Recruit and retain. Business metaphor with puzzles

Contributed by Janitorial Manager

It’s no secret that the commercial cleaning industry has a notoriously high turnover rate. Unfortunately, constant turnover causes a strain on your time, energy, and budget. When you do manage to hire an excellent team, you want to do everything you can to keep them on board.

Think about it. With a solid team, you don’t have to worry whether or not they will show up for their shift or do a good job out in the field. Instead, you’ll have confidence knowing they will be at the right place, at the right time. You’ll also have peace of mind knowing they will treat your customers with respect, complete their duties with care, and represent your cleaning organization well. 

Moreover, your valuable time will be freed up for tackling new projects instead of being consumed with hiring and training new employees around the clock. 

To lessen the chance of losing trustworthy staff, here are some ways you can work to keep them on your payroll. 

5 Steps to Retaining the Best Employees on Your Commercial Cleaning Team

1. Create an Environment of Respect. This might sound simple, but it’s incredibly powerful. People want to feel respected. In the case of a cleaning business, that means thanking people for a job well done. It means ensuring your team has the information they need to complete their tasks correctly. It also means that they are provided with essential gear and equipment such as PPE and cleaning products to carry out their duties and responsibilities effectively. Another way to show respect is by sticking to a schedule to ensure your team knows how many hours to expect each week. When you empower your team with the right tools and encouragement, they will soon learn how much you care about their wellbeing, and will most likely stick around for the long haul. 

2. Don’t Micromanage. This can be tough especially for small business owners and operators, but remember, if you have a solid onboarding and training program, there’s no need to micromanage. More importantly, micromanaging is an excellent way to chase your employees away. Employees flourish when they are provided with the tools to succeed and are treated with trust and confidence that they will do their job well.

3. Be Open to Feedback. People need to be able to approach you without the fear of retribution. Whether it’s an idea to work more efficiently, trouble with a coworker, or maybe frustration with the schedule, it’s important to be a good listener so your employees feel heard and understood.

4. Stay Organized. Your ability to keep things organized might not seem like much of a tip for how to retain the best employees, but think about it from their point of view. They want to show up and do their job. If they don’t have the supplies they need or if their equipment is breaking down, then their time is spent trying to figure out how to solve these problems themselves while out in the field instead of just being able to do their job. To avoid this frustration, make sure your cleaning business has an effective way to monitor supplies and ensure routine maintenance checks are in place for each piece of equipment. 

5. Give People the Opportunity to Advance. This can be a tricky retention strategy, as your overall business needs to grow in order for employees to have more opportunities. However, it’s also a proven strategy, and easy to put in place. As your commercial cleaning business grows, take notice of the employees who have proven to be dependable and trustworthy in their employment and provide opportunities for them to obtain roles such as shift supervisors, regional management, etc. 

You won’t always be able to keep your best employees on the team. That’s just a fact of the business world. Yet, there is a lot you can do to put the odds in your favor and make your commercial cleaning operation one that attracts excellent people and encourages them to stay with you.

For additional insight from Janitorial Manager, check out this article on how to optimize surveys to boost your business.