Properly equipping employees with the necessities on their cleaning supplies list is important. However the most empowering thing we can give them for success isn't a tool or a chemical, it's motivation. Employee motivation is a key factor to a company’s success. Disengaged employees are estimated to cost the U.S. between $450 billion to $550 billion, according to a Gallup study. In tough jobs like facilities maintenance, it is even more crucial to keep the workforce motivated.
Find out Why Facilities Staff are Not Motivated
Get to the root of the problem. Be flexible enough in your style that you can listen to specifics and not think that there is just one solution to keep everyone engaged. If you understand why an employee is unmotivated, you can create a solution that addresses individual challenges and employees get real solutions and tools to do their jobs better.
People are motivated to make their own lives easier and to do a better job. So, if they feel free to speak their mind they can often give you solutions to their own problems.
Allow Schedule Flexibility
If you don’t jump on an employee for being five minutes late, then everyone will understand when you have to talk to someone who is always 30 minutes late. There isn’t much point reprimanding an employee who has to go home to deal with a sick child, unless it is happening every week. You can always require doctor’s notes and save a lot of discussion. Empower workers to keep their own timelines and focus on the quality of work rather than minor infractions.
Most people will live up to your trust and appreciate being treated like an adult. For problem employees, they would have stretched the boundaries in any case and have to be handled separately.
Find Your Natural Leaders
If you are new to a facility that has a tight maintenance team, find the leaders among the employees and get them onboard with new policies. Charismatic leaders lead by example and develop great relationships with their peers. If these employees follow the rules and see the value in them, your job is already half done.
Listen to Your Employees
Do your employees feel comfortable enough to address issues and make suggestions to you? Assess what you are doing to assure them that their opinions have been heard and are important. Hold staff meetings to solicit opinions. Once your employees see changes being implemented from their feedback, they will come to you more often, with not only problems but the solutions as well.
Go into the Trenches
Do you have a large project that requires all hands on deck? Be ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work with them. Work orders will be done on time and property improvements, such as cleanup or painting, go much faster with more hands to help. An added benefit of being one of the team is that, with you there, the quality of the work is also likely to be higher.
Keep an assortment of gift cards to businesses near the office that employees frequent. Use these to reward a job well done. A $10 to Starbucks or Walmart gift card may seem trivial, but it is an inexpensive way to reinforce great work ethic.
Empower Them Solve Their Own Problems
When employees make mistakes, give them the tools to fix their own messes. It may take longer, but as long as there are no safety issues, this is the best way for them to learn. Tough love isn’t a bad thing at work, and it can actually give employees more confidence to be entrepreneurial rather than rely on management to make and disseminate basic decisions that could be handled on the spot.
Introduce service KPIs (key performance indicators) to monitor performance with these service employee metrics:
- Engagement in the form of suggestions and commitment to tasks
- Turnover rate in both retaining and finding good employees
- Keeping absenteeism or sick days to a minimum
- Participation in required training programs
Quantifying initiatives and performance gives both you and your employees transparent tools to gauge performance and have a conversation when there is a disagreement.