Getting the Right Janitorial Staff to Make Your Life Easier
Episode 196 Carlos Martinez Dura-Shine Clean
Step 1: Know your core values
First and foremost you have to get the right people to start – that starts with core values.
Knowing your Core Values is key when hiring janitorial staff . You want them to resonate with your core values. Almost more importantly than that, is repelling people that don’t fit with your core values. The way you do that is being and clear with them from the get go. From your hiring ads to your training and systems within your company, your core values should be woven throughout.
RESOURCE ALERT: More in depth discussion on Core Values
Southwest Airlines sets the bar high with loud and clear core values. They attract a certain type of employee that enjoys a more relaxed and personable work environment. Even when other airlines offer higher starting pay, there are waiting lists of excited applicants waiting to be a part of their company.
KEY POINT: Living your core values out loud will get you the cream of the crop employees
Hiring a new janitorial staff who don’t believe what you believe and trying to indoctrinate them is an uphill, maybe even impossible task. But, hiring someone who is passionate about what you are passionate about and stoking that fire, is an easier endeavor and much more fun.
Step 2: Give them a path to follow
For this step, we take a look at In n Out. For those of you who are less fortunate than us in the South West and don’t have In n Out in their hometowns, they’re a fantastic burger joint. They have 11 different levels within their company that an employee can work towards. 7 for non-management and 4 for managers. Pay raises are clearly lined out and employees know what they have to do to earn them. They do an amazing job giving their employees a path to follow when it comes to pay.
The real magic happens when there is synergy between your core values and having a path to follow. When your janitorial staff drank too much the night before, or just don’t feel like coming in, instead of just blowing it off and getting another $10/hr job they don’t want to lose what they have have. They have built something for themselves, they’re on level 8 and want to continue working towards the next level etc..
So what about steps to follow that don’t have anything to do with pay? Let’s take a look at another well known example, Karate. Depending on what part of the country you are in, it can cost $200-$300 a month. Not a cheap hobby. But your kid wants to be tough or defend themselves and learn discipline. They want to break boards with their feet and smash bricks with their fists!
KEY POINT: Give your staff quick goals to work towards
The problem is they don’t start out doing all that. They go for 2 weeks and they haven’t kicked a thing. So the blow out rate is high. What they’ve done to keep retention up is by giving their customers (aka students) a path to follow.
First they start with the white belt, then the yellow, green, brown, then the brown with the black stripe and then 2 years and $7000 later they can earn a black belt.
That change of paradigm from “Hey we’re going to teach you to punch and kick to”, “We’re going to give you this goal” is much better for retention. Even if you told them “in 2 years you’re going to get a black belt”, that’s too much. You need to give them smaller goals they can achieve sooner.
Here are some ideas for how that looks for your janitorial staff:
- Ribbons on their badges
- Some get pins if they’ve been with you for 5 years or 2 years
- Supervisors get polo shirts instead of t shirts
- The more experienced people who still have t shirts get different colored shirts
KEY POINT: Make them feel like they’ve built something that they’re proud of and they don’t want to walk away from it.
Step 3: Build Community
Mike talks about building community in your company in other podcasts. The common scenario is seeing your new staff like a necessary evil to get the job done. Perhaps you don’t even get to know them before they’e been there for a couple months. The problem is they also see us as a commodity. Just one crappy $10/hr job with a boss that doesn’t know or care about them and when it’s no longer convenient to come into work, they will just go get another crappy job.
RESOURCE ALERT: For more awesome podcast on getting amazing cleaning employees click HERE
We need to change that to where instead of them seeing us as a commodity, they see us as an opportunity to be a part of a community. Give them a place they can grow and learn and enjoy coming to work every day. So when if someone else offers them a nickel more an hour, there is no way they’re going to leave because they can’t get what you have anywhere else.
For Mike, one of his core values was “Help out.” They would do events where the employees were welcome to come and give back to the community. They did trips to Mexico to build houses or do charitable work in the community. In short is wasn’t ” I show up, clean for 8 hours and they give me $80 American.” It’ was ” I am a part of something bigger than myself. I have community.”
When you combine these 3 steps into your company, the caliber and dedication you will receive from your janitorial staff is bound to greatly increase the health and overall environment of your company.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
My last boss said hey man when you go out and you start your company is be part of the community and get back to the community.
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in the cleaning business?
I came from a national company and some months into it I noticed that there are a lot of flaws in the process so I learned what not to do and that is why I started my own company and then got educated.
What one thing Cleaning Nation can do today to improve their lives or their business?
Get involved in the community and get back even though you’re small or you are just starting out and be visible in the community, be a good citizen and it will payback . People want to do business with you because you are a great community leader and people want to do business with you because they know who you are and what you stand for.
We know that Cleaning Nation is passionate about getting the right staff for their company. W want to hear about your success! We LOVE hearing from you, so ask a question in the comment box below- Mike answers every one of them…