5 Tips for Reducing Cleaner Turnover

*Pro Tip: If you want to take your employee retention efforts to the next level when you're done reading this article, check out the 14 day free trial of our software and start reducing cleaner turnover today!


Turnover happens.  Every business that relies on staff to deliver their service or product understands the time, energy and money that is wasted when a member of your team leaves.

Turnover is specifically costly in the Janitorial Industry.  With the industry average at 75% and reports as high as 400% per year, losing and replacing that number of staff is a full time job for multiple people.

So what can your business do about it?  Here are 5 ideas to help your company tackle turnover head on.

#1 Find the right Match for the job

In a lot of cases, a new contract can be a blessing and a curse. You may not always have someone from your existing staff that is looking for more hours.  Often staff can fill in for the short term, but finding a “right” match for a position has a lot to do with how well the position matches their needs.  As an example, if you have an evening shift, you may have a number of people that are willing to take that position, but the best match is someone that is looking to work for the specific time and place your position offers.

Using tools like cleaningjobs.co companies can quickly screen applicants against the best possible answers to find the best “match” for the position.  Starting here can allow your company to increase its chances of finding not only great cleaners, but make sure the right cleaner is offered the job.

#2 Provide a comprehensive training program

Investing in a training program communicates that quality is a priority to customers but also to your cleaners.  The key objective of a great training program is to not only make sure your cleaners understand what is expected of them, but also to make sure your cleaners understand what advancement opportunities are available to them.

Not sure where to start? The Janitorial Store has a great library of resources available not only to get your training program off the ground, but also to improve your existing programs.

#3 Provide instructions even when you’re not there

Even when you’ve been working as a cleaner for a while, and training is provided, it’s not always possible to know what’s expected of you. This is especially the case when you start a new contract or are filling in for another staff member.  Great cleaners want to do a good job, so it can be stressful when clear direction isn’t provided.  The issue is that sometimes it’s not possible to provide onsite guidance. In this case, providing written cleaning instructions can go a long way.  Cleaners will appreciate the clarity and it can also help reduce the load on your management team.

#4 Recognize and communicate success

When staff work remotely, it's easy to feel disconnected. It’s also easy for managers to overlook the effort that goes into doing a great job.  When doing inspections, make sure that cleaners know not only when something has gone wrong but also when things are going right.  

It’s important to recognize the small things that easily go unnoticed.  Asking great questions, reporting problems proactively, or consistently showing up for shifts on time are all great examples of behaviour that should be recognized.  Going one step further, many companies have successfully implemented an employee recognition program.  This allows the positive reinforcement to be heard and seen by others in your company.

Such programs will highlight these small wins to the team in a public way.  Teams leveraging this approach will record positive and negative interactions with the cleaners and managers to help build a cleaner scorecard.  This scorecard can then be used to see who is doing well and who needs additional training or supervision.

#5 Perform Exit Interviews

When staff do leave, an exit interview is a great tool to learn more about what is at the root cause of the turnover.  In some cases, cleaners leave for positive reasons. But when they are leaving because they are not happy, leaving these issues unaddressed will ultimately lead to a deeper more serious problem for your team.

One recommended approach is to have someone in the management team that the individual leaving did not report to conduct the interview.  This allows the responses to be candid and transparent.  

Turnover in the Janitorial industry is not only expensive, but sometimes an elusive issue to address. Communicating clearly, supporting your cleaners and spending time looking for the root cause will not only help with your bottom line, but also make your team more engaged.

Want to take your employee retention efforts to the next level? Try out a 14 free trial of our software to begin reducing cleaner turnover today!