How clean is your facility after it’s cleaned? Sounds like a stupid question, doesn’t it? But maybe the better question is, how happy are your facility staff? The happier they are, the better the facility will be cleaned.
Think about your own job. When you are happy with what you do, the quality of the work you do is raised. So, it stands to reason that if your facility staff are happy with their jobs, they will take more pride in their work.
For example, do your facility staff get recognition for the job they do? John Kerlish, SPHR, of Human Resources Management Associates Inc. in Lancaster, PA, says “Workers want to feel as if they are an important part of the organization. The more they are recognized for their accomplishments, the more loyal they will feel. They’ll stay if they’re getting satisfaction, recognition and reward.”
What about when an employee makes a mistake? That’s a trickier situation. You have to put thought into how you handle negative feedback with employees. “Consider the ‘sandwich’ approach to evaluations,” says Sean Letwat, senior vice president of the Louisville, Ky., branch of Kimco Corp., Norridge, Ill. “Start with several compliments, explain what could use improvement next time, then offer another positive comment.” If you help the employee feel that the mistake is just one thing that is fixable out of many things they do well, they won’t feel so overwhelmed with the few critiques you have to give them.
What about compensation. It’s a well known fact that you can’t pay someone enough to stay at a job where he or she is miserable. So, pay isn’t always the tipping point.
Maybe you can’t pay your facility staff a higher salary. You can find ways to reward them that they may never expect. The surprise keeps the job fun and you let them know you appreciate them in another way.
When Ron Piscatelli, San Diego-based business coach and author of the book “Jump Into Janitorial” ran his cleaning service, he awarded employees with arcade-style tickets for good performance. He even offered those with extraordinary performance additional tickets. Employees could redeem the tickets for prizes, which included autographed collectibles or other memorabilia, items he knew his staff would appreciate and value. Workers were fond of this program because it offered them a chance to obtain valuable items they otherwise could not afford.
Often, it’s the little things that speak the loudest. Simply recognizing an employee’s good work can have an even greater effect in motivating staff than by offering compensation. “We make a big deal about it,” says Letwat. Employees who receive compliments from a customer earn a retail gift card and a certificate. The firm also sends a letter to the customer thanking them for bringing this to their attention.
What about the greater picture – improving the organization or business itself? “Employees want to feel a part of the overall organization. Managers should be open to taking suggestions from all employees,” says Letwat.
So, are your facility staff happy doing their jobs? Take a quick verbal survey sometime. Ask them. They’ll tell you. Find out what you could do to improve the quality of their job. You might just find out they love their jobs or that they need a little more autonomy or influence. A little change goes a long way. Your facilities will be cleaner for it.
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