Like so many industries, many building service and cleaning contractors have reported difficulties in finding new cleaning workers in recent months.
Even when companies do find new workers, turnover can be regular and costly with employees often moving on in a relatively short period of time.
This is nothing new for the cleaning industry, but the continuing effects of the pandemic have exacerbated the problem.
A new study published in July 2021 by the Manufacturing Institute’s Center for Manufacturing Research and the American Psychological Association, has implications for cleaning contractors. It found that most workers stay with their employers not only because they enjoy the work but also due to the training and development programs on offer.
Nearly seven in 10 workers under the age of 25 remain with their current company because of these opportunities. Competitive pay and benefits are of course important, but so is work that increases positive experiences on the job.
Also of note is the conclusion that workers who feel valued are much more likely to be engaged with their work, and less likely to feel stressed or leave their jobs. Ensuring every employee understands how their efforts are linked to the company’s overall success is one of the most successful worker-retention strategies
Matt Morrison, an industry veteran and communications manager at Kaivac, highlights four key measures that the cleaning and maintenance industry should keep in mind in its interactions with cleaning workers.
- To help employees enjoy their work, stress the importance of their work: they are keeping people healthy.
- To keep younger workers on the job, turn to new technologies such as onboard training technologies. Some are placed directly on cleaning equipment, allowing new staffers to learn and practice cleaning tasks at their own pace.
- Promote from within. It helps your staff feel they are valued and that they have a future working for your firm.
- Start an employee recognition program. Recognizing staffers for doing something exceptional can significantly improve the worker retention of all staffers.