The janitorial services industry employs nearly two million individuals in the United States alone. This statistic indicates that the industry clearly has its appeal, but with so many people working in it, there are bound to be issues surrounding personnel. Below we discuss the top three janitorial management pain points and how supervisors can work to combat them within their organizations.
Quality of Work
In a survey of janitorial managers with crews in the food service, hospitality, commercial, and healthcare spaces, 55% of respondents cited the quality of work performed by their teams as a top challenge. This issue yielded the highest percentage out of nine possible responses. This phenomenon is especially problematic because quality of service is vital to customer retention, as well as attracting new business. With so many options for service providers available to them, clients are quick to jump ship if another organization is able to provide superb service for the same rate as your company.
The best way to ensure your crews are providing the highest level of service when they’re on site is by utilizing a tool that enforces accountability. Certain janitorial management software are equipped with customizable mobile forms that managers can design as checklists for their teams. Having a “to-do” list readily accessible from their mobile devices helps crew members to stay focused and prevents them from accidentally neglecting any tasks. Some tools also enable selected fields to be marked as as mandatory so that crews are required to complete a given task before submitting a report of their work to their supervisor.
Lack of Motivation
The same survey referenced above found that 45% of managers struggle with a lack of motivation/interest/dedication from their crews. Since the nature of the work crews perform lends itself to monotony, this statistic is unsurprising. Nevertheless, this problem is seriously detrimental to the health of any janitorial services organization.
So how can managers work to improve employee engagement within their crews? One approach is to foster healthy competition amongst team members or across teams. Utilizing a software solution with social collaboration functionality allows crew members to view and comment on each other's work. Having the ability to see the progress of their peers motivates employees to do their best work. Another way managers can engage their crews is by highlighting the value of their services. Managers should make the conscious effort to frequently iterate to team members why janitorial services are so important (i.e., “Your work keeps building occupants safe and healthy”).
A third difficulty that janitorial managers face is employee turnover. A notable amount (34%) of survey respondents indicated this as a challenge they are forced to deal with. It can be hard to retain workers who are unfulfilled with their jobs and who don’t see any room for growth. To overcome this, managers need to make their organization an attractive place to work.
Empowering crews with intuitive, mobile software solutions removes the need for any manual documentation with pen and paper, which is cumbersome and not a good use of employees’ time. Giving regular feedback, both positive and constructive, is an additional measure managers can take to make their crews feel valued and noticed. As described above, it’s critical that managers help employees to see the big picture by reminding them how important the outcomes of their work are.
Managing crews of diverse janitorial workers is no easy task. Supervisors can become troubled by the level of quality their employees contribute, a lack of dedication within crew members, and employee turnover rates. Keeping the tips above in mind will help managers rise above these adversities.
Victoria is a Marketing Associate at Repsly, where she leads the company's P.R. and social media efforts. You can also catch her prepping for slew of exciting industry events. A New England native, Victoria has spent time living in Italy and traveling throughout Europe before settling back in Boston. When she's not planning her next trip, V is probably tasting wine or brushing up on her Italian.