How to Improve Cleaner Retention with "Small Wins"

Read Time: 4 mins

Written by Swept COO Matt Cooper

What does a ‘win’ look like in your janitorial business?

You might be thinking things like:

  • Winning a bid over your competition
  • Earning new business from a referral client
  • Hitting a milestone like 20 years in business

It’s important to celebrate big accomplishments like this because it unites everyone around achieving common goals.

But when the majority of the work you perform for your clients falls on the shoulders of your cleaners, celebrating the small wins on a day-to-day basis is just as important for creating a positive work environment for everyone.

Because regardless of what motivates each individual cleaner to do their job, helping them feel like they are making progress on meaningful work will make them more likely to stick around.

So what do we mean by a ‘small win’?

Small wins are things that will probably mean more to your cleaners personally than to you.

They are the behaviours you’d like to see on a day-to-day basis that lead to good results, as well as the results themselves.

In this post we outline 4 types of small wins you should celebrate, and examples of each you can look for in your business.


    small wins to look for in your business

    You’ll notice that it becomes easy to pick them out when you think of which behaviours have a positive impact on your business. Here are some examples:  


    1. Consistency

    Your clients aren't hoping you'll deliver excellent quality service some of the time... they want it consistently! So how do you ensure consistency when the day-to-day tasks of cleaning are in the hands of your cleaning staff?

    Reward (or at least acknowledge) consistency in their attendance and performance.

    You can do this by using your timekeeping records and inspection results.

    For example:

    • Which cleaners never miss a shift without a good reason?
    • Which cleaners always arrive to work on time?
    • Which cleaners always stay the full shift to complete all the tasks listed for them? 

     

    2. Communication

    Coordinating a team that works remotely is much easier when people communicate openly with each other.

    Encourage cleaning staff to talk to you about questions they have and challenges their facing, and give them an easy way to do so. 

    Here are some example of the types of communication you should recognize / reward:

    • When a cleaner reports an on-site problem to you
    • When a cleaner follows up with you on a special work order
    • When a cleaner communicates valuable feedback about their experience that helps you make improvements to your operations

    3. Effort

    When a cleaner puts in the effort, it’s a sign that they are dedicated to the job, to you, to their team, and to your clients.

    If you notice a cleaner going above and beyond at work, it’s a small win worth celebrating. 

    For example:

    • Staying a bit longer on site to finish a job
    • Proactively looking out for the clients' needs
    • Showing patience and flexibility in a challenging situation
       

    4. Great End Results

    Last but not least, is stellar results.

    If you’re doing an inspection, and the cleaner knocks it out of the park, it’s a win. Even if it’s not perfection, but you notice that one of your cleaners always does a particularly great job at cleaning restrooms (it’s always so fresh in there!) consider it a small win.

    Rather than simply mark this inspection point as ‘met standards’, take note that it exceeds standards and tell them they did a great job.

     

    good-job.jpg

     

    Final Thoughts

    When it comes down to it, the ‘small wins’ are the accomplishments your team achieves on a daily basis. If you’re looking for a win, no accomplishment is too small. If they proved that they had focus, good intent, and put in the effort to achieve it, you can consider this a win and it’s worth recognizing.

    It’s by celebrating the little wins, that you’ll be able to energize and retain your employees so that you can keep working together towards the big wins.

    >> Wondering about the best way to recognize and reward small wins? Read this post about creating an employee recognition program. <<