High turnover with employees is a constant issue with home cleaning businesses. I feel a little lucky when I hear other owners complain because it’s not a problem we face. In 15 years of running De La Rosa House Cleaning, we’ve not had too many people leave our company. My friends ask for my secret so I’ve given this a lot of thought.
My team members tell me all of the time they love working for us. I believe the secret is motivation. Keeping my team members motivated allows them to perform to the best of their abilities and feel they are more than just a worker serving the boss.
Here are several ways to keep your team motivated and performing at the top of their game.
My business started with my mother cleaning houses in the mid-1980s. The business grew steadily throughout the years. When I took over the business in 2005, I worked to keep the family feel and culture rooted within the company.
Here are some steps I take in making the family culture work for us.
My team members are not just numbers on a sheet to me. When I come into the office, I greet everyone by their first name. I talk to them about their lives outside of the office and I also make sure we acknowledge milestones with the employees. Birthdays, education achievements, and the birth of children are all celebrated as a family within the business. Celebrating life events with the team members adds to the family feel and shows we care about the people who work hard for us every day.
Occasionally, there are times people have issues they need to attend to such as an illness or the battery in their car died. These are times where I speak with the team member making sure everything is okay. Then I discuss with them if they need to take time off or if they want to work.
De La Rosa House Cleaning owner Johnny Palleres (center) with one of his teams on a job in Phoenix, Arizona.
When team members call out of work it can disrupt the flow of the workday because members need to be shifted to new teams. I am fortunate this doesn’t happen often in my business. Our tight-knit family culture benefits us in these situations. The team members don’t want to let each other down. Instead of calling out, the team members often power through the problem, when they can, and come into work. When the entire team is present it allows the business to continue providing its high standard of customer service.
Focus on Customer Service
Money isn’t the main focus when it comes to my business. We are about customer service and good service begins with proper training
I teach team members how to clean surfaces correctly so they don’t have to go back and re-clean a client’s home. There are different techniques to go about cleaning an oven versus a toilet. Over the years we have learned efficient ways of cleaning and we share these standards with every team member.
When a home is cleaned to the satisfaction of the client, the team members are more likely to get good comments. Receiving positive feedback from the clients motivates them to keep doing the job the way they were trained.
Creating friendly competition within the business helps foster a healthy work environment.
I have a chart in my office that keeps track of how many good and bad comments we get, how many re-dos we’ve had, and how many houses are being completed. This chart is open for anyone to see when they come to my office.
One benefit of having the chart in the open is it allows my team members to see what I value in my company. By marking on the whiteboard, the team members see the areas they are excelling in and areas where they need improvement.
When a team member reaches their goals for the month, I provide them with incentives. At the end of each month, the person with the most positive feedback gets a bonus and the person who has cleaned the most houses receives a bonus. Providing incentives motivates the team members to not only do their jobs well but go above and beyond in their duties.
Allow for Autonomy
I have found micromanaging is not a suitable management style for me. I put trust in my teams and I believe they can do their jobs without me hovering over them.
Allowing your teams to complete tasks with minimal interference boosts morale when a job is well done. Team members knowing they are trusted to do a job correctly motivates them to make sure they do the best job possible each time they enter a home.
We have supervisors working on each team. Because everyone is trained and held to our standards of processes I can be sure our supervisors are working uniformly. Having trained supervisors allows me to promote from within as we grow because I know they will do the job the correct way. Putting my trust in the supervisors also allows me to focus on my job and not micromanage each of my teams throughout the day.
As a business owner, solely giving praise isn’t beneficial as team members need to know areas where they can grow. I’ve developed a way to deliver constructive criticism so my teams respond well.
I begin every constructive conversation with a team member by praising an aspect of their work. For example, being a team player or any good comments they recently received.
De La Rosa House Cleaning team beginning a job at a home in Phoenix, Arizona.
Next, we go into issues that need improvement. We discuss areas they should be doing better, challenges they may be facing in meeting the standard, and possible solutions to get them where they need to be. I reinforce their supervisor and I am here to help them improve.
Lastly, I end on a positive note. I mention how many good comments they have recently received or that I have noticed the extra work they have been putting in. By ending on a positive note it lets the team member know they are appreciated within the business.
Showing team members you care about them makes them work harder. One way I show my teams is by celebrating company wins at our annual holiday party.
At the party, we go through all of the good comments the business received throughout the year to reinforce the impact we are having. We give credit where it is due by giving out incentives such as gift cards. We take care to learn which kinds of cards our individual team members appreciate.
Overall, I let the team members know I care, and I am proud of the work they are doing.
So when my friends ask my secret, I tell them there’s no big mystery. Team members want to feel that they are appreciated within the business and not just a number. Keeping team members motivated by having the right company culture, staying positive with constructive criticism, celebrating positive feedback, and showing appreciation for a job well done will go a long way in keeping your team performing to the best of their ability.
Johnny Pallares is the Owner and Operator of De La Rosa House Cleaning, LLC. De La Rosa House Cleaning has been serving the Phoenix, Arizona area for 15 years with over 500 clients served.
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