will be willing to pay your rates because they know the quality of the team and the excellence of service that will be provided.
Although staffing issues can be tough to deal with, you don’t have to let them get the better of you or your team. With a little extra effort and attention, you can build a reliable and hardworking team that lasts.