In our last post, we discussed some conventional methods for reducing employee turnover.  While they are solid methods, the turnover rate remains high, around 75% on average across the industry.  It is thought employees often leave for better paying jobs or a position with distinct advancement opportunities.  However, this is a misperception and can be less of a factor if you have incentive programs and a clear definition of job roles, company hierarchy, and a clear path to advancement.

We want to introduce some new tips to reduce turnover and why the time and effort put into it will benefit your organization in the long run.

Create a consistent work culture

Per Entrepreneur Magazine, “What really matters, isn’t what cultural standards you set but rather the fact that you set them and stick with them over a long period.” ( This helps set employee expectations, higher rates of employee satisfaction, and can help you attract new employees who may begin hearing great things about your company and the benefits it provides.

Recognize employees for a job well done and be sure they are rewarded

Often, employees won’t leave you because they are getting a substantial raise, instead they may just be getting a minor salary bump or a few additional hours.  If they understand the limitations you have on salary, but see how their efforts directly relate to profits and can receive an incentive, it’s likely to make them earn more money, while at the same time making them feel like a part of the team.

Speaking of teams, you can offer incentives for team efforts in addition to individual ones.  Use KPI data accumulated from e-inspections or customer portals to see top team and individual performers and reward them based on data, not feelings.  Plus, with this data you can see who your low performers are and use it to enhance your current training programs and/or create new ones.

Talk to long term employees

Ask them questions like why they entered this field and what they like about the industry, how they made it through the learning curve at your organization, what improvements they’d make for new hires, and what has motivated them to stay.  Create a narrative around your employees to empathize with their situations and create your training and compensation programs around them.

Service delivery and customer satisfaction

According to the Cleaning & Maintenance Management 2016 BSC/Contract Cleaning Survey, 50% of respondents rate Customer Retention as a challenge to their business.  28% of those see it as a major challenge.  The main reasons customers switch cleaning companies is price, but also comfort.  They want to trust their contractor and know that the work is getting done properly and their facility is free from security issues.  If they see a consistency in your staff, in your practices and in your results, it will go a long way to building that trust.

Costs of new efforts are lower than turnover costs.

If we can agree that each time an employee turns over it costs you $1,000, then offering achievement incentives up to $500 in the long run can save you money.

For example, reward employees for completing a contract.  Assign an employee to a contract or building for a 6-month term and if they meet the goals you have set, give them a cash bonus.  Not only will employees use the incentive to stay, but if you attach team goals it may motivate them to build a team around them.

Since cleaners will often leave a job to take a small percentage wage increase or to pick up a couple more hours per week, offering an incentive may encourage them to look at the long-term picture and see that building trust with your organization helps increase customer satisfaction and retention.  They can see the reward in that—not only personal, but company growth.

Boost employee morale

Low morale can lead to poor cooperation, low productivity, and increased turnover which eventually hampers your business from reaching its goals.  By making your employees feel that their work isn’t just a job, showing them the results of their hard work, recognizing individuals and teams for jobs well done, offering training, and making sure that top management is available and listening employees will feel that they are being treated respectfully.  This, in turn, can lead to them being more willing to work hard, be committed to your organization and their job, and be proud to help your company reach its goals.

It may not seem like it is worth the effort to go to these lengths, but it might be necessary to do something drastic and original to combat turnover in your organization.

Thank you for reading. Please share with your colleagues who might find this of interest. Authored by Accelerator CC, providers of cloud-based commercial cleaning software that helps you profitably manage contracts, bids, operations, sales, and staff while providing advanced on-site inspection and quality assurance to your customers. One of the fastest-growing SaaS platforms on the market, Accelerator CC delivers an advanced level of automation, remote/field connectivity and built-in best practices that specifically target the needs of commercial cleaning organizations and their customers. To see a demo of Accelerator CC, please email or call 610.849.5039.