Paula Dills-Friedrich’s education program promotes employee success while building company culture.
In a world where knowledge is power, wise business owners know the value of supporting the education of their employees. And Paula Dills-Friedrich is part of that savvy group. Friedrich owns two residential cleaning franchises called The Cleaning Authority, one in Frederick, MD and one in Woodbine, MD, which she operates with her two sons and daughter-in-law.
“I started a program to support my employees in completing their degrees because as a business woman, I know that if you’re ever going find professional success, you need an education,” Friedrich said.
Friedrich launched a program from scratch in which her employees were encouraged to create a flexible work schedule in order to take classes and work toward earning a degree. “We find that our greatest employees become even more dedicated when they also have the additional responsibility of a class schedule to manage,” Friedrich said.
Recently, the team saw two employees successfully complete four-year degrees. Additionally, there are several other employees who have completed or are currently working toward completing GEDs, Certified Nursing Assistant programs and business administration programs, among others.
“While it is sad to see them go,” said Friedrich, “I am filled with a lot of pride when they say, ‘I’ve graduated and I’m moving on.’”
The effort that Friedrich makes to support her employees does not go unnoticed by those who take advantage of the educational opportunity. Amber Miskell, a current employee of the Frederick office, is enrolled at Kaplan University pursuing a medical assistant certification.
“Paula and the team at The Cleaning Authority have helped me to achieve my goals and pursue my career,” Miskell said. “They always ask how my schoolwork is going and there have been multiple times when I was allowed to leave work early to be able to complete my assignments for school. They also work with me on my class schedule and I’m grateful for all of their support.”
A Forward-looking Culture
In addition, each summer Friedrich’s management team hires two to three college students. If the student leaves in good standing, they’re invited back to work during the holiday and spring break season as well as the next summer. They find that it helps the student earn money for the next semester and helps the business at times when they need additional staff.
The importance of these developmental programs and special initiatives is further reinforced by The Cleaning Authority’s corporate team, because of its positive impact on the success of the brand as a whole.
“Programs like the one in Paula’s office go a long way to help build a culture that promotes employee success,” said The Cleaning Authority’s Director of Operations, Leanne Stapf. “This not only helps her retain employees, but they also attract individuals who want to work in an environment that facilitates their personal growth.”
Friedrich said they’re always looking for ways to improve the lifestyles of their employees and attract talented and reliable staff. They work hard to provide support beyond education, including health insurance and 401K benefits.
“In a competitive industry, we do what we can to show our employees that we are interested in their futures and that The Cleaning Authority can help advance their careers,” Friedrich said.
Iric Wexler joined The Cleaning Authority in 2003 and serves as VP of Development. He works to find the best franchisees to build the brand.