Sasha client's success.
Cleaning & Maintenance Management magazine, September 2003
By Robert Preuss, News Editor
Learn the lessons that allowed one BSC to reduce annual turnover from 200 percent to 40 percent.
|Some idealists in the JanSan industry believe you can cure turnover problems. Some don't try to deal with turnover at all. "High turnover is inevitable.", a regional manager for a multinational building service contractor told Cleaning & Maintenance Management. "Many of the people who seek employment as cleaners are young people who haven't really found what they are going to do with their lives yet."||
|There are built-in challenges.
But, you CAN control turnover and make progress in an orderly fashion.
A realistic approach accepts impermanence. It acknowledges that cleaning
personnel have goals beyond scrubbing floors and it asks, "How can we help
employees achieve those goals while benefiting our business?"
"We say, 'Give us your best for three to five years and I'll help you up the ladder'," said Mary Miller, VP and co-owner with husband Tony, of Jancoa Janitorial Services, in Cincinnati. Three to five years is a realistic goal for a stint as a building cleaner, and a far cry from the six-month average Jancoa and other companies struggled with in the 1990s.
Truth be told
One simple truth is that cleaning buildings is a people business. Treat people like machines and they will break down like machines. Knowing your workforce and what they want is not overly complicated.
Many BSCs may argue that employee issues are not the business of the owner/manager. Look at this another way. "We want the best employees. We want them motivated.", Miller said. "When they're with us, we want the best. When they leave, we want to replace them with the best."
|To get their best, give employees what they want. Many of employees' "want list" items can be obtained at little or no cost to the company. "You would be surprised at the services, such as credit counseling and English lessons, available in your community at no cost," Brenda Corbett, owner, Sasha Corporation, Cincinnati, told Cleaning & Maintenance Management.|
|The same answer applies
to all these questions:
of those top motivators: People want to be recognized," Corbett said.
Have an employee awards program, but don't make that the sum total of your
motivational program. Be realistic. A hundred dollars, once a month,
to just one employee may not build loyalty.
Another motivator in the top five, Corbett said, is this: 'Do you care about my personal issues?'. "If you solve something for employees, they'll know you care. That's what Jancoa has done a hundredfold," Corbett said.
For the Millers and Jancoa, Sasha offered a "missing piece" in getting from Point A to Point B: a tool that could be used in a holistic structure that supports the business and the employees. "We sent a dozen managers to Sasha for Employment Dynamics training." Miller said. "Jancoa's turnover went from 200 percent per year to less than 40 percent,"
Improvement in retention could be measured in terms of individual managers. One manager, in particular, went from being the "worst," in terms of employee retention, to the best. The company began to look more attractive to employees. One first-rate supervisor joined Jancoa after 15 years with a competitor.
"Say hello to workshops, one-on-one sessions and deal with employees' issues as part of day-to-day business. Say goodbye to the trauma janitorial managers face every day: No-shows, threats, thefts and language barriers.
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Note: Jancoa started work with Sasha in 1999, and was voted "Small Business of the Year" by the Cincinnati Chamber in 2003.
For more info and references, contact:
Karl Corbett, President