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Cleaning Industry Turnover: A Guide to Prevention and Retention

Reducing employee turnover in the cleaning industry can be challenging. Due to the nature of the work, cleaning requires odd hours and generally does not earn societal respect by clients and other employees. It is important to create a work atmosphere that is positive and values good employees. This will help maintain personnel and not have them view their jobs as trivial tasks but as a potentially rewarding and long-term career. Consider practicing the following:

  • Hire employees that want to clean. It’s that simple. Do not interview for cleaning jobs as temporary positions, but look for employees that want to learn and grow within your organization. The cleaning industry may not be glamorous, but make sure potential employees know it’s steady work that can offer future advancement.
  • Provide training to new employees. Employees that understand and are comfortable with their job tasks perform more efficiently and effectively. They also have more pride in their work. Create hands-on training sessions, a training manual and provide cross-training opportunities so employees can learn new skills and continue to grow.
  • Reward employees and create a sense of family. Sometimes employee retention can be as simple as employees feeling appreciated. Create a sense of comradery so appreciated employees know you value their hard work. This can be as simple as having a day out at a baseball game, a staff party or even a family bowling night.
  • Conduct yearly reviews and offer praise. Employees need to feel valued. Encourage employees to go above and beyond their routine job tasks. Recognize employees in annual reviews and praise their performance if they volunteer for overtime, respond to emergency jobs, volunteer to work overnight shifts or tackle tough cleaning jobs. It is important that any criticism is constructive, so employees do not feel discouraged. Offer additional counseling or training to help employees learn from their mistakes, as this will help avoid future repeat mishaps.
  • Implement a workplace survey. To help your cleaning company improve, you need to gain insightful feedback. Ask employees to provide anonymous feedback about training opportunities, shifts, cleaning assignments, management and paid benefits. You can use this information to make changes in your workplace, including adding more rotating shifts, offering a wellness program or including more opportunities for advancement.

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