By Rachael Kiss, Marketing Manager at Alliance Online (www.allianceonline.co.uk)
Cleaning services have been in more demand than ever recently. One reason for this is that, as lockdown restrictions have eased and society has opened up, workplaces have been prioritising cleaning services more for the safety of their staff. In fact, the number of people searching for “office cleaners near me” has risen by a staggering 85% year on year (FMJ).
If you run a cleaning company, you’ll no doubt be feeling the pressure of this demand, and you may even be looking for a few extra pairs of hands. But what exactly is the best way to search for cleaning staff? And how do you keep your current staff happy and fulfilled in their career? To help your business thrive and keep your old and new staff motivated, hospitality and cleaning product supplier Alliance Online are here to share their top tips for attracting and retaining cleaning employees.
Look in the right places
One of the most important things to consider when looking for new cleaning staff is where to put the adverts for the job. There are so many different places and platforms to advertise on, so don’t stick to just the one. It’s a good idea to post an advert on at least one of the most popular job sites, such as Indeed or TotalJobs. But make sure to check out other advertising options too. For example, you could try posting the job on your social media. Not only will this advertise the role to a large sample of people, but it will reach followers who already have some interest and knowledge of your company.
Another great option is to contact people directly to ask them to apply. Browse LinkedIn to find people with experience in cleaning work and send them a message to ask them if they’d be interested in applying for the role. Getting in touch with a potential employee directly will show them that you see them as a great candidate with an impressive career history, so this may give them the confidence boost they need to apply for the job. And don’t forget the power of a simple sign in the window to get the attention of passers by. It may sound old fashioned, but it will likely attract more people than you may realise.
Make it clear that your business is inclusive
Although you know that your business won’t discriminate against any candidates, many people are put off applying for cleaning roles as they feel the position isn’t for them. This is because there isn’t much diversity in the sector. In fact, cleaning roles are dominated by women, with female workers making up 74% of the global cleaning workforce (International Labour Organization). On top of this, many older candidates may be put off applying for the role as they believe they’ll be discriminated against based on their age.
It’s a good idea to show that your workplace is diverse and inclusive to attract candidates from all walks of life. Make it clear on your website that your company values diversity to show potential employees that everyone is welcome to apply for the role. You could also put blind recruitment in place, which involves removing a candidate’s identifying factors from their application, including their name, age, gender, and school and university names. By doing this, you will eliminate the possibility of unconscious bias and make sure that you select the best person for the job based on skills and experience.
Ask for your employee’s opinions
One of the main things that employees want from the company they work for is for their opinions to be heard and respected. In fact, a survey has found that workers who are highly engaged are three times more likely to feel heard by the business in comparison to highly disengaged workers (Forbes). The same survey also discovered that 74% of employees interviewed believed they were better at their jobs when they felt their company truly listened to them.
The good news is that engagement strategies are incredibly easy to implement, and listening to staff can even help the company’s management team too by giving them fresh perspectives on matters. One way to make employees feel heard is to have monthly company-wide meetings to discuss how the business is doing. You can use this as an opportunity to ask employees what can be done to improve the business and make their lives easier. Of course, not everyone will feel comfortable speaking up in a meeting, so it’s also worth having an anonymous suggestion box for employees to use as often as they see fit.
Show them your appreciation
To keep your employees happy and motivated, it’s important to show them how much you appreciate everything they do for you. After all, they are the backbone of your company and deserve praise for all the hard work they do. So, make sure to celebrate them when they’ve had a particularly challenging job and regularly remind them of how happy you are to have them as part of the team.
As well as telling them how much you appreciate their work, make sure to show them too by rewarding them after great work performances. These rewards can vary from small tokens like a gift voucher, to big gestures for recognising major accomplishments, like some extra holiday days, a pay rise, or even a promotion. To show you truly care, you may even want to give staff rewards based on their personal preferences. For example, if they’re a big foodie, you can treat them with a voucher for a meal for two at their favourite restaurant.
Provide them with the best tools for the job
Even the most talented and hardworking employees will struggle to complete their tasks without the best equipment, so make sure stock the highest quality tools and cleaning supplies. As well as making their work easier, they’ll be able to do a much better job if they’re provided with the best tools.
Anyone who works in the cleaning industry will know how important it is to be protected from the chemicals in cleaning products, so make sure to stock plenty of top-quality protective gear too. Provide staff with goggles, rubber gloves, aprons, and masks to wear when dealing with strong chemicals. And, to keep everyone on the job safe, provide them with the appropriate health and safety signs too.
“All of us want life to go back to normal as much as possible, and we all know that the best way to do this is to keep our living and working spaces clean and hygienic. Cleaners had one of the most important jobs around, but there’s now even more demand for these hard workers. So, to keep up with the demand, cleaning businesses need to think about not just attracting new staff but keeping their existing workers happy and motivated too.
“A great way to make both prospective new employees and old staff members feel welcome in your business is by creating an inclusive and diverse workplace. And if you ever get stuck for ideas on how to make your business more inclusive, why not go straight to the staff and ask them directly? They’d love to feel heard and play a part in the decision making, and they’ll likely have some great ideas to implement too.”