Employee Retention: Problem or Opportunity?

Make employee retention a priority at your company

Is your cleaning business struggling with employee retention? Learn more about the causes and solutions for this common issue in the jan/san industry.

Your cleaning company is only as strong as the people in it

As we’ve written before, your primary responsibility as a cleaning business owner or manager is to provide your clients with consistent, high-quality services. And in order to do so, you must maintain a well-trained and qualified team of employees. Remember, your business is only as strong as the people in it.

People can be a problem, however. In a 2014 survey by Procter & Gamble, cleaning managers said employee turnover was one of their “top three challenges.”

If preventing employee turnover is an integral part of running a successful cleaning business, why do so many businesses struggle to retain employees?

In order to solve a problem, we first need to understand what the cause of the problem is. In this article, we’ll discuss some reasons for turnover in the jan/san industry and then suggest a “game plan” to beat it.

Why does employee retention decline?

A recent article on the HR and employee resource website, gethppy.com, listed five common reasons employee retention may be low at your company:

Reason #1 — Personal issues

A LinkedIn survey of 52,000 exit records in multiple industries showed that about 25 percent of employees leave their jobs because of “personal problems.” Such problems are broadly defined but may include family problems or conflicts with other employees.

There are many reasons for bad employee retention

Reason #2 — Not enough benefits

Money is not usually the only or most important motivator for employees. Salary is, in fact, the lowest rated factor in gethppy.com’s research, responsible for only one percent of employee turnover.

Benefits, on the other hand, are often motivating reasons for employees to stay. If other cleaning companies are providing their employees with more or better benefits, like health insurance or flexible hours, your employees may feel more inclined to work for those companies, leaving you at a competitive disadvantage.

Reason #3 — Management

“We’ve all heard that people don’t leave jobs, they leave bosses,” gethppy.com writes. Management may not be the only reason an employee chooses to quit, but managers do play an important role and influence several factors in the workplace, including employees’ attitude toward their company and the work they do.

Reason #4 — Unhealthy Work Environment

Your company’s culture is pretty important. If there is tension and employees dread coming to work, it’s safe to say they won’t be committed to working for your company for long.

Other indicators of an unhealthy work environment, according to gethppy.com, include a history of lawsuits for discrimination, complaints of sexual harassment, and negative feedback in exit interviews. Your company should have a culture and environment in which your employees will feel comfortable and want to stay.

Reason #5 — Salary

We mentioned earlier that money isn’t usually the most important reason for an employee to leave, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a reason. Employees are looking to be paid what they are worth, and if their wages aren’t fair, they will find a company who will pay them more.

There are probably even more reasons to explain why employee retention can be low, but these five are some of the most common. If any of them have hit close to home, or have resonated in your cleaning business, what can you do to fix these issues?

Improving employee retention

Many problems can be resolved by simply asking your employees for feedback. Ask them if they feel like they’ve been given the resources to help with any personal problems. Do they feel comfortable working for your business? Do they feel appreciated?

Ask your employees for feedback

Ask yourself if you are willing to offer your employees flexible hours and inexpensive health insurance options. Do you get along well with your employees? This is a skill owners and managers can learn to develop with proper and adequate training. Every employee is different and it will benefit you to be able to communicate with and show empathy toward your cleaners.

And with wages, do your research to make sure the compensation you offer is in the same range as the rest the industry. This information is readily available on websites such as LinkedIn.com and Payscale.com.

Here are a few other helpful tips to improve your company’s employee retention:

  1. Provide sufficient training and education so that your employees feel confident in completing the work they are asked to do. Make sure everyone is trained to use the proper equipment and the correct procedures, especially for cleaning jobs that require specific techniques.
  2. Be transparent. Open communication between employees and management can help create a sense of community and trust. Create a culture where employees feel free to offer ideas and ask questions. A culture that encourages them to speak honestly with their managers without fear of any consequences will help them feel valued and that their input will be heard and taken seriously.
  3. Improving employee retention starts with your hiring process. When hiring, make sure you’re being selective from the very beginning. Take into consideration things like diligence, attitude and integrity in addition to skills and experience.

Employee turnover is something that every business experiences. Employees will come and go, but it can get costly for your business if it happens more frequently than it should.

If this is the case with your business, take the time to figure out why it is happening and make any necessary changes. The effort to do so will benefit your business in the long run.

We’ve posted about cleaning employee turnover and retention before! For more information, check out this blog entry and this webinar, both from 2017.

Improve employee retention with CleanTelligent Software! We offer many solutions for cleaning business owners, such as job scheduling. Learn about our janitorial software on our solutions page.


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