Cleaning contractors have been grappling with high employee turnover rates for more than two decades.
To help address this situation, Robert Robinson, Sr, founder and CEO of Kaivac, and a presenter at the upcoming CIRI summit, says there are ways contractors can reduce this turnover.
Among his suggestions are the following:
Focus on Strengths
Many custodial workers consider moving on when they realize they are not performing as well as other workers on the team. The best way to keep them on the job and improve their work performance at the same time 'is to give them positive feedback on what they are doing right and celebrate their achievements.'
Well-trained workers have greater confidence in themselves and their jobs. 'Proper training is one of our key challenge in the [cleaning] industry. New equipment-mounted video technologies that let workers learn on their own are confidence builders and help keep workers on the job longer.'
Identify the Problem
Sometimes, cleaning workers having problems at work blame it on their jobs. Very often, the issues are not job-related at all. 'Call them in and listen to them. Try and help them identify what is really going on. If it is work-related, see if it can be corrected. If the problem is something in their personal lives, at least now they will know.'
A cleaning contractor in Northern California regular treats their staff and their families to local amusement parks, picnics, and sponsors soccer matches between their company staff and other janitorial companies with soccer teams. 'This not only cultivates fun, but cultivates competition – the whole company is competing against peer companies.'
Have a Ladder Handy
Employees become disengaged with a company when they think there is no chance for advancement. Make sure they know a ladder to company success is available to all who want to take advantage of it.
Workers consider leaving their jobs when they think the company is having problems or changes are in the works. 'If changes are coming, no matter what it is, discuss it with all staffers as soon as possible. When workers are concerned or fearful, that's when they pick up and leave. Talk to them before this happens.'
Robert Kravitz is a former building service contractor, having owned, operated, and then sold three contract cleaning companies in Northern California.
He is the author of two books about the industry and continues to be a frequent writer for the industry.
Robert is now president of AlturaSolutions Communications, which provides communications and marketing services for organizations in the professional cleaning and building industries.