Cleaning Management Institute
Tip of the Month - Dec 2013

Steps To Retaining Talent

December 11, 2013

It is always a tough task to find, develop and retain staff in the cleaning industry.

This is a job that no one really says, "I’m all in."

So far I have been fortunate to say that I have been able to retain 93 percent of my staff by selling myself as a manager.

If we take a closer look at this process and the job we are asking them to perform, it all comes down to this … people quit people, not companies.

We need to sell this industry to potential employees and let them know that we are professionals and are seeking potential professionals to join us.

We need to build relationships with them, take the time to develop them, listen, communicate effectively, offer feedback and make them feel part of a team by counting on their ideas for success.

That is the key to retention. 

Hiring could be a long drawn out process that may include licensing (in my line of work), background checks and drug testing.

When I hire in this industry I look for a few traits in the individual.

  • Are they smiling?
  • Are they neat and presentable?
  • Body language — do they want to be here?
  • Are they enthusiastic or laid back?

What does it for me — I can train you to clean, but I can’t train you to smile. 

Planning is an important part of the retention process.

If you have built a relationship with your team, chances are you know where you stand with them and what their future plans are.

They may be ready to bid on another job within your company or move on to another company.

As a person responsible for hiring, you want to always be looking for talent.

Never be satisfied with the numbers, like I said 93 percent retention means I have 7 percent open positions.

Work with your human resources recruiter (if you have one), post openings on your website or in a local newspaper.

The bottom line is to never be comfortable with your staffing levels, always seek talent. 

Tips For Retention Of Talent

Management: It begins with leadership, make your potential employees want to work for you by expressing your passion for what you do and your management style. 

Development: Take the time to train and share knowledge, when you stop learning you stop growing. For employees to be stagnant in a job, they tend to seek other opportunities or fail to perform.

Relationships: Get to know your new employee — genuinely care about them and what is important in their lives.

Listen and Communicate: We as leaders can always improve on this. We need to write things down and follow up in a timely manner. Communication is a transaction between the sender and the receiver; both parties need to get it. 

Feedback and Contributions: When an employee has input and is given feedback, their self actualization has been given a huge boost. They will go above and beyond expectations.