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Solving A Janitorial Payroll Problem

If you make this one change, your employees will love you.

March 04, 2014
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We've been sending out anonymous surveys for 18 years to our cleaners asking them how we could improve management.

We've received many great ideas from these surveys and implemented lots of them.

But one that came up every year was nagging at us: "Pay us more," cleaners kept saying.

We wished we could, but margins were too tight and competition too fierce to pay more than $8.50 per hour.

A solution was born when we thought, "We can't pay more, but we can pay more often."

We went from mailing paychecks bi-weekly to direct depositing them weekly, and our employees absolutely loved it.

Their money was in their accounts every Friday morning.

The benefits of this are not only great for your employees but for you, too.

Here's why:

1. No more, "Can I get my paycheck early."

2. You'll have better interviews.

Communicating that you pay weekly by direct deposit in your employment ads is an additional hiring filter (much like "Bachelors Degree" for example).

Many people assume one must have a bank account to get paid by direct deposit.

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Therefore, those without bank accounts will be less likely to apply.

This is good for you because job seekers without bank accounts are typically not the people you want to hire.

3. Payroll efficiency increases.

You will have an better time remembering payroll items/issues from one week ago rather than two weeks ago.

Plus, now that you must perform payroll weekly, you'll become more efficient and systematized.

4. Manage budget hours and schedules more effectively.

Doing payroll gives us great insights into what has and is happening in our business.

We have a budget sheet that compares budgeted hours to actual hours that gets filled out during payroll.

Now that we perform this function weekly we are able to communicate to cleaners whom are going over budget more quickly.

Additionally, we look at what our field managers schedules ended up as and make scheduling decisions based upon these observations.

5. No more, "I can't go to work, I don't have gas money."

People can budget better when they are paid weekly.

6. You will get the best cleaners to work for you.

When employee prospects look at employment ads and see one that reads "PAID WEEKLY," they will apply to this ad first.

7. No more lost checks, stop payment fees or double paychecks.

No more angry employees waiting for the second check to come via mail.

No more, "If I don't get my check today I quit."

No more driving a paycheck to an employee that lives many miles away.

8. Save money on stamps, checks, envelopes, printer ink and time folding/stuffing/sealing.

Sending payroll for us is the click of one button.

With one additional click of a button all our employees are emailed their stubs.

We forced those that didn't have email to get one so that we didn't have to print one single stub — if they don't have Internet the library does.

Cover Feature: Battling Budget Pressures

9. Doing this may force you to upgrade your accounting system.

We use Quickbooks Online.

Our taxes are paid with one click of a button.

January 1 we sent out over 100 W2s with the click of a button.

I did payroll in Florida last year on vacation, that's the beauty of web based systems.

Web based timekeeping would be necessary to perform payroll from afar.

We use a telephone time keeping system, and our employees clock in and out from the customers' phones.

The data comes to our website in real time showing us where, when and for how long cleaners worked.

The data is organized into time cards, so to complete payroll we just print off a time card summary, enter employee hours into Quickbooks and click approve.

10. Higher employee morale, which leads to lower turnover.

Less turnover saves you money and time and increases customer satisfaction.

11. You may realize you could be invoicing in a more beneficial way.

Since our cleaning company's beginning, we've sent bills 30 days in advance.

Although the due date to these invoices is not until the end of the month, many companies will pay that bill as soon as they get it.

This is payment approximately three weeks before services are rendered, giving a company a better cash flow and allowing you to pay your cleaners weekly.

You can do this; be bold, be different.

Following the norm will get you the norm.

Exceed employee expectations just as you would with your customers.

Treat employees like your customers.

Work to continuously increase morale.

Be the best place for a cleaner to work in your area.

Do this and your employees will love you.

Do this and customers will find you, business will increase and you'll be able to do ever more for your employees.


Chris Town is creator of JaniTime Telephone Timekeeping. JaniTime was originally built for Chris’ other business of 18 years, LUXURY Janitorial Services. JaniTime is a web based janitor employee management tool. For example, JaniTime will show a BSC in real time where, when and for how long employees are at each location. If a cleaner doesn't clock in by their scheduled time, JaniTime can even email or text. You may email Chris at  

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