December 14, 2020

5 Steps for Improving Cleaning Staff Job Satisfaction

hotel housekeeping staff in hotel room holding neatly folded towels and looking happy

According to a CNBC / SurveyMonkey workforce survey taken earlier this year, research shows job satisfaction has increased over the last year.

They write that the Workplace Happiness Index now measures 73 out of 100, which shows it has increased by 2 points since 2019.

This means employees are more content with the work they are doing which is beneficial not only to them but also to employers.

Across industries, companies are increasingly interested in the satisfaction of their employee due to connections that have been drawn between the well-being and satisfaction of workers and those benefits on business.

In the cleaning industry for example, unfortunately, job satisfaction is lacking and is one of the main reasons for the high turnover rate. According to research, the turnover rate in the cleaning industry is around 200% on average.

Jim Peduto, co-founder and chief operating officer of the cleaning industry consultancy, the American Institute for Cleaning Sciences states in a conversation with 4M:

“If you look at surveys of what’s important to people in the cleaning industry, turnover is always in the top five.”

This is due to the large costs associated with turnover. Knowing turnover rates can help C-Suite professionals and managers determine short-term and long-term costs and how to work to offset them. When looking at the turnover rate in the cleaning industry, it is no surprise that companies are interested in this data.

High turnover rates in the cleaning industry make it clear that cleaning staff are not always satisfied with the work, or working conditions. This may be a signal that it is time for employers to prioritize employee satisfaction for the benefit of the business.

Why Job Satisfaction is Important for the Cleaning Industry

Not many people will stay in a job when they are unsatisfied with the work or unhappy about the working environment. In the cleaning industry, this can cause a variety of problems

For example, a consistent cleaning team delivers consistent cleaning services.

When cleaning staff routinely changes over, other staff members must adapt to new employees more often, which can lead to inconsistent results.

New employees have to be trained and need time to adjust to a new job and workflow, therefore the cleaning process generally moves slower and can be inconsistent. This is undesirable for cleaning companies because great cleaning experiences lead to repeat business and long-term customers.

Satisfied staff members result in a reliable cleaning team that delivers consistent results, but this is not the only benefit of happy employees.

Not only does a consistent team deliver better cleaning service, but they are also more productive while doing it.

Research by the Social Market Foundation and the University of Warwick’s Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) found that happy employees are 20% more productive than unhappy employees on average.

Their report shows a direct connection between employee job satisfaction and productivity.

Ensuring the happiness of employees has several benefits. Not only does it contribute to lower turnover and in this way to increased profits, it also helps boost productivity.

Therefore, it is important for cleaning companies to take a look at how they can improve the job satisfaction of their staff.

How to Improve Cleaning Staff Job Satisfaction

1) Encourage collaboration and communication

Providing staff with opportunities for collaboration can give them the feeling that they are contributing beyond just doing the job.

This not only aids in improving job satisfaction but also helps stimulate daily motivation.

When you allow employees to help create solutions for the problems they run into, it will make their work a lot more satisfying.

Providing cleaning teams with the autonomy to locate inefficiencies in their work routine and improve it can aid in boosting morale.

Fleet tracking platforms, like i-SYNERGY, offer managers data and reporting that tracks things like run time, machine operator, and square footage cleaned by each time the machine is run.

Fleet management software helps to monitor daily progress and results, which can then be communicated with the staff.

When cleaning teams have insight into what is working for them and what can be improved, the only thing they need is the freedom to create solutions and make adjustments to their routine.

Another thing that can stimulate collaboration between employers and their staff is a culture of two-way feedback.

This means giving employees constructive feedback on their work, but also asking for their opinions on your work as a supervisor.

By doing this, staff will know their opinion is valued. If done constructively and positively, feedback will help stimulate communication and create a work environment where employees feel heard.

2) Supply the right training for cleaning staff

The idea that cleaning employees can simply show up and provide satisfactory work because cleaning requires no special training could not be further from the truth.

It is precisely the lack of training in janitorial and cleaning companies that causes dissatisfaction for both employers and their staff.

Cleaning staff that has been trained sufficiently consequently delivers good service and better results.

The right training will not only teach staff how to properly operate equipment, but it will also make them aware of standards that are expected out of their work.

This can make staff more successful in their work and ensure they feel confident doing their job.

When employees know what they are doing and have clear guidelines, they can do their best to deliver exceptional results.

This can even lead to cleaning staff taking greater pride in the work.

And like Ronald van de Pol, agile coach for LEVIY, a software company based in the Netherlands says to CleanLink:

“The prouder a janitor can be the happier everyone will be.”

3) Ensure a safe working environment

Providing a safe space and safe equipment for cleaning employees is key.

Cleaning staff, now more than ever, front line workers--they need supplies that are safe to use, they need spaces that are designed with human health as a consideration, as do all workers, and equipment that includes safety features.

For example, autonomous equipment like Cobi 18, an autonomous scrubber, is designed with safety in mind.

It uses lidar sensors and cameras to safely navigate around people and other obstacles, has a safety emergency shut off, and takes on repetitive floor cleaning that can lead to repetitive stress injuries.

Safety in the work environment corresponds directly with the satisfaction of employees, therefore it is crucial to provide a safe working place.

4) Reduce employee stress

According to the 6Q, a survey consultancy site, tight work schedules are one of the main sources of stress and discontent for many employees.

When pressure from work feels overwhelming, employees experience a high level of stress and it impacts their well-being.

This not only affects staff mentally but also influences their ability to work. The Harvard Business Review highlights how stress can decrease the ability to strategize, innovate, and think long-term.

Therefore, reducing stress for your cleaning staff can surely aid in increasing job satisfaction.

One way stress can be reduced is by simply relieving employees of time-consuming and mundane tasks.

Assignments like scrubbing or vacuuming floors can be taken over by autonomous cleaning equipment.

This way, robotic equipment frees up time for staff to focus on other high-value tasks, which can give more satisfaction than a standard, routine task might.

By adding cobots, employees can have the chance to use time for jobs that might require more critical thinking, like problem-solving and optimizing cleaning processes.

This can help make the content of the job more interesting and introduce more variety in a workday.

According to Forbes, this is one of the top 10 factors for the happiness of employees.

5) Give Incentives and acknowledgment

Cleaning staff, just like employees in any other industry, need a little appreciation when they are doing their tasks well and delivering good results.

Employee salaries are, of course, the main repayment for the work they are doing, but acknowledgment for their work is nonetheless very important.

Not only for the satisfaction of employees but also for the company itself.

There are different ways to give staff recognition for their work, which are usually easy to implement.

Incentives or rewards for delivering consistent results and meeting goals should be a substantial part of a business since this can help boost the satisfaction of workers.

Rewards can be more than just nominating ‘Employee of the Month’.

Acknowledging individual achievements is important but rewarding team or department efforts can also be effective and can stimulate collaboration.

A peer recognition program can also be set up to create a way for employees to publicly acknowledge their colleagues for their work. When implementing more incentives like this, staff will gain more satisfaction from their efforts.

ICE Cobotics is an industry-leading technology and equipment company specializing in autonomous solutions and all-inclusive subscriptions. Reach out to one of our automation experts today!

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