Seven Tips to Improve Your Employee Retention Strategies

How to retain your field service employees.

Retaining your workforce is a critical element to the success of any janitorial business. In a competitive job market, it’s easier said than done. Direct competitors, non-competitors in other industries and (in some cases) your own customers are actively striving to hire your team members.

Companies with engaged employees deliver higher service quality on contracts, leading to higher customer retention. By lowering employee churn, you can also lower your labor costs related to employee turnover – estimated in some cases at 1.5-2 times the employee’s salary.

Here are seven tips you can leverage to improve your employee retention strategies.

1. Be clear with job responsibilities.

A common challenge in the cleaning industry is hidden turnover – or, after you complete a hire, that individual quickly quits. Sometimes it’s in a month or a week. Sometimes, they never report for their first day of work. One reason why is because the job was not what they were expecting.

Solve this problem by making sure your job listings are accurate. Communicate responsibilities throughout the hiring process. Then, continue to reinforce expectations through accurate job instructions tied to your software solution. This should include digital resources on the job profile that can be easily shared or accessed, text fields for specific notes and job-specific documents, bulletins, events or links.

2. Provide the best tools to clock in and out and manage schedules.

When you ditch paper timesheets and move to an online timekeeping system, you drastically reduce the chances of human error in payroll. Meaning, employees are more confident their paycheck is correct, and they won’t be shorted for any shifts. Timesheets can get lost or damaged.

An online timekeeping system provides immediate visibility into the number of hours they’ve worked and increases employee accountability. With a few simple taps they can clock in or out for their shift or meal breaks, eliminating the need to keep track of paper timecards, and view their schedule and work. Plus, if a punch is missing, it’s easily noticeable and can be quickly corrected before payroll is processed.

3. Consider employee preferences in work assignments when scheduling.

If possible, align work assignments with employee preferences. While that can mean type of work, it can also include factors like job location. By lessening the need for lengthy transportation arrangements, you can improve employee satisfaction as well as increase the likelihood they’ll report for work consistently and on time.

4. Give supervisors the right tools to manage their teams.

Supervisor job satisfaction has a direct impact on the employees they manage and their desire to stay at their job. When your supervisors have access to features from their mobile devices in the field (i.e., work tickets) they can better direct their crew to handle the day’s workload, adjust task distribution and report on results as needed.

5. Improve employee access.

Support your team’s independence and personal needs with an employee self-service portal. This enables employees access to things like their paystubs, time off requests, schedules and W2s. It removes the need to request information from supervisors – which is time-consuming, and honestly, can sometimes be viewed as intimidating. Self-service software access provides transparency between your company and your employees.

6. Communicate with employees in one place.

Communicating with employees can be tricky for janitorial contractors with an hourly workforce distributed across multiple sites. Consistently communicate information with employees through mobile and web tools. This enables frontline workers to initiate communication when needed, improves transparency and lessens the need for supervisors to manually check-in with employees on site whenever a message needs to be shared.

7. Be competitive in becoming an employer of choice

While offering competitive wages and employment benefits are common needs in employee retention strategies, they aren’t the only variables to consider. You can also improve retention by offering early wage access, which gives your workforce on-demand access to their earned wages (without complicating your payroll processes).

“Our employees appreciate the fact that they know they’ve worked, and they have bills to pay that aren’t necessarily in the same cadence as our payroll They appreciate having access to their wages on their time.” – Toni Vincent, Prestige Maintenance

Other factors that can help strengthen your position as an employee of choice could include committing to educating them on your company values, mission and goals, and be clear about how your team plays a part in that larger vision. Measure results from inspections and quality assurance assessments and share feedback from your sites and customers. Then, have programs in place to recognize work well done – social media recognition programs, for example.

If your solutions aren’t supporting these retention strategies, you should make a change. Request a demo today to learn more. 

Originally published May 21, 2019