September 22, 2021

4 Tips for Dealing with Cleaning Staff Labor Issues

cleaning staff pushing cleaning cart through long hallway of large office building

Labor shortages have taken us all by surprise, it seems. Even with companies offering sign-on bonuses and increased hourly wages, workers still appear to be in short supply.

While the reasons for this are varied, keeping your business clean and your clients happy is still essential to keeping building patrons assured their health and safety are a top priority.

So, what are some ways you can address cleaning staff labor issues?

1) Offer Training and Professional Development

One of the key issues facing the job sector right now is not that there are not enough people looking for jobs, in fact, more people are looking for jobs than jobs available.

According to SHRM, as of August 2021, “...there isn't actually a labor shortage—defined as not enough available workers to fill open jobs—because there are 9.5 million people classified as unemployed and looking for work, and 9.2 million job openings.”

Reportedly, one of the issues is a mismatch of skills. The skills required for available jobs are not aligned with the skills workers currently possess.

There are many reasons why skill sets do not match up. Things like a lack of education, not enough people with the right degree, to not enough employee development programs are just a few of the reasons for the current situation.

One way to address this issue is by offering on-the-job training and professional development.

On-the-job training and professional development can have many benefits such as:

  • It shows employees that the company wants to invest in their people
  • It offers opportunities for personal and professional growth—contributing to workers with stronger skill sets
  • It creates opportunities for growth within a company as employees gain more knowledge

All these things can lead to employees who are more committed to a company and less likely to leave.

Not only is this beneficial for making sure you have the workers you need, but this can cost much less money in the long run in terms of costs associated with hiring and recruiting employees.

According to the University of Massachusetts Global:

“A recent survey of more than 2,000 employees reveals organizations that offer professional development opportunities have employees who are 15 percent more engaged in their work. Such businesses also see 34 percent higher retention rates than those that don’t offer similar opportunities.”

2) Create Employee Referral Incentive Programs

Another major obstacle currently facing job markets, according to The Conference Board is the rapidly retiring group of those over the age of 65.

“The massive retirement of the large baby boomer generation is bringing growth in the working-age population to a halt—a trend that will continue through 2030.”

This is creating large numbers of workers not returning to a variety of fields and leaving many industries without people to fill the jobs.

One way to tackle this issue could be to create incentive programs that reward current employees for referring new employees who stay on the job for a certain amount of time.

If an employee loves their employer enough to refer a friend or colleague, there is a high chance that other workers will be happy as well.

Employee referral programs are a good way to find workers who stay long-term. This can be a great way to offset a limited pool to choose from.

3) Make Sure You Keep Updated and Working Tools on Site

We all know that feeling. We are trying to get our job done to the best of our ability and the tools and equipment we need are old, broken down, out of date, or malfunctioning.

Not only does this create frustration on the job, but if a client were to see old and outdated equipment while visiting a facility this could damper their overall perception of the business.

Making sure your team and your equipment are sending the right message is not only imperative to your customer base, but it also instills a sense of pride in workers.

So, the benefits are two-fold, you have employees that feel proud of their work and their place of employment. And, with proper working equipment, these same people are faced with less on-the-job frustration. Both things can lead to employees that are more likely to stay.

Looking for programs, like ICE Cobotics' all-inclusive subscription service, can help you with this.

The ICE Cobotics subscription plan operates like a long-term lease and is available on for the equipment they offer. At the end of the subscription term, you send the equipment back and start again with new. You’ll always have current cleaning technology on site.

The all-inclusive subscription includes parts, maintenance, and service from their Client Care team, as well as i-SYNERGY fleet management software—which is a bonus for facilities managers and BSCs because of the machine monitoring capabilities available that allow them to identify opportunities for increasing the efficiency of their team.

4. Use Automation to Augment the Staff You Have

Another way to address labor shortages is by bringing on autonomous equipment. Autonomous cleaning equipment is designed to work with the staff you have and free them up to focus on higher-priority tasks.

Autonomous floor cleaning robots, like Cobi 18 by ICE Cobotics, are designed to work in a variety of real-world and complex settings. Cobi takes on the repetitive task of floor scrubbing, and this allows your cleaning team to focus on tasks that require detail and focus.

Making sure your surfaces are clean, sanitized, and disinfected is essential to welcoming guests into your business, and making sure cleaning tasks like these are completed frequently will help assure your guests that your building is clean and healthy. Letting certain cleaning tasks like this fall by the wayside due to labor shortages can have detrimental effects on a business.

Plus, by bringing on automation, it can alleviate some of the stress your staff feels when the lists are increasing, and they don’t have the support to get the job done right. Autonomous equipment can help solve that issue, resulting in a happier staff.

Labor issues are not projected to go away any time soon. Putting a plan in place that recognizes workers' needs while also preparing for future issues is one way to ensure your business is ready to safely welcome clients at any time.

Our staff of Automation Experts is available to answer questions and get you started with an ICE Cobotics cleaning equipment subscription.

Ready to Explore Automation? Talk to an Automation Expert