Friday, June 09, 2006

When You Have More Work Than Help

That's a commonly heard phrase in the cleaning industry. Turnover is the most difficult challenge for a cleaning company. We learned that long ago.

Here's an article that supports our argument on turnover.

According to the article, the cleaning company is turning away business because it doesn't have enough employees. The company is a franchise. A big franchise. Big franchises don't move very quickly. That's why this franchise owner doesn't know what to do to fix his problem. His solution: raise his wages.

He's raising his wages because he can't do anything else. He can't create anything revolutionary like our pay for performance plan. He can't because his corporate office won't let him. Franchises run their businesses out of a book. No deviation is allowed.

The most alarming statement from the owner of this cleaning company. "We've raised wages gradually, because we don't know what the optimal level is."

The optimal level is easy to figure out. The optimal level is higher than everyone else that you compete against. Our employees know that they can make more than anyone else in their industry as long they make their customers happy. Customer satisfaction equals above average wages.

I feel for this cleaning company. They're turning away more than $50,000 worth of work because they have an employee shortage. I've been in his shoes. It sucks. I was just as desperate as this guy. But I was just a little, tiny company. I could do anything I wanted to do in order to fix the situation. My desperation led to the pay for performance plan. All he can do is raise his wages and hope for the best.

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