Commercial cleaning staffing problems can vacuum up your chances to grow your business and make a profit. Here’s what you can do.
Don’t you love it when your commercial cleaning staffing is perfect? You have the right people to take care of your clients, everyone gets the hours they want and need, and your business cruises along like a new microfiber cloth on a stainless steel surface.
Eventually, though, someone gets sick and is out for a few days. It’s not ideal, but you and your team can cover it. Then one of your full-timers is in an accident, and just like that, you’re down two people. At least they’re coming back.
Of course, we all know the commercial cleaning industry has a notoriously high turnover rate. So even if you’re just dealing with a temporary shortage, the chances are good that, at some point, you’ll lose people. Especially if you have a smaller team, being down two or three people can be devastating. This leaves us with the issue of solving a commercial cleaning staffing shortage in a hurry.
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8 Ideas to fix your commercial cleaning staffing issues right away
Naturally, one of the best ways to deal with cleaning staffing issues is to take steps to avoid them in the first place. There’s no waving a magic wand and making everything perfect, but there are some things you can do to try and limit the chances of a staff shortage.
1. Focus on employee health. What does that mean? And what does it have to do with preventing a staff shortage? Quite simply, healthy employees aren’t going to need as many days off for injuries or illnesses. Ideally, of course, your commercial cleaning company can offer health insurance, but even outside of that, you do have options. Make paid sick days part of your business plan. When people can rest and recover, they get better more quickly, AND they don’t bring germs into work and get other people sick.
2. Make safety a priority. There’s a lot you can do to ensure employee safety. This can be as simple as reminding people to use caution and ask for help lifting heavy objects, or it can be as hands-on as providing self-defense lessons. Consider things like how you schedule employees (are they going to desolate locations alone?) and the environment in which they’re working (chemicals, poor ventilation, etc.). Like health, attention to safety can also keep your employees working, rather than sitting at home with an injury.
3. Be good to work for. Yes, that’s a vague phrase. What does it mean to be good to work for? In short, it means taking care of your team and ensuring they’re treated well by other employees and your customers. It also can mean ensuring job security, regular training, increasing pay or regular raises, and things like showing appreciation for the work your team does. This is a good crossover idea, too, as it will help you limit employee turnover and attract new people.
Indeed, preventing commercial cleaning staffing problems is the goal, but you never know when you might need to fill a position in a hurry. The three ideas above can help there, too. Gaining a reputation as an excellent company to work for can give you a leg up when it comes time to hire. That said, here are some more ideas to solve those unexpected staffing problems.
4. Hire a part-part-time employee. This is one creative solution to commercial cleaning staffing problems. The trick is to find someone willing to do this. Essentially, you have an on-call employee who only works as needed. This could be someone that used to work for you and wants to pick up a shift here and there. Since there are no guaranteed hours and no guarantee this person will be available when you need them, you need to be very transparent about the arrangement. But it could be just the thing you need to cover a temporary gap in your schedule.
5. Take advantage of technology. Software like Janitorial Manager can streamline your entire operation. From creating the most efficient schedule to tracking inventory to workloading, technology can help you run your business more easily than ever.
6. Overtime. Not the most cost-effective solution, granted, but offering overtime to your current team can help you fill staff shortages, at least temporarily. And really, isn’t paying overtime better than losing a client or two because you’re short-staffed?
Lastly, let’s go over some things you DON’T want to do. Because sometimes it’s better to figure out how to work around cleaning staffing problems than to inadvertently make things worse.
7. Don’t go on a hiring spree. Even when you’re short-handed, you don’t want to hire every random person that drops off an application. On the other hand, you can’t pre-emptively hire based on the idea that all but one or two of the people you hire won’t work out. That makes the process harder on everyone, including your current team, who may decide there are better working conditions elsewhere.
8. Don’t be overly selective in hiring. You don’t want to hire too many people, but you also don’t need to wait for the “perfect” employee to come along. You may not get a candidate with experience or who fits your idea of a janitorial employee. That’s what training is for!
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