Monday, January 15, 2007

Employee Retention

Employee turnover in the cleaning industry gets talked about a lot. It should. After all, the industry average for turnover is more than 300% annually. That means that the average cleaning company is turning over its entire staff at least three times per year. Kind of hard to deliver consistent service when you don't know who's walking in the door for work each morning. I know, I've been there.

What doesn't get talked about a lot is employee retention. It should. The reason is simple. There's just not enough to talk about. Because the typical cleaning business loses way more employees than it keeps. But it's time we started to talk about it. Take a look at these stats from each of our offices.

Panama City
It's our newest office and our smallest office. We currently staff 8 employees. Three of the employees have been with us since our first month. More than ten months ago. Keep in mind that we only needed five employees back then. So we've kept three of the original five employees. Not bad. Especially when you consider that we didn't have one single customer when we hired them.

Fort Walton Beach
It's been around since October 2004. We currently staff 14 employees. Four of the employees have been with us since 2004. And three more employees have been with us for at least one year. But only one has been with us for less than six months.

Pensacola
It's been around since April 2003. I bought it on April Fools' Day. Later on that year, I figured out that this wasn't a joke. I really did pay money for this stinking business. But the tough times started to get better once I realized that employee satisfaction was the building block for customer satisfaction. We currently staff 24 employees. None of the original employees are still with us. And the sad truth is that only four have been with us for at least one year.

We've yet figure out the magic potion in Pensacola. Turnover has always been higher there. And the most puzzling aspect of the whole thing is that our Pensacola office provides the most hours for an employee. Which winds up meaning more money. But we're still working. Still trying to fix the problem. Here's our latest attempt to improve employee satisfaction.

The bottom line is that we satisfy many of our employees. And we just don't talk about that enough here. Sometimes we lose one or two employees in a day. But we keep another 44 employees that same day.

And if you ask me, that means we're doing something right.

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