Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Today we will complete our journey through the issues that I feel are important to finding (and keeping) reliable employees. Let's start with,


It is critical that employees receive ongoing feedback on their progress or lack of progress once they are on the job. Here is many times where turnover of employees occur. Do they only hear from the supervisor or area manager when there is a customer complaint or they doing a procedure incorrectly? 

Many times the supervisor will come to work mid afternoon with the first question being, "any complaints today"? And if there are some, away they go that evening to find the employee and "give them the whatfor". Question, are we sure the employee was properly trained? Have they had a refresher course in what they do? Did they even know the item in question was their responsibility? I know, I know, some employees just never learn but it is our responsibility to make sure they have been trained and coached in the right way. While we are on the subject, have you installed an ongoing paid refresher course for all of your employees. We all get into bad habits and it is important to remind everyone, at least every 6 months, of your company's systematic way of performing the service you promised your customers. 

Let me suggest that you make a conscious effort TODAY to compliment as many of your staff members as you can and get in the habit of doing so. We are in a business that thrives many times on the negative and so we need to focus more on the positive. Say "thank you" for a job well done. Don't create false reasons to compliment as those sound as bad as complaining to them. Why not take 30 minutes this week and take a crew a pizza or sandwiches etc. They may be shocked. I hope not. 


I wish I had a dollar for every time a BSC has told me they can't find good supervisors. So what do we do? We try to recruit our competitor's supervisors while they are trying to recruit ours. You may just have future leaders in your company and aren't aware of it. If you ask your current supervisors if there is anyone to promote they will many times say no because if they tell you they have someone, they then have to get to work and train someone to fill the slot which means more work for them. You have to take the lead and hold quarterly supervisor training classes (Maybe a Saturday) where you invite the second in command in a building even if the supervisor doesn't suggest it. Remember, you are building a company and the people you already have may be your very best solution for growth but they won't be if they don't know about possible promotion opportunities.

We held our quarterly meetings at a local university continuing education building so our people felt like they were really in a learning situation. We paid them, fed them lunch, and really developed some great people using this process. You will really find out a lot about your staff. 

So...if you have followed us through these last 4 blogs you are probably now aware that in order to find reliable employees and keep reliable employees you need to design an ongoing process that lets people know that you have a solid, professional organization that has career opportunities, not just jobs. It starts with when they come in the door, how your facilities look, how they are treated by the receptionist and how the interview is conducted. In addition there needs to be an organized scripted orientation and initial training program along with a refresher agenda to keep everyone focused on your company's way of "doing things". Couple that will a positive focus and a reminder to your people that they can grow with you. 

Don't forget to follow us with our weekly free pod casts at www.tripodcast.com and look for a lot of the free forms etc. that we talked about over the past 4 weeks. They can be found at www.consultantsincleaning.com and click on the worksheets icon. 

Till next time.

By the way, in the last two issues of SERVICES magazine we have articles on how to establish an effective training area and how to conduct the initial training class. 

Monday, May 19, 2014


As we continue our discussion on finding reliable employees, this week I want to cover 3 more key points,


Take a look at your facilities. Does it invite someone in? Have you vacuumed the carpet lately? Mopped the floor? Painted the walls? How about the exterior of the building? How does the signage look? Is the parking area clean? Are the windows clean? Remember, we are in the business of keeping things clean and prospective employees judge the quality you expect in your accounts by the quality you maintain in your own facilities. For that matter, what if a prospective or current customer visited your office today? Would they be impressed?

So when they enter your facility and assuming the appearance is inviting, how are they greeted? Does your receptionist greet them with a smile and create a feeling of we're happy to have them apply or do you make them feel like second class citizens? Are they given an application and pencil with a smile or are they treated like an interruption of the schedule?

I know of BSC's that have coffee machines for their applicants. Some even provide sodas. How about a popcorn machine in the lobby for the children? Many times the applicant has no choice but to bring their children with them and a piece of gum or small bag of popcorn can keep the children occupied while Mom or Dad completes the application. Remember, those children some day will want to apply for work as well, so let's leave a positive impression with them. Many grocery stores today have miniature shopping carts that children can push along with Mom or Dad. The stores don't do this to buy extra carts, they do this so the children will always remember the fun they had at that grocery store. The children will one day become grocery consumers and you can never start too young.

So, needless to say, it is important that we have an inviting facility for prospective employees and a warm and friendly person greeting them as they come in the door. How are you doing on that front?


 Do you put the applicant at ease? Just as important and maybe foremost, do you interview them when they are in your office and don't ask them to come back? It is hard for me to understand why, when we are needing people, we only will interview at certain times like 2-4PM or only on certain days of the week. Why? We are in the people business and shouldn't we be talking to people when they are in our office? Asking them to come back only invites them to go to our competitor's office where they can get an immediate interview.

Do you know what you can or cannot ask in the interview? On our web site at www.consultantsincleaning.com we have included some pages that offer questions you cannot ask along with a serious of questions you can and should ask to get the answers you need to make a decision. Just click on the WORKSHEETS  icon and scroll down to the Operations/Human Resources section and there you will find the pages to download along with others that may be helpful. All of them are free.

Are you also aware of the culture of the individuals you are interviewing? Certain cultures teach different demeanors for job interviews and it is important to know those so you don't unknowingly eliminate someone who might otherwise be a great employee.


It is critical to have a scripted consistent new employee orientation process for all new employees. On our web site in the same section referred to above, we have a New Employee Processing Checklist that you can download that may be helpful. In this way everyone is processed into the organization in the same way and all the needed information is covered.

Just as important as the orientation is a consistent scripted initial training program that is the same for all new employees, based on the way YOU want the cleaning done in your company. THIS IS IMPORTANT. Sending a new employee out to work with that experienced employee only will serve to teach the new employee bad habits that you probably don't want them to learn. By the way, the latest issue of SERVICES magazine has an article we wrote on setting up an effective training area in your company. Let me suggest you read it to reinforce your existing training program or to set up your first training area.  We'll talk about ongoing training in next week's blog.

So...there you have some more suggestions on finding reliable employees. Hope you find it helpful. There is so much information to cover in each area that we could write an entire book on each topic or at least a chapter on each subject but we have just provided an overview in keeping with our desire to make these blogs short and to the point. As always, we are interested in your comments. Let us know what you think. And don't forget to listen to and watch our weekly podcast at www.tripodcast.com.

Till next time.

Friday, May 9, 2014


As promised, this week I want to begin discussing the 9 specific items I mentioned in last week's blog on finding reliable workers. Let's discuss the first one from that list,

In a previous blog I discussed the difference between hiring and recruiting so by now I hope everyone has adopted the idea of recruiting quality employees instead of just hiring them. Advertising for prospective employees can take shape in many different directions. For example,
In my book "FINDING, TRAINING AND KEEPING GREAT SERVICE EMPLOYEES" I talk about each of these in detail but the important thing to remember in any of these processes is letting the prospective employee know you WANT to talk to them and that this isn't just another dead end job--it is a potential CAREER even if it is only part time at this time. I had scores of employees that started with me on a part time basis that ended up as valuable full time key people.
For instance, when writing an ad, whether it be for the newspaper, on line site, or neighbor door hanger, let them know there are multiple opportunities available. Many of the people we recruit don't necessarily have a high self esteem so if we let them know there may be several opportunities for them, it may just encourage them to apply. For example, saying something like
makes them feel like they have a chance. Now for those of you that say "I only have 2 positions to fill, my question is, do you have 8 people on staff you would like to replace if you have great qualified applicants to take their position? Use any number depending on the size of your company. Reminds me of the time several years ago when I was not having a good day and a vendor rep of mine asked me how many employees worked for me and my reply was "about half of them". But the day got better.
Next, make the ad exciting like,
This let's them know you have an exciting company to work for. In addition, your competitors will wonder what accounts you are starting that they may be currently cleaning. Keeps them on their toes.
I see so many ads where contractors try to save money by using abbreviations like P/T or F/T etc. Why do that? You spend a lot of dollars securing new business so why are you shortcutting the budget when it comes to the recruitment process? After all, your great staff is what you sold to your customer. Shouldn't you make every effort to secure the best employees you can to staff their account? Are you one of those contractors that says I will spend whatever it takes to secure XYZ account and then after you get the account, you tell HR to run an ad but be sure to not spend to much money on them? Really? Is our budget thinking a bit off?
I still believe there are great employees out there for us to recruit and train. We just have to change the way we look for them and communicate with them. Remember our previous blogs on the different generations and how they view the employment world. If you want to refresh your memory, you can go to my web site www.consultantsincleaning.com, click on the worksheets section and download the article entitled "The Generation Gap and How To Deal With It". The information is FREE and you may even find some other free downloads there that can help. Remember, the only thing constant in this world is change.
I used each of the methods I listed above to find GREAT employees. Our ads drew well when we advertised for several immediate openings. We did our own in house career fairs, utilized flea markets, placed door hangars in neighborhoods where we specifically needed people. We got several excellent people from on line, especially, mid level managers. I used head hunting business cards to recruit employees from other industries like restaurants etc. In fact, I was able to recruit a couple of great managers from the restaurant industry by giving them my special head hunting business card and having them contact me.
So, how are we advertising for prospective employees? The world is changing every day and we need to change with it. Advertising for those great employees takes many different approaches. Are you willing to commit the time and other resources to finding them like you do for finding new customers? I really like the AA credo "If you keep on a doin what you been a doin, you gonna keep on a gittin what you been a gittin".
Next time we will address how we treat prospective employees when they arrive. Hope you will join me.
Till next time. Don't forget our free pod cast each week at www.tripodcast.com.


Monday, May 5, 2014


I have followed with interest recent posts on Linkedin regarding the best method to find good, reliable employees. The question was posed about a month ago and continues to get almost daily responses. It has been a very interesting dialog with many diverse opinions of which methods work and which ones don't.

Members of the group have mentioned Craig's list, various web sites, bonus dollars, over 55 workers, under 55 age group workers, college students, middle age females, middle age males, pay them well, and the list goes on and on. I know I have forgotten to mention some of the many ways listed to finding reliable workers.

My take on this popular subject is that finding reliable employees is really not the issue. People can be found and there are good ones in all age brackets because most BSC's have some in nearly all age categories. I truly believe we as employers need to address the following issues in finding reliable workers,

1. How are we advertising for prospective employees?

2. How are the prospective employees treated when they arrive at your office?

3. How is the interview conducted?

4. Do they receive a thorough orientation and initial training before they start?

5. Do they receive ongoing feedback on their progress or lack of progress?

6. What kind of ongoing training do they receive?

7. Do they receive only complaints that come in or do they get compliments as well?

8. Are they informed of potential promotion opportunities?

9. Do we hire for potential "careers" or current "jobs".

Over the next few weeks we will address each of these areas and give our readers an opportunity to see how they stack up in these areas. While the answers to some of the questions appear to be rather obvious, I find many companies only give lip service to them. Hopefully we will give you some food for thought and encouage you to drill down in your organization to see how you really perform in all of these areas.  You see, how we address each of these areas really determines whether we will have 40% turnover or 340% turnover in our company. The choice, in my opinion, is ours.

Let me encourage you to join us in the coming weeks as we take a closer look at FINDING RELIABLE WORKERS. As always, we welcome your comments.

Till next time.