Letters To The Editor
Help Still Wanted
I wanted to take a moment and reply to your "Help Wanted" article in the March issue.
The subtitle really resonated with me: "Are our hiring practices to blame for the amount of employee turnover?"
The most recent statistic that I read was that the turnover rate for the janitorial industry is 250 percent.
That is extremely high and uncalled for.
Yes, the rate of pay is what it is; but, we — as employers — have to find a way to sustain employees if our businesses are to continue to grow.
One of the first steps is to create an environment of promotion from within.
Provide a structured program that allows for pay raises and job advancement.
Obviously, there has to be a pay cap, but as business grows, we have to give back to our employees by providing personal growth for them.
Also, in this economy, you can place an ad for part-time cleaning and have over 100 applications over a weekend.
Sift through these applications like your life depends on it — because your business does.
Hiring the right person for the right facility is the first step.
Each facility has its own personality, its own feel; your cleaner should reflect that personality.
About 90 percent of a bad hire can be solved upfront in the interview process.
You have to avoid personal questions, but there are a lot of questions you can ask to help determine the potential hire''s future goals.
Most companies ask, "Where do you see yourself in five years?"
Our business is a little more fickle than that, so the question should be more like, "Where do you see yourself in six months?"
Also, hiring someone with industry experience is not always the best solution.
Sometimes, bad habits are hard to break, and training someone new from the ground up proves for better success.
The most important lesson a former boss taught me was that I would never be successful if I couldn''t get my people to buy in to the goals of the business.
I asked how I do that, and he responded with: "You have to balance your growth with theirs. Show them how this will benefit them, provide the structure and, when the business comes, provide the opportunity."
It won''t solve all of the turnover, but we can make a huge dent as an industry. - David Jackson, account manager for Modern Maintenance Inc.
The Passing Of An Industry Innovator
I''m talking about the loss to the industry of Activeion Cleaning Solutions LLC.
The reasons for their demise are less important than how they almost single handedly changed the cleaning industry.
Many asked, "Cleaning with water — how could that be?"
Yet, it was Activeion that challenged all of us.
It''s no longer a question of can activated water work; it''s become a question of how many different ways is it working.
It''s a whole emerging cleaning strategy that moves us beyond harmful or even the less harmful — read: Green — cleaning products in our cleaning closets.
Activeion might rightly be called the founder of the water-activated cleaning industry in the U.S., and whatever companies come after owe much to this fallen soldier.
There is nothing so perilous or as fraught with risk as the introduction of a new idea.
Thank you to Activeion and the many who had confidence in striving to achieve the unthinkable. - Vince Elliott, founder of Elliott Affiliates Ltd. and president of the Chemical Free Cleaning Network (CFCN).