How Supervisor/Employee Check-Ins Can Be Profitable

Simple 15-minute meetings can make a massive difference in how you engage and retain employees.

In the cleaning industry, poor retention presents a major problem. The process of recruiting and maintaining employees is one of the largest expenses in your organization. And unfortunately, retention continues to worsen. Last year, turnover of low wage jobs hit a one-month high of 12%. And in 2019 overall, it was estimated that 32% of low wage workers would switch jobs within a year.

Low-wage jobs inherently come with a lot of turnover, but the first 30 days of employment are critical. Developing a plan to engage and retain employees is key to making them feel valued and encouraging them to stay with your company beyond the onboarding phase.

Investing in Your Onboarding

One of the biggest reasons employees quit so early is they feel like a cog in the wheel — undervalued and unappreciated. Companies are stuck in a constant hiring process and they don’t implement structured onboarding plans because it simply doesn’t fit in the budget when profit margins are already razor thin. For many organizations, this results in a lack of connection between the employee and their direct supervisor. With such thin margins per contract, and with labor costs being the number one expense, it’s easy to disregard this as an unprofitable interaction.

What isn’t considered in that analysis is the average cost per hire, which hovers above $1,000 for most organizations. This presents an easy cost-benefit analysis for your company.

  • What is your cost per hire?
  • How much does it cost for your supervisor to spend 15 minutes per week with each new hire for the first six weeks of their employment?

The latter is always going to be less expensive, but it’s difficult to see that when looking at the numbers as they are. It requires an assumption that your hiring costs are going to decrease, while your labor costs — specifically with your supervisors — will increase at a lesser rate. While that is an assumption that carries risk, it’s a very calculated risk that should provide a long-term win for your organization.

Supervisor Check-In Format

To maximize your retention of new employees, your supervisors should have a weekly check-in with each new employee for the first six weeks of their employment. The check-in is simply a 10- to 15-minute interaction. Every organization is structured differently, and the style of check-in that works may even differ from supervisor to supervisor. It shouldn’t be formal and include a detailed checklist of questions. The goal is to make sure your employees are comfortable in their job, they know what they’re doing, and feel some level of personal connection with their supervisor. Ask simple questions like:

  • How are you doing?
  • Are you feeling comfortable?
  • Do you know how to use the equipment?

These conversations can help aid in training, instill a sense of appreciation, and ultimately create a deeper relationship that can encourage a higher percentage of your employees to maintain long-term employment.

Be sure to make note of these periodic check-ins. Look for a technology solution that offers things like mobile messaging and short forms to support your supervisors and allow them to make the best use of their time and the check-in process.

It may be hard to implement something new that takes additional time away from your cleaners’ and managers’ daily tasks, but creating a hiring process that focuses on retention, not just hiring, is the key to your business’s success. To read more about engaging your workforce through technology, download our tip sheet.