Thursday, December 08, 2005

Turnover In The Housecleaning Industry

I've seen some companies brag about 15% annual employee turnover in the housecleaning industry. They're lying.

A recent survey indicated that the average turnover level for a janitorial company is just over 600%. That means that the average company is changing its entire staff six times per year. Sounds about right to me.

Our early days were ugly. Employees were hired as fast they quit. Our turnover rate was so high that I never bothered to even calculate it. I didn't know what to do. I treated every single employee with respect. I never demanded too much because I was afraid that they would leave. I basically begged for every employee. It was a difficult time to say the least.

I was frustrated. My frustration lead to desperation. My desperation lead to even more frustration. How could I make the job better when nobody seemed to want it?

You all know the answer. Our pay for performance program changed everything. We still have turnover. In fact, our turnover level is still pretty high when compared to other industries. A law firm wouldn't be too happy with a 150% turnover rate. But we are.

We're happy with it because we know the realities of the housecleaning industry. You can't have anything less than 150%. The job presents too many challenges.

Most housecleaning companies require each employee to use their own car for travel. How would you like to put 75 miles on your car everyday? Most housecleaning companies require each employee to work very hard. How would you like to scrub someone else's toilets everyday? Most housecleaning companies require each employee to work for low wages. How would you like to clean your house three times per day/five days a week for minimum wage?

Of course, we pay our employees pretty good when compared to our peers. Nobody can beat our pay system, but it's still difficult to attract qualified employees to our business.

The experts tell you that your employees need to feel respected. They need to feel as if they are a part of the business. They need to feel like it's not a job basically. We're working hard to try and improve our turnover level, but we also know that some things can't be avoided.

We've faced the facts. Our industry is difficult. We can get frustrated and keep banging our heads against the wall. We can get desperate and hire the wrong people. Or, we can just live with it.

Turnover in the housecleaning industry isn't going away anytime soon. It's a reality. Live with it.

1 comment:

  1. I sure hope things are looking up for you now that a year has passed. I hope you are still well on your ways to becoming industry leaders. Great Luck to you!