Steps Facility Managers Can Take to Reduce Staff Turnover
Facility managers may not be aware of this, but the turnover in the professional cleaning industry can border on staggering. In some areas of the country, it has been as high as 300 percent. This means for every ten cleaning workers a cleaning contractor has, the company may need to hire 30 people during the year to fill those positions.
It also means that many cleaning contractors must train and then retrain workers constantly. The problem is that many cleaning contractors do not have the time to do this. The result is that these new workers often do not know how to perform their duties efficiently and effectively, protecting the health of building users as well the appearance of the facility.
That’s not all. The president of a major company in the professional cleaning equipment was recently quoted as saying:
“This revolving door of employees, coming and going, prevents contractors and building managers from implementing more modern cleaning methods and technologies, even though they know it could make buildings cleaner, safer, and save billions of dollars,”
Further, this executive added that if this turnover problem could be solved, “the professional cleaning industry would be transformed virtually overnight.” It would go from a world of old fashion cleaning tools to those that will “dramatically professionalize cleaning workers, along with improving cleaning effectiveness and producing cleaner, safer, indoor environments at a lower cost.”
Realizing this is such a problem in our industry, Service by Medallion took steps many years ago to help reduce our employee turnover. We are proud to say that today, some of our staff have been with our company for as long as 35 years.
We would like to share some of the steps we have taken to make this happen, with the hope that it can help our readers, Facility Managers, address their own turnover issues.
Among them are the following:
We make sure each worker is clear what is expected of them.
We praise our staff members, and do so generously. “Always praise people in front of other workers,” says Peter Mains, regional vice president for Service by Medallion. “It encourages other workers to earn such praise as well.”
We make sure our staff knows we care about them and their families. “This is very important,” adds Mains. “Workers that feel appreciated are loyal workers and go out of their way to do their best for our clients.”
We make sure our staff knows their opinions count. Not only do we make sure they know their opinions count, but we also open the door to suggestions. Adds Maines, over the years, some of the suggestions we have heard have come from our staff “have helped us improve cleaning effectiveness, enhance worker productivity, reduce costs for you and for our company, and make cleaning safer.”
Related to this, we want our staff to make sure they know they are important to us. When workers do not feel they are important to a company that is when the revolving door starts turning, as the manufacturing executive mentioned earlier.
Over the years, we have also started a number of social events for our staff. These bring everyone together, so we all feel like one team.
Whether you are experiencing turnover problems or not, the takeaway we would like to share with Facility Managers is this: the more your staff feels they are a vital part of your organization, not only are they more likely to stay with your company and become loyal employees, the services they render will better serve your building tenants, a goal we know is shared by every Facility Manager.