When your janitorial company loses an employee, you lose a lot more than a single staff member. Between compromised efficiency, lower safety standards, and the resources required to refill the position, the cost of turnover is extremely high.
In any industry, turnover comes at a high price, and the janitorial industry, in comparison to other industries is much higher. While the average turnover rate for custodial workers sits around 200%, the average across all industry hovers at 18%. Clearly, janitorial service companies are losing a lot to this invisible enemy of profit — but why?
The truth is, although your janitorial services company may suffer a big loss when an employee leaves, the employee probably loses very little. With unemployment rates as at a mere 3.6%, there is no shortage of low-wage jobs for janitorial workers to hop between. As a result, janitorial workers incur little cost when they switch from company to company and they often have few, if any, compelling reasons to stick around at the same organization for long.
To dissuade janitorial workers from job jumping, you need to provide an experience at your organization that they can’t find anywhere else. Certainly, the most obvious way to do this is by offering competitive pay. While that’s an effective solution, it’s also costly and for many companies, unrealistic. So, what’s a janitorial manager to do?
One of the most effective — and, happily, budget-friendly ways — to design a unique employee experience at your janitorial company is by developing an employee recognition program. Unfortunately, the average janitorial worker receives little (if any) recognition for the hard work that they put into their jobs. And yet, the need to feel seen, appreciated, and valued is one of the most fundamental aspects of being human. When that need isn’t fulfilled at work, it’s no wonder employees go looking for opportunities elsewhere.
So, what does an employee recognition program look like in practice at a janitorial company?
Depending on the extent of your company’s resources, an employee recognition program can be as simple as managers delivering handwritten notes of appreciation to members of the team, or as sophisticated as a shared company social feed that employees at every level of the organization can access through their mobile devices. Some companies also opt for a monetary recognition system where redeemable points are attached to notes of praise and gratitude.
Whichever approach you choose, the general practice of employee recognition can do a lot to drive down turnover. It builds relationships among coworkers by allowing them to regularly express gratitude towards one another. It fulfills that fundamental human need for appreciation and acknowledgement. And best of all, it encourages employees to excel at their jobs in the future by sending the message that management is not only paying attention, but, celebrating employees for their extremely hard work.
In an industry plagued by incessant turnover, delivering an employee experience that sets your company apart from the rest is one of the most strategic competitive moves you can make. Start simple and build from there, and you’ll be amazed to see how your employees — and as a result, your company — transform in response to regular recognition.
Katerina Mery is a marketing specialist at Fond, a rewards and recognition company dedicated to building places where employees love to work. She authors articles about how to leverage recognition programs to drive company success. Learn more at www.fond.co.