Episode 246 – Managing Employee Expectations
How to Keep Employees Motivated When they Expect You to Be Out Cleaning With Them
Today we spoke with Sarah Oller from Sparkles Maids, and she is dealing with a problem you are either facing right now…or are going to be facing soon enough in your cleaning business.
That is the fine art of motivating your employees. Sarah, after quitting nursing to go in full time with her cleaning business, found herself in the tight spot of how to motivate her employees. Her employees were out there in the field, cleaning houses, and their quality was dipping as they wondered… why wasn’t Sarah out here with them cleaning away?!
Hold tight, there is a lot we have to say on this subject. First things first…
Overcoming an Identity Crisis with Unmotivated Employees
If your employee thinks you should be out there cleaning with them, than there is a cancer in the relationship that needs to be fixed. You would not expect the CEO of Target to be out there mopping the floors of one of their retail chains, would you?
It would be ridiculous.
Likewise, you cannot be expected as a business owner to go out there and clean while also handling everything else such as marketing, submitting bids, hiring employees and scaling your business. However, your employees are what creates the quality or the lack of quality your service provides and what they do is of paramount importance.
The first step to overcoming this problem is making sure they realize they’re not in a democracy here. It is a benevolent dictatorship. If an employee messes up, if they show up late, if they consistently are doing a bad job then they need to given some kind of punishment or maybe even let go if this is a problem they keeps occurring. It is up to you to make sure you actually follow through on this. If you never follow through, your employees will never look at you as their leader.
RESOURCE ALERT: Cleaning Employees Driving You Crazy? Not Anymore…https://oldsite.growmycleaningcompany.comcleaning-employees-2/
Punishing someone is never fun, but it is sometimes the nature of what needs to be done.
That being said, you need to also understand the bargain YOU are giving them. If the bargain is they come to do an hour’s worth of unpleasant work while you pay them $11… well that’s a pretty bad bargain.
That is where you must work the magic motivation to get them to view the bargain in an entirely different way.
How a Community Breeds More Motivation
It is all about how you POSITION the job to your employee. Yes, they are going have to do some unpleasant work, but they are also get to meet people that support each other and become friends.
Remember a time when you worked for a supervisor you really respected? Or work with a crew of people that were your friends? How did it feel when you didn’t do your share of work? Terrible! You want to do just as much as they, if not more than they.
You have to breed this into your company’s work culture right from day one.
Tell your new employee right there in the interview that the job can be tiring, they will work a lot, but if they stick with it they will also get to be part of a community. You can’t just telling people, “I’M FUN” and expect them to think you are though… you will need to come up with ways to make the job more fun. Company gatherings for instance is often an easy and an inexpensive way to bring the company together tighter.
RESOURCE ALERT: Best Practices for Hiring High Quality Employees https://oldsite.growmycleaningcompany.comhiring-cleaning-company-employees/
A community of course also works on respect. If you as their leader messes up, you should be the first to tell them so. Ask them for their forgiveness after telling them the mess up, and what your plan is to make it better for everyone.
Your goal is to build a community that is BIGGER than yourself and even the company itself. You want a place where even if an employee leaves… they’re still chatting with their ex employees and maybe even you.
While being a super nice boss that everyone wants to be around is great, remember you still must follow through on your core values. If building a community is all about everyone mutually respecting each other, then you will never earn their respect if you don’t follow through on on giving discipline to someone who violates that community’s core values. You must have no mercy in these situations, as these people are not just a threat to the quality of service you give your clients, but also a threat to the community you’re trying to build within your employees.
If your employees are only working 25-30 hours per week and complaining of being tired… then you know the community is not there yet. That is purely a motivational problem, not an actual exhaustion problem.
You need to reflect this sense of community from the very first place your employee interacts with you… your company for hire ad. Don’t just said paid training, respected member of the Better Business Bureau or any of these kind of accolades because your potential employees really don’t care.
What they are going to care most about is the house they are occupying. You as the employer are the builder of that house. It is your job to make sure they enjoy what you’ve built, and in making them enjoy it they will in turn respect you to do a better job or come to you if they feel there is a real problem.
Check out Sarah’s answers below:
Best advice you’ve received either personally or professionally?
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in the cleaning business we can all learn from?
What’s one idea cleaning nation can put into practice to improve their business or their lives immediately?
Have faith. All kinds of people are going to come out of the woodwork, especially when you first start, telling you to get a real job. Well, you HAVE a real job. You are doing REAL work, creating REAL revenue and if you’re at the point of hiring people, you’re probably having more of an impact on people’s lives then the person telling you this will never work.
Thanks for reading and listening Cleaning Nation, back to you!