Last Updated on August 21, 2023 by The ZenMaid Team
The following article is based on a presentation by Juan Chaparro at the 2021 Maid Summit, hosted and organized by ZenMaid. Juan is the co-founder of Gmaids, a maid service, and PipeHire, a company that offers employee management software for the cleaning industry.
It’s no secret that losing employees is common, and even expected, in the cleaning industry. The average time an employee spends with a company is about three to four years. Then there are business owners like Juan Chaparro who build retention programs so successfully that some employees stay a decade.
According to Juan, the secret to keeping employees goes beyond money. To have a business that sees its employees returning year after year, make them feel loved, empowered, and like family.
Read on to learn some of Juan’s tips for keeping employees longer.
Employee retention tip 1: Build trust from the beginning
It all starts with hiring the right people. People who are a match for your company culture are more likely to stay.
Start with a clear and detailed job posting: Don’t settle for a generic job description. Include as much information as possible about the responsibilities, expectations, working environment, and hours. If you offer training, benefits, or other incentives, include that information as well.
Respond to applicants quickly: Review applications and contact applicants as soon as possible, ideally within an hour after they submit their application. If that’s not possible, aim for the same day. This shows them that you are serious and interested in the skills and experience they offer.
Be detailed in interviews, too: Schedule face-to-face interviews with promising applicants as soon as possible. During the interview, repeat the information you provided in the job description and offer more details about the job. What does an average work day look like? What kinds of situations will they encounter? What are your measurements for success? What it’s in it for them?
Have a money talk: Many business owners assume that employees understand payroll and payment processes, but many employees benefit from explanations about the basics. Explain exactly how and when you pay your employees, including timelines, tools, and taxes.
Offer benefits: If you want loyal employees who choose to grow alongside your business, offer them more than a paycheck. Benefits like health and disability insurance, gym memberships, and even snacks will help keep employees happy and motivated.
Employee retention tip 2: Find creative ways to show your appreciation
People who feel appreciated are motivated to perform at their best. Here are some ways to show your employees that you value the work they do.
Recognize birthday, anniversaries, or milestones: Juan provides his employees with lapel pins that display how long they’ve been with the company. You can also get creative with the pins and make them fun. The message doesn’t matter as much as the fact that employees will feel special.
Offer continuous training: Schedule quarterly workshops and webinars to help your cleaners improve their skills. This type of training reinforces that their work requires skill and talent, which will help them build a sense of pride in their career.
Create a company pledge: This pledge is a promise to your employees about how you will support them while they work for you. Juan’s company pledges that it will pay a living wage and benefits so employees can raise their families in a safe and comfortable environment.
Don’t forget the parties: Events like quarterly barbecues that bring people together for food and fun are great for team building and help employees build stronger relationships with each other.
Employee retention tip 3: Support employees in their personal lives
Often a business’ support for its employees stops at the end of their shifts. To truly support and empower employees, help them thrive in all aspects of their lives.
Build a career path: Employees don’t want to feel like they’re stuck. Show them how they can get promoted to senior positions. This paints a picture of how their hard work will pay off.
Offer personal development opportunities: Schedule webinars and training that have nothing to do with work. Topics could include personal finance, health and wellness, or languages. Record these trainings and include them in your employee resources so all current and future employees can benefit.
For more resources on how to grow and perfect your cleaning business, check out the replays from the 2021 Maid Summit, hosted by ZenMaid. The summit featured more than 60 presentations from other maid service owners who shared tools and strategies to help you achieve the highest levels of success in your business.
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