How Employee Engagement Reduces Turnover and Drives Business

When someone applies to work at a given company of course their primary motivation is income. When employees leave one job for another again often times it because of higher potential earnings, but for many people it’s not. Managers and immediate supervisors are the single biggest reason people leave a job. Does this mean employers must cater to an employee’s every need? No, however engaging employees is critical in order to understand their state of mind and level of job satisfaction. In the janitorial service industry, Central Maintenance can’t just give employees a brief run through their job duties and send them off and expect everything to be great without follow up. There needs to be consistent communication and often times retraining before they fully understand the routine and expectations. Employees that feel supported and that they have good communication with their supervisor will stay at a job longer than those that do not. Beyond the normal engagement related to job performance it is also very important to understand employees at a more personal level. Finding out what drives people and what their aspirations are can strengthen the bond an employee has with a company because it’s not something every employer takes the time to ascertain. Maybe they want to save up to buy a new car, house, boat, etc. or want to put money away for a child’s college savings. Maybe they want to get a life insurance policy or create a will, but really don’t understand how. Knowing these things and being able to help them achieve their goals goes a long way and it doesn’t have to cost the company money. An employee that is engaged in this way feels valued and will hold a higher appreciation for their employer which will result in less frequent turnover. At Central Maintenance people are our business and without them we would not be a successful company. Engaging our employees has helped to reduce turnover which has resulted in better service for our customers and longer partnerships.

A Few Tips On Disinfecting

A big part of any cleaning program is disinfecting, however they are not one in the same. Knowing what to use and how to use it is critical to ensuring it's done properly. The link below provides some useful insight.

Why An Effective Cleaning Program is Important for Customers and Employees

Janitorial or custodial programs are extremely important to all businesses for two main reasons: employee retention and new/recurring sales. Think about it. Would you stay and work for a company that had a dirty facility? Would you continue to patronize a business that had unclean restrooms or where you suspect you may have gotten ill? Most people would answer no to both questions and for good reason. Unclean facilities can severely impact a company's reputation which means employee turnover and reduced sales. Not only is a dirty facility unsightly there are very real health concerns as well. Common spaces that are shared by employees and /or customers have many surfaces where cross contamination can occur including elevators, stairwells, door handles / push plates, sinks, urinals, towel / soap dispensers, etc. Statistics show that these are the places where harmful, potentially deadly microorganisms like E. coli, staphylococcus, hepatitis, and various flu strains are frequently found. The key to preventing the spread of illness while maintaining a pleasant appearance is properly educating and training custodians on cleaning and disinfecting procedures. A disinfectant will only work after the surface has been properly cleaned and has had sufficient dwell time to do its job. Proper cleaning affects everyone including private corporations, educational institutions, manufacturing plants, medical facilities and auto dealerships. Taking the appropriate steps to ensure your facility is properly cleaned will keep your employees happy and productive and will also make a good impression on customers to keep them coming back.

FDA Bans Ingredients In Antibacterial Soap

This topic sort of piggybacks on my last post, "The Cost of Illness To Employers". Many people use antibacterial soaps personally (myself included) and quite a few of our customers also provide them including the schools we service. The jury is still out on whether some of these chemicals are truly dangerous over prolonged use, however research conducted suggests that plain soap and water may be just as effective and potentially better at killing bacteria and reducing the spread of infection.

The Costs of Illness To Employers

To some building owners and facility managers a cleaning program is somewhat of an afterthought. It's something they know is needed, but not as high on the priority list as it should be. Once the potential financial losses are understood their tune quickly changes. Employee absenteeism and "presenteeism", when employees come to work sick, are big problems as far productivity is concerned. Many studies have been done on how quickly viruses can spread in the workplace as well as how long they can survive on a given surface. The dirtiest spots in an office are typically high touch surfaces such as main entrance door handles, elevator buttons, faucet handles, microwave door handles, keyboards, water fountains, phones, and computer mice. According to The Integrated Benefits Institute, the U.S. economy suffers $227 billion in losses each year because of employee sickness. This includes all industries; healthcare, education, manufacturing, food service, retail, business services, etc. Proper cleaning and disinfecting methods can reduce the spread of contagious illness by 80 to 90 percent. This is the best way to keep illness to a minimum and to maximize productivity and profitability. Furthermore, if employees have access to hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes they can contribute in the fight against workplace sickness, improve the overall attendance at their facility and reduce the financial burden associated with absenteeism.

Business Process Improvement - Why It's Important To A Successful Janitorial Company

A commercial janitorial business is like many other businesses in the sense that there are employees within specific departments that have certain responsibilities. Over time employees may come and go, but the departments and responsibilities may not change that much. New technology may change the ways certain jobs are conducted often times making them easier. As the years go by it can be easy for a company to overlook it's business processes and become complacent with the way things have always been done. This can result in owners and managers being unaware of any process pitfalls which can lead to inefficiency and poor performance if not corrected. It's important to closely review the roles and responsibilities of employees within a company as well as all business processes to ensure each process is being done efficiently and that checks are in place to avoid unhappy customers and lost revenue.

Analyzing specific processes allows managers to properly assess how many employees are needed to facilitate a particular function. A process can be streamlined to combine or eliminate steps if needed to simplify it thus requiring less time to complete it. The fewer the number of employees that need to be involved the better provided the process is working optimally. Checks should be a part of each process to ensure mistakes are minimized and that managers have the proper oversight.

Simplifying forms and standardizing reports can also make processes more efficient and reduce the paper trail. Email and other databases can often be used in place of paper forms further reducing dependency on paper and allowing managers the ability to easily oversee the process.

The goal of any business process improvement is to reduce employee hand-offs and overall cycle time while improving efficiency and customer service. By carefully analyzing each current process managers can simplify things and reduce the time and/or employees needed to efficiently perform the operation. A business that stays up to date with its processes will be more profitable and have an easier time adjusting to any needed changes. Staying abreast of new technology can also reduce labor and improve employee time management. Scheduling regular BPI meetings will allow for needed changes and ensures the company is running at peak performance for years to come.

How To Manage A Successful Cleaning Business

The commercial janitor service industry may be one of the most competitive industries there is. There are companies of all sizes competing in various geographic markets every day all over the world. Regardless of the age or size of the company they all must adhere to the same principals of effective business management in order to be successful. Poor or irresponsible business decisions can quickly erode a company's reputation and profit and will eventually lead to failure. I have been fortunate to have an opportunity at Central Maintenance to work alongside experienced mentors that have helped me learn the right way to manage this type of business. In my experience the 3 most important factors in managing a successful cleaning business are as follows:

1. Sales, Sales, Sales: New business development is paramount to the success of any company regardless of industry. Implementing effective marketing strategies and consistently executing them will supply a steady stream of new business opportunities. Marketing should continue even as prospects become paying customers to avoid a lull in uncovering new qualified, targeted prospects. To maintain a solid reputation through these growing pains it is important to properly bid each new job. Underbidding can and will result in poor service, customer complaints and a sharp reduction in previously assumed profit. The new account may also be eventually lost which will reflect badly on your reputation.

2. Labor & Supply Budgets: Mismanagement of labor and supply budgets will cut deeply into company profits if not corrected quickly. Closely monitoring employee time at each account and discussing with each employee the importance of not working more than the allotted time will help control excessive labor costs. This is especially important with full-time employees that will receive an over-time rate. Employees that are constantly calling off can also pose a problem if their routines are being covered by other employees that make a higher wage. Policies should be put in place to help minimize employee call offs. Keeping a close eye on supplies is also very important. Going a little over budget on several accounts can make a big dent in profits. Requiring managers to monitor inventory at each account is critical to ensure employees are not over ordering supplies or improperly using them resulting in waste.

3. Fleet Maintenance: On of the largest expenses of a commercial cleaning company is its fleet of vehicles. The size of the fleet is typically determined by the number of accounts and the average labor hours per night that are required to cover call offs and to perform scheduled periodic work. Deciding the right time to purchase another vehicle can be tricky, but waiting too long can cause problems for your customers and damage your reputation. Keeping tabs on maintenance costs of an aging fleet is also important as older vehicles cost more and more to repair as they age. Justifying parting ways with an older, paid off vehicle for a new or newer one is also a balancing act when considering the cost of maintenance versus the cost of a new vehicle. Holding on to an older vehicle or purchasing a new one too soon can also sharply cut into profits.

In conclusion the janitor service industry is a lot like many other services when developing a successful management plan. Acquiring new customers should always be at or near the top of the list. In a service based business effectively managing labor and supplies is critical to making a profit. Staying on top of fleet maintenance is important to ensuring your customers' expectations are being met and your profits are not being cut short. Successful managers are aware of everywhere money is being spent and are always fine tuning budgets to assure they are realistic. This ultimately helps to paint an accurate picture of the company's financial health.