Any cleaning and/or restoration business will understand the struggles when it comes to staff. Hiring, onboarding, training, and retaining can seem like a never ending task. It can also affect the profits and cash flow of a business. So how do we try to fix this?
The culture within a business can severely impact employees, their productivity, and the retention rates. If your employees are not happy, this often flows onto clients and can affect their experience. By investing in your employees, this can often make them feel appreciated and will pass that on throughout the business.
So where does the company culture start? It is important that job advertisements are created to attract the right people and showing the opportunities within the company. Streamlining your interview process and focusing on culture rather than their experience. Any new employee will need to follow the systems and procedures that you have in place. They should go through training as if they have never worked in a similar role anyway. When you find people with the right attitude, this can often be more important than their experience.
Once a staff member has been hired, you want to follow through with an onboarding process that ensures they understand the core values and expectations. This should be the focus of meetings and performance reviews. Issues and acknowledgements should be based around the company values to ensure everyone is on the same page. Culture is should be the heart of everything you do within your business.
Employees can either be an investment or a cost. When you invest in your team, the returns can be seen in the way employees interact and work with clients. This can be done by focusing on developing employees, helping them grow, giving them opportunities, and encouraging education and decision-making. You may want to sit down with employees at their performance review and discuss what their ultimate career goals are. This will give you the ability to work out if they will be a long term or short term employee. It can also show whether they are the right people for your business. Regardless of what your company values are, you need to ensure there is a way to measure their performance and improvements.
Some companies in the cleaning and restoration industry have found success in providing anonymous, annual culture surveys to employees. This can give them the ability to provide honest feedback focusing on the culture, employee happiness, and job satisfaction. Employees have many options available within the job market so you need to show why your employees will want to stay. Money is not always everything to employees if they are unhappy within the company.
Three key strategies to creating an employee first culture include:
- Prioritising the company culture — make sure everyone within the company understands that culture is the priority. This includes management teams.
- Ensuring results are measurable — surveys, retention rates, and other quantifiable systems can be used to regularly measure this.
- Develop empathy — to be a successful leader, you need to always be working towards winning hearts and minds. This involves creating real engagement with employees so they know they are a priority.
Sometimes having a company culture focus can mean eliminating toxic employees. This can be difficult if they are one of your top performers. In the long term, this can affect the company in many different aspects including employee retention and profit margins. In order to create a company that can grow and last through the ages then culture has to be a priority.
Building a great company culture can involve a lot of work to begin with and can take time to see results. However, once the wheels are in motion it can keep many company aspects running smoother than ever. Don’t give up if you want to get your company moving in a more productive, employee centric direction. The right culture can power itself and create ongoing success in your business.