Employees are only as productive and efficient as their manager, especially in the world of janitorial management. Learn how to improve employee efficiency.
A team of employees is only as productive and efficient as its manager. A good manager or leader will bring out the best in their team, both as a group and on an individual, person-by-person basis.
I’ve had experiences at a past employer where an ineffective manager caused a significant dip in productivity. The existing employees — who, by the way, were quite efficient when under previous leadership — were visibly less proficient in performing their day-to-day tasks. Not only that, but having this unsuccessful leader led to constant turnover in that department. In a one-year period alone, the department went through about twice as many employees as they had the year before.
That same department eventually replaced the manager with one that was immediately a breath of fresh air. Because the manager was more adept at bringing out the best in their workforce, employee turnover was reduced to a minimum and the employees found themselves far more productive than before.
I’ve compiled a list of some ways to improve your skills and techniques as a manager that I’ve learned through my years working in janitorial management. You’ll likely find that you already do apply some of these on a regular basis, but this short list should also give you some additional ideas for improving the way you lead your team forward.
Show your employees that you believe in them: Nothing undermines an employee’s productivity more than a belief that their manager doesn’t have confidence in them. Believing in them — and SHOWING them that you believe in their potential — will go a long way in giving your employees the confidence they need to excel. As wonderfully stated by Inc. Magazine, “Confidence boosts productivity: When employees are confident about their future, they perform better. . . Take steps to bolster their confidence in the company, the industry, and management’s commitment to them.”
Delegate where applicable: One of the best ways to show your employees that you trust them is to delegate relevant tasks and responsibilities. It is true that a manager is selected because they have a firm understanding of what is expected from all of their employees, but this doesn’t mean that the manager is the only person capable of excelling at those tasks. A major key to delegating is to not only pass along the responsibility to the employee, but to communicate expectations to them. As a manager, you are in a position to see exactly how everything fits together, but your employees don’t always have this luxury. Clearly communicate the responsibilities associated with that task, especially inclusion of deadlines.
Communicate the value of priorities: Setting priorities seems to be a clear positive, but there’s more to it than just setting the goal. Much like New Year’s resolutions that millions of people set every year, business goals are only useful if there’s a consistent and concerted effort to actually reach them.
In our sales and marketing department here at CleanTelligent Software, one of the most effective internal tactics we’ve implemented is making every employee in the department accountable for setting and completing their top five tasks for the day. By making these top five priorities visible to the rest of the department, accountability is increased. In addition, it also gives each employee another opportunity to prove performance and find joy in their successes.
As a result, I can unequivocally say that our department has been far more productive across the board. Our department has also made the decision to sort our priorities in advance. Personally, I find the best way to do this is to take the last few minutes of each day to write down and sort my priorities for the next day. Doing it this way serves multiple purposes: First, it’s easier to know which tasks are most important the next day because I’m still in the “at work” mindset. I’m not a morning person, so setting the priorities at a time where my brain is fully awake is a big edge for me. Second, having my priorities all set when I come into the office the next morning means that I can come into work and get started on my tasks without having to waste time trying to remember what I did the day before.
Every business is different — the janitorial industry is no exception, of course — but management techniques are often universal. I recall attending leadership training classes in college, and the common thread was always, “no matter how different employees are, they’re still people.” Treat your employees like members of a team, rather than serfs or subordinates, and you’ll find that they enjoy working for you. When people like where they work, productivity and efficiency are raised to new heights.